Neon Puffers, Socks and Sandals: Everything we saw at the M/FW Poolside Runway

By Ruby Staley

As we walked up the tiled stairs of Melbourne’s City Baths to find our seats on the balcony for the fashion show, we were hit the smell of chlorine. Because strangely enough, we were at the pool.

Although the temperature inside the room seemed to continually climb, the show-goers all seemed excited to be a part of a unique, and special, show.

As the music began ramping up, people started to crowd in, with only the lucky ones managing to steal seats.

The show kicked off in style with ethical leisurewear sweethearts - Nagata - showing their iconic houndstooth patterned and vibrantly coloured stretchy casual wear. A stand out piece from the collection was be the comfy-looking, 70’s style and Juno-esque short-shorts hemmed with a white piping.

Up There and Converse followed with an assorted range of cool streetwear, each with distinct detailing and logos. Where Up There mixed corporate aesthetics with sportswear, Converse incorporated bright pops of colour and playful styling.

Following came, The North Face and shortly after, Huffer, and from just looking their range of oversized, brightly coloured puffer coats, I felt the temperature in the room rise. However strange it felt looking at wear appropriately for cooler weather, the expert styling of puffer fabric with tropical patterns, breezy shorts and slides and socks made it all worth it.

New York’s Rag & Bone dresses things up a little bit, with cute cocktail dresses and formal coats, styled with sweatpants and white, heeled boots.

Rains came and went in what seemed to be a well-dressed attempt to bring socks and sandals back. Pairing the duo with puffer jackets and other relaxed styles in both metallic and muted tones. A personal favourite look came with the closing outfit which was a sliver long trench-style jacket over the top of grey, shiny sweatpants and accessories to match.

Both A.P.C. and sködia followed with a series of relaxed unisex looks. Where A.P.C. focused on bright graphics and bucket hats, sködia showed up styling and silhouettes reminiscent of the early ‘00’s as seen in the teeny-tiny crop tops and bandanas.

To close the show, Incu brought their A game. Opening the collection with a technicolour tie-die t-shirt, paired with a detailed bomber jacket - they started well. Throughout, they continued to play with colours and patterns that wouldn’t usually be paired, such as neon green and leopard print.

All in all, the runway was a unique way to showcase some of the best local and international leisurewear on offer.