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Donna Player

Hail Victoriana

Merchandise Director Donna Player explores the modern dress codes for this season's most dramatic trend.


Each season fashion steps back in time and finds inspiration from a bygone era and for Autumn/Winter 2016, it's no different. The Victorian period, known for championing modesty and femininity, steps into the spotlight this season with high frilled necklines, tiered lace and voluminous sleeves coming through many of our brands' collections.

Internationally, Victoriana has been an ongoing trend since the winter season with designers Erdem and Alexander McQueen really come into their strengths with dark, romantic pieces and period piece aesthetic. Australian designers such as Manning Cartell, Strateas Carlucci and Zimmermann have also thoroughly embraced this trend, but my favourites would have to be from Christopher Esber and Ellery, whose new season collections play on the decidedly Victorian tension between demure and sexy, constraint and exposure. To wit, off the shoulder dresses are long in length and with trailing sleeves, and there's a sense of the strait-laced in their tied, buckled and buttoned up designs.

On the other end of the spectrum, Bec & Bridge and Nicholas have contemporary offerings that prove the trend to be ultimately wearable, while Witchery and Keepsake offer the most affordable options of the trend.

The Victoriana trends imbues the start of the season with drama and decadence; no doubt you'll put your own modern spin to it.

Shop the trend:

  • 1

    Tenacity Blazer by Ellery

    An evening blazer cuts a theatrical silhouette with its gathered cone sleeves and elbow ties.

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  • 2

    Flying Start Maxi Dress by Manning Cartell

    This stunning maxi dress is layered with silk chiffon frills and delicate sheer bishop sleeves.

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  • 3

    Marvel Lace Dress by Bec & Bridge

    Long sleeves and a choker-style neckline is offset by a sheer lace overlay and body-hugging silhouette.

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  • 4

    Sabine Jacket by Camilla and Marc

    Make a statement in this floor length, double breasted coat.

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  • 5

    Luisa Mini Dress by Erdem

    Erdem's floral lace mini dress is a chic take on the Victoriana trend.

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  • 6

    Cotton Trim Insert Shirt by Nicholas

    A crisp white shirt gives a hint of Victoriana with lace inserts and fluted sleeves.

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  • 7

    Harleth Lace Up Bootie by 3.1 Phillip Lim

    Pair this pointy-toe laced up bootie with a long skirt or dress for a gothic noir vibe.

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  • 8

    Interlude Brooch Set by Mimco

    Finish your look with these rose gold brooch pins with ivory glass stoppers.

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