Sydney’s Luna Park was swarming with chattering guests on Wednesday night, as a line of them trailed throughout the amusement park, through the iconic gaping mouth, and out towards the backdrop of the Harbour Bridge. Inside the Big Top theatre, the iconic scenery was replaced with a blank stage, a canvas primed to be painted with Cassin’s latest creations. However, these creations were overlooked amidst a confusing jumble of too-short musical performances, DJ sets, and off-key dance numbers.
Opening with a group of gyrating, scantily clad dancers grooving along to a mix of 2014 hits by Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, the show quickly moved along to a live performance by Australian artist Thelma Plum. While the performance itself was enjoyable, the set was over too quickly. After another similar dance number, featuring even skimpier catsuit outfits and an Ariana Grande soundtrack; an unannounced rapper made a brief appearance on stage. Then, finally, came the fashion.
Justin Cassin Resort ‘20 features well-crafted menswear in everyday elegant styles. Sadly, from the priority seated area, sightlines of the collection itself were limited, which felt counterintuitive for what was meant to be a fashion presentation. At the culmination of the fashion display, Melbourne songstress Owl Eyes appeared, and at the end of her set, the models walked out once more for a finale to a dwindling and confused audience.
At Justin Cassin, there was a lot going on, yet still, something was missing. Justin Cassin’s Resort ‘20 collection was not disappointing in and of itself: it was an elegant collection of well-crafted menswear that was altogether let down by the presentation; an incongruous mash-up of modern and slightly-old but not old enough to be nostalgic pop music. Thelma Plum and Owl Eyes are talented acts, and yet - were they suited to this male-oriented brand? And can setting a runway to the tunes of Travis Scott, Childish Gambino, French Montana and Post Malone really make up for the edginess lost from the actual designs themselves?
Ultimately, Justin Cassin was a difficult show to take in – perhaps sticking to a simpler format within the modern, rustic beauty of Carriageworks, would have allowed the collection to stand on its own, Justin Cassin would have thrived as a collection of chic, simplified, everyday menswear; however, Justin Cassin as presented in Resort ‘20 was confused and chaotic, and sadly not in an eclectic, fun sort of way.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia — Credit: Getty Images