The best street style at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia

Street style photography is big business in the fashion world – a quick look at the hashtag on Instagram will take you through endless supposedly candid imagery of folk working their wardrobe.

But as far as appearing in a publication's coveted "best dressed list", it comes down to achieving an authentic look that's less about paid sponsorship or brand endorsement and more to do with individual style.

Sadly, street style has become more of the former these days, in huge part thanks to influencers with mass followings living in a nihilistic fashion bubble wearing brands all in the name of their next paycheck. They're walking billboards that have little to do with individual expression.

Expert opinions

"I look for colour and individuality," says photographer Lee Oliveira, who travels the world chasing street style.

"Guys who are confident and wear something that is part of their personality is what I look for – there really isn't a trend or theme, but there's something beautiful about the light in Sydney and I'd always choose someone wearing colour over entirely black," he adds.

Stylist Jeff Lack sits high in the pecking order of how to do it well combining a sun-kissed Bondi local look with Italian tailoring, beautifully riffing on the best of both destinations.

The trends he spotted by the attending men at fashion week?

"I'm seeing a nod to '70s earth tones like copper, bronze and brass and lots of clean lines," says Lack, who was caught relaxing at Carriageworks on Day Two of fashion week.


"No one is going for a grunge or rock'n'roll look here. It's Sydney."

No buyer's remorse

Tom Simpson, Head of Menswear at The Iconic says experimentation is what makes street style an authentic process at Fashion Week.

"I saw lots of relaxed tailoring paired back with the ever present street wear trend," says Simpson.

"Neutrals tended to be the colour palette of choice which we're seeing coming through in overcoats and suiting paired back with sneakers."


COMME des GARÇON. #harroldsaus

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Binary breakdown

But for every tonal ensemble worn, this year's street style also welcomed lots of gender bending opportunities.

It's the era of individualism – hence street style's confusing frontier when it comes to what trends prevail in menswear.

Melbourne-based designer and lecturer Todd Anthony says we can thank the MET Gala's Camp theme for a return to men wearing daytime make-up and gender bending street style.

"Lots of guys are tapping into their feminine side and that's a reflection of what we saw at the Met Gala," says Anthony.

"I think it's great to see men wear frills and colour, jewellery and wild accessories."

Melbourne based stylist Elliot Garnaut agrees.

"Androgyny has become a key focal point this year in Sydney, it's so obvious," he says.

"That line between male and female dressing has become blurred and you really see it this week. Sydney men really take inspiration from their beach culture – it's all linen and colour and it's a case of anything goes – from laidback to over the top – there's all forms of male expression."

The writer attended Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sydney as a guest of IMG.