COMING HOME: Michelle Jank is preparing to return to the Australian runways for the first time in three years. The Paris-based, 31-year-old designer will show on the first day of Australian Fashion Week’s spring-summer showcase, which opens at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal on April 28. “It’s so nice to come back to do something like this. I feel like I’m coming back to my family,” said Jank. Due to show her fall jewelry collection and relaunch her “demi couture” fashion line — which has been on the back burner since she moved to Paris 18 months ago — Jank is in fact one of three prodigal fashion designers who are returning to Sydney this season. In their first full-scale Australian runway show for five years, New York Fashion Week regulars Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke of Sass & Bide will launch their new s&b Vie diffusion line at shows on May 1.
Jank, Middleton and Clarke headline a rapidly swelling schedule, which includes established names Zimmermann, Alex Perry, Kirrily Johnston, Anna Thomas, Nicola Finetti, Wayne Cooper, Ginger & Smart, Camilla & Marc and New Zealand’s Kate Sylvester. There also will be the solo runway debuts of hot Thai label Stretsis, Hotel Bondi Swim — a new swimwear line from ex-Kitten designers Damion Fuller and Fern Levack — and a slew of up-and-comers, notably Friedrich Gray and Antipodium.
A MUSEUM FOR MULBERRY: Mulberry is hoping to turn shopping into more of a highbrow experience. The British brand has lined up a program of collaborative events at its London Bond Street flagship for 2008. The store — which Mulberry has dubbed the Bond Street Gallery Space — will host a series of exhibitions, including Gethin Moller sculptures, Martin Richman light installations and an in-house exhibition curated by East London’s Fred Gallery to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair in October. For spring, there will also be an installation by London florist McQueen’s, a children’s art project by the London-based charity The Kid’s Company, and a faux-traditional British summer fete, with trestle tables, bunting and goodies for sale by cake makers, artists and craftspeople.