Rising star Kaylene Milner at MBFWA

Aside from confirming my suspicion that Tom Waits’ Temptation would make excellent runway music, the opening the Australian fashion week (MBFWA) ‘The Innovators’ show also introduced a new talent to the fashion world. Winner of the 2012 Fashion Future Global Mentoring Program (not to mention $15,000 and an internship at Diane Von Furstenberg along with the general glory), Kaylene Milner reminded the crowd why graduate shows are always a favourite. Like her fellow Sydney Institude of TAFE classmates, her collection showcased both creativity and technique in equal volumes.


Milner called her label Sturm & Drang, a phrase that transports me mentally back to German history classes and in my vague definition was a literary and musical movement all about being wholly expressive instead of emotionally repressed. Milner’s clothing is suitably expressive but there’s restraint in the careful techniques, too. Her collection was nature-inspired, like a living forest of organic textures and colours. Cowhide and leather pieces encapsualated the kind of mood that sweeps thorugh an open prairie on howling winds. One dress had a tooled leather neckpiece with soft green reaching out from underneath like creeping moss. Yet another outfit managed to work together leather, embroidery, diaphonous cream silk, woody abstract prints and fringing into a successful whole.

It seems cliche to say it, but with a balance of wearability and innovation it’s no wonder Kaylene Milner has been earmarked as a future fashion star.

You can see all of the Kaylene Milner spring / summer 2012 runway collection by clicking on a thumbnail on the left. From there you can browse through each of the pictures from the fashion show.

Photography by Allan James Barger