Australian fashion icon Carla Zampatti has a list of distinctions to her name, but opening Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney yesterday is a notable honour to add.

The annual fashion showcase week of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) officially starts today but Zampatti’s show was a dedicated pre-launch in a new partnership with the event.

Known for her elegance and timeless eveningwear, Zampatti showed a lot of black and white for her summer 2014/15 collection but shot in highlights of intense colour in royal blue, citrine and burnt orange.

The designer received the Australian Fashion Laureate in 2008, is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), and was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2009.

A full schedule of shows continues for MBFWA at Sydney’s Carriageworks from this morning, with Aurelio Costarella expected to continue in high glamour at 10am. The schedule is fairly light on Queensland connections this year, however Brisbane’s Gail Sorronda returns this evening at 6pm.

Talulah, launched in Brisbane but now based at Byron Bay, will show tomorrow, and QUT fashion graduate Hayley Elsaesser has been flagged a newcomer to watch and will show on Thursday morning.

Elsaesser graduated from QUT in 2012 and her graduate collection Candy Coated Voodoo struck a chord with its originality, unique textile prints, along with laser cut leather details. Spiders and skulls in a candy coated colour scheme stood the designer out from the crowd at the Sportsgirl National Graduate Showcase at L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival and Elsaesser has since launched a followup collection, Droogs, with assistance from the Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) Fashion Incubator program.

For MBFWA updates throughout the week, stay tuned to BMag and visit mbfashionweek.com.