Image: Michael Lo Sordo/Sonny Vandevelde

Michael Lo Sordo has a way of coercing guests into his fashion fantasy. It’s never so overt that one feels reeled into cosplay however, rather one minute you’re attending a seasonal presentation and the next you’re tapping your toes, sipping a cocktail and surrendering to the tunes of a very well-dressed violinist. Because, at a Lo Sordo show, the theatre of atmosphere is as rapturously compelling as the collection itself.

Lo Sordo’s Resort ’22 was presented as a joyous, Paris-after-5 celebration. A collection of chameleonic evening wear in metallic silvers, black and ivory, in silks, leathers and textured cottons. Gowns and separates that draped and slipped like only Lo Sordo pieces can. For many other labels, offering a joie de vivre this year was in response to ditching our era of isolation. But for this Sydney-based designer, jubilant fashion for romantic nights was du jour far before we all decided to divorce our fleeces.

Image: Michael Lo Sordo/Sonny Vandevelde
Image: Michael Lo Sordo/Sonny Vandevelde
Image: Michael Lo Sordo/Sonny Vandevelde

An intimate dinner for his friends, muses and industry comrades at Sydney’s Bambini Trust restaurant set the scene, with models sauntering the room in numerous looks from the collection. They paused for tableaux on café chairs, kicking up their heels and sipping Champagne. Their collective ebullience was infectious (in a welcome sense of the word) while a few literally glittered thanks to some cute mask makeup. It’s said that armchair travel has become a skyrocketing niche since borders closed last year. Apparently films and TV shows with a wanderlust are being streamed ad nauseam to fill the void, so to speak. So, this fire for destination glamour, when we’re all still a little despondent, makes perfect sartorial sense.

In Lo Sordo’s Parisian brasserie, tops bedazzle, ensembles are chic, skirts shimmy and dresses are made to stop the show. The strappy bias halter gown, for example, with that dropped back is what sexy frock dreams are made of while the micro disco bikini paired with a slinky back tube skirt was a Studio 54 jaw-dropper. On the other hand, the voluminous tonal linen suiting, elongated by cuff and trouser and the dashing silky waistcoat-and-jacket set offered a joyful nod to 60s Yves Saint Laurent. Then there’s the white-on-black polkadots that stood out to the point of iridescence, the very wearable black feathered numbers and the silk magenta maxi so fluid it appeared molten when moving about the room.

Image: Michael Lo Sordo/Sonny Vandevelde
Image: Michael Lo Sordo/Sonny Vandevelde
Image: Michael Lo Sordo/Sonny Vandevelde

This is Lo Sordo at his most inspired. Choreographing a show that was also an event that then became a party – all wrapped up in glorious couture. Life imitating art, perhaps? Or just art so palpable it couldn’t help but burst to life? Either way, few do sophisticated glamour like Michael Lo Sordo. When you’re privileged to witness one of his showcases you swear to yourself you’ll go home, bin the denim, ban the T-shirts and begin a new life exclusively in iterations of monochrome silk.

In Sonny Vandevelde’s always vivacious backstage photography, Lo Sordo’s evening begged to be less of a collection logbook and more an impeccably styled, riotous memory. Exactly what resort fashion should be. Come summer nights and full moons this year here’s hoping we can all make similar ones. BYO violin.

thoughts?