It’s time to burn the bra.But not for social activism: come September the bare back will be the new black if the collections showcased at Fashion Week Australia are to be believed.

Day three of the annual rag trade event saw models putting their backs into it. Not in the way Ice Cube sang about, but the back was all the rage for designer By Johnny, whose new collection was a departure from his usual colour-blocking pencil skirts and pretty party dresses for pretty young things.

A common thread through the collection was a floral motif in reverence to Australian artist Dina Broadhurst, that at times appeared via a May-Gibbs-inspired print and at others was shown in the cut of a hem or neckline that gave the items, especially the white colour story, a Wilma Flintstone feel.

It was a sweet departure from Manning Cartell’s showing staged under the Harbour Bridge that featured strong, military-inspired looks with dashes of romance thanks to sequinned stripes and silk camisoles. Glimpses of the Opera House’s pavlova peaks were the perfect palate cleanser for the saccharine Macgraw show. Smiling models in ruffles and emerald green velvet breeches stormed the pink catwalk as beaming Bergdorf Goodman buyers nodded in appreciation.

The visiting press corps and international buyers were then treated a taste of Byron Bay at Bec & Bridge’s resortwear event. The collection, according to designers Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston, was “a celebration of an Indian summer”, which was evident from the incense-infused space and the Rangoli chalk art on the catwalk.