An elevated Brownlow red carpet takes an exciting turn

The Brownlow Medal red carpet can be a minefield of fake tans, skin tight dresses and potential wardrobe malfunctions but this year’s gowns signalled a shift towards elegance and experimentation.

In an off-the-rack dress by leading Australian label Zimmermann, Lauren O’Shannassy, beautifully balanced out the attention-grabbing offerings from bridal designers. The high-necked, voluminous gown broke with Brownlow red carpet tradition. No thigh-skimming slit. No cleavage. Pure fashion.

(L-R) Lauren O’Shannassy, Demons’ Christian Petracca and Emily Halverson.Credit:Getty

This doesn’t mean that the red carpet was boring. We are talking about the Brownlow. Talia De Marco delivered just the right amount of sex appeal in a corset gown from Melbourne’s Oglia-Loro Couture, that looked like it was snatched from Disney villain Maleficent’s summer wardrobe.

De Marco’s date, Dayne Zorko, was an example of the players’ willingness to share the style spotlight. In a white jacket and cropped black trousers from MJ Bale, Zorko was a welcome antidote to the billowing black suits that dominated previous medal ceremonies.

Carlton’s Patrick Cripps also edged into the frame with girlfriend Monique Fontana, although it was mostly to wrestle with her train. Fontana’s gown from Melbourne bridal boutique By Kinsman was part of the one-sleeve brigade that was the evening’s top trend but packed more Met Gala-worthy sparkle than most.

Standing centre stage was Demons player Christian Petracca who played his own game on the red carpet, slipping away from the sea of dinner suits in a more relaxed ensemble with considerable Italian flair from German brand Boss. Petracca ticked every trend box with a check print, waistcoat, cropped trousers and white sneakers.

At first glance Georgia Mitchell seemed to be part of the new pack in a bridal dress from Karen Willis Holmes, with a full skirt with princess bubble sleeves and embellished shoulders. But the echoes of Brownlow dresses past can still be heard and seen. The skirt had a daring slit, revealing neckline and you can be sure that fans of tradition will love it.

Adding further hope to future ceremonies was Emily Halverson, on the arm of Lions’ Harris Andrews, in a sheer black dress, with a corset-inspired bodice and expressive sleeves. The red carpet is usually dominated by Melbourne veterans J’aton Couture, Con Ilio and Jason Grech (who created Brittany Brown’s princess dress) but Halverson took the opportunity to shine the spotlight on Joash Teo’s emerging Brisbane label Joteo.

The future looks bright, even without a tan.

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