Fashion: Alice McCall – Behind the curtain of the ultimate 70’s dinner date…

Alice McCall (second from right) and models wearing Alice McCall designs at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collections Showing at Porteno, Sydney on May 17, 2016 (Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images)

MBFWA 2016 has been covered every which way imaginable. Behind the scenes, on the runway, off the runway, street-style, and trends to watch. However, there is one event we simply had to know more about… THAT intimate Alice McCall dinner and showing that had us refraining from licking our screens.  Think of it as the ultimate 70’s Hollywood dinner date, when the vibes were high, the hemlines short and make up worthy of Jane Birkin herself.  We like to imagine it as  ‘Almost Famous’ on steroids in the best way possible, with looks and ensembles worthy of any global catwalk or rock concert, you choose.

The face behind the Creative Direction of the event is none other than Alice McCall herself. The former stylist turned designer created the event from concept to finish, all the way down to building the set and handpicking the furniture. And the clothes.. don’t event get us started. It’s time to re-introduce those bangs and hit the gym because come summer the hemlines are set to rise, the jumpsuits are set to make a sexy comeback and sheer lace will be all the rage.

Here is what you need to know about THE dinner date to rival all dinner dates from the creative genius that is Alice McCall…

On the MBFWA show…

The location: Porteno, Sydney

Because: From the beginning I wanted to host a dinner – something quite intimate where I could show my gratitude to close media and buyers who have supported the brand over the last twelve years. I love Porteno, it is such an iconic and fantastic restaurant in Sydney, the food is amazing and I love the Rockabilly vibe, so it was a no-brainer.

The set: We had four retro sets upstairs with bright wallpaper and contrasting carpet. Some were quite opulent, with decadent mirrors and others were quirkier, with floral wallpaper and banana yellow vintage phones.

The hues: Bright orange and hot pink, with pops of banana yellow and red.

The furniture: I sourced all of the furniture myself. I had a vision and I really wanted to make sure it came to life. We were buying furniture and props up until the day of the event. The furniture was definitely very retro – bright red plastic chairs and yellow side tables, but we also had some quite opulent pieces with oversized stone urns and brass mirrors.

The inspiration: I was inspired by lots of movies sets like Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls and the movie Blow Up. I am also continually inspired by iconic women throughout history and I definitely channelled this when casting models – I had my Grace Jones and my Jane Birkin.

The mood: It really was like a fun party crossed with a live photo shoot. There was so much energy in the venue.

The music: We had jazzy/pop singer Sarsha Simone serenading us over dinner, it was fantastic.

The food: Argentinean

The hair: Each model had their own hair and makeup. We had retro waves, half-head corn rows, and crimped hair.

The makeup: Overall, the makeup was quite retro and bright. There was definitely a focus on the eyes – we had girls with bright red eyeshadow, gold eyeshadow, and big retro eyes.

The timeframe: We started planning the show about 2-3 months before.

Presentation over a runway because…I wanted to create a platform for great social content and to create a world where guests could get an insight into the workings of myself and the brand. I was a stylist for 10 years before I was a designer, I am also Creative Director and I did the set design myself.

Those post-show vibes: Exhilarated, relieved and somewhat in a dream state!

Talk to us about the Resort Collection…

Entitled: Between Us

Because: My Aunty is an amazing artist. I have a book of her drawings that I always look to for inspiration. There was one image in the book of a woman and her daughter that I really resonated with – the collection title came from this image.

The textiles: Chantilly lace, broderie analgise, honeycomb lace, spotted tulle

The hues: Pale blue, soft pink, lemon yellow, amber

The silhouettes: Handkerchief sleeves, high necklines, bell sleeves, short hemlines

Favourite piece: The Love Me Like You Do Dress in Black. I love to style this without a slip and with high waisted undergarments and a sexy lace bra (feature image above).

If this collection was a city, it would be: Hollywood in the late 1960s/early 1970s

Stay Tuned for the Alice McCall Resort 2017 collection here.

Photos courtesy of Karen Woo