Soft waves and seashell accents gave Marina Afonina’s girls at Albus Lumen an injection of Birth of Venus realness 
Credit: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

It was a case of The Handbasket’s Tale at Albus Lumen’s sophomore outing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia – or at least, that was the first thing that came to my mind on the show’s first exit: a white cotton apron dress lined with mother of pearl buttons in varying sizes, replete with an almost monastic head scarf and French straw basket, out of which poked a single lemon.

That’s likely where comparisons between stylist-turned-designer Marina Afonina and Margaret Atwood’s dystopian masterpiece end, with the former excelling at creating and transporting audiences to entirely different, perhaps more desirable, worlds.

The sound of seagulls and crashing waves set the scene for a barefoot procession of beguiling looks canvassing two-tone swimwear, relaxed linen tailoring, easy wrap dresses and more structured belted coats – all of which were rendered in charming, natural fibres and worn with enviable waifish-ness by a cast of fresh-faced girls.

‘Petra Collins in Positano’, was a phrase that came to mind.

Though relatively unadorned, Afonina’s pieces were styled with jewellery produced in collaboration with Ryan Storer, who married cowrie shells with exquisite gold bands to create cuffs, earrings, necklaces and anklets. The tide is high, and Afonina is moving on up.

View the Albus Lumen Resort 2018 collection in full here

Tile and cover image: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images