Pre-drinks at the Star Lounge were in order after an intense, week-long MBFWA show schedule. It had been a long day and the evening was full of people letting their hair down before the closing show, Camilla.

Walking into the cavernous Gallery III at Carriageworks, I was greeted with an authentic Japanese experience like nothing I have seen before. The scent of incense wafted on the air before we were led in for the show. Swathes of Camilla-print fabrics hung from all four walls. The resulting effect created an enclave of a Japanese garden, complete with a full-size cherry blossom tree in the centre. Waiters served warm green tea matcha lattes to warm the chilly night while Japanese Geishas sat amongst the fallen cherry blossoms, brewing tea.

Once the lights dimmed, musicians began to play traditional Japanese harps and drums underneath the pink glow of the cherry blossoms. The models emerged from the shadows one by one.

Camilla’s Resort 2019 collection was slightly different from what we would usually expect from Camilla. “This is our first truly ready-to-wear collection, which has catered to our customers in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere”, Head Designer Jenna Redfern told Marie Claire. “Core to the brand’s DNA are prints and embellishments, as well as a true appreciation of textiles, fabrics and artisanal craft.”

The collection was full of prints, beautiful embellishments and waist ties with tassels. Beautiful fine, silk tassels. A nod to the Japanese Kimono. Everything was extremely beautiful, wearable and inclusive. Models of all ages were on the catwalk, notably older models who carried off the looks in an effortless and age-appropriate way, likely an ode to some of her most loyal followers. Camilla’s “tribe”,  was out in full force, each wearing Camilla head to toe. It is clear she has a loyal following and tremendous support in the local Sydney community.

There was something for the men too, with looks that featured a silk short with extra-long kimono-inspired sleeves paired with silk drop-crotch printed pant. A second men’s look featured leggings with a traditional-style, fabric belted coat.

Towards the end of the show, a traditional Japanese dancer made her way front and centre to put on a show of contemporary dance. This spectacular was to the tune of the live drums and falling cherry blossoms.

It had been announced a few weeks earlier that new mum, Camilla has been diagnosed with breast cancer, hence, her appearance at the end was unexpected and emotional to the joy of her tribe and guests.

The show was an uplifting delight for all the senses. An amazing note to end MBFWA 2018.

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