Wood the latest designer defector in fashion war

THE designer Fleur Wood is defecting from David Jones to Myer in the latest fashion house move between the rival department stores.
Wood's eponymous line will go into up to 10 Myer stores across the country from July under what is believed to be a multi-year deal.
Wood has enjoyed immense success with her bohemian vintage aesthetic, leading to seven stand-alone stores in addition to being stocked by David Jones for six years.
 Myer swooped on the label to fill a gap for feminine, bohemian designs in its fashion range. Wood will benefit through a presence in more stores and greater visibility for her brand.
"I've had a very successful relationship with David Jones but an opportunity was presented to us to grow our business,'' Wood said yesterday.
Myer's chief executive, Bernie Brookes, said: "Fleur has a marvellous reputation as a designer and we look forward to working with her."
Wood is the latest designer to have jumped ship from David Jones to Myer. Arthur Galan, sass & bide, Metallicus and Simona have all made the move this year, and more are expected to do so.
The defections reflect Myer's aggressive courting of fashion labels by offering them larger wholesale deals or "concessions" - stores-within-stores - and greater brand profile through prominent slots in its fashion shows and catalogues.
Myer also gave three of its brands - Manning Cartell, Yeojin Bae and Toni Maticevski - up to $30,000 each to help them take part in Australian Fashion Week.
"Underwriting their shows enables our designers to expose their product to broader audiences," Mr Brookes said. "We've deliberately written into our contracts with our designers an ongoing commitment to support them with whatever they need, whether its finance or other resources like PR or documents to support their cash flow."
Maticevski yesterday showed a superlative collection on the final day of Australian Fashion Week, giving a powerful boost to what has been a lacklustre five days.
Returning to show in Sydney after several years at New York Fashion Week, the Melbourne designer presented masterful tailoring and daywear before turning his hand to fantastical evening gowns embellished with feathers, plastic sequins and ornamental flowers. Maticevski has many devoted private clients in Australia and overseas.
His fabrications, finishes and attention to detail were far superior to anything else this week and received a standing ovation from some members in the audience of his show at the Eveleigh Markets.
With an increase in off-site shows at Australian Fashion Week - 14 compared with last year's nine - this year the event was all about travelling to venues away from the event's official home at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.
But design-wise, the Australian fashion industry was getting nowhere, with the biggest trend of the week being local designers copying international collections with mixed results. In a week lacking originality there were few highlights, with only one other designer aside from Maticevski producing a truly inspiring collection.
Dion Lee's Composure range was the best of Australian Fashion Week, combining pleating, scalpel-like tailoring and graphic prints in a sophisticated and singular way.
Therese Rawsthorne's precise concept of urban femininity was also a refreshing change from the sloppy style statements seen elsewhere during the week.
Drawing inspiration from the cult TV series Twin Peaks, Rawsthorne reworked menswear pieces from the show, mixing soft silks with sharp tailoring to create pieces women will actually want to wear.
Fernando Frisoni impressed with his minimalist white-and-silver collection, which he cleverly featured against the sparkling blue backdrop of Sydney Harbour. The sporty, sexy feel of the range is well-suited to the Australian way of dressing - and extra points to Frisoni for bringing a touch of European-style tailoring and quality fabrications to items as seemingly simple as a T-shirt and a pair of shorts.
Josh Goot showed business smarts other local designers could learn from. After carving a reputation for body-conscious dressing, this year he loosened up his silhouettes and lengthened his hemlines to appeal to a more mature market than his largely youth-obsessed counterparts. But his bold digital prints, clean lines and quality finishes remained in the pitch-perfect range he showed in the City Ford building on William Street.
Yeojin Bae produced a polished collection of wardrobe essentials. Pin-tucked pencil skirts and dresses, soft silk blouses and well-cut trousers were among the classically elegant pieces in the Melbourne designer's well-edited range.
Carl Kapp showed a concise and eminently wearable collection of flattering draped Grecian-style dresses, while Bianca Spender's range exploring modernism's primary colour palette and geometric forms was also impressive.
The good news is there will be plenty of on-trend clothes to choose from when the spring/summer collections arrive in stores next year. White with pops of electric colour, lace, longer lengths and minimal and '70s styles were the main trends.


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