New York Fashion Week Through the Eyes of Aussie Style Muse Gemma Chua-Tran

When Australian actress Gemma Chua-Tran landed in New York City for fashion week, she came prepared with a jam-packed schedule of must-see shows, presentations, after-parties, and, of course, some local shopping. For the occasion, the Sydney native packed a suitcase full of whimsical looks worthy of their own spotlight. Best known for playing Sasha So on the popular Netflix original series Heartbreak High—a reimagination of Australia's popular '90s coming-of-age show—Chua-Tran has proved herself every bit a fashion muse with her costume-like approach to dressing. Think romantic dresses, unique vintage finds, and satin bows. Oh, she has a knack for seriously cool makeup too. 

With stops at some of the week's coolest shows, including Collina Strada, Bach Mai, and Tanner Fletcher, Chua-Tran documented her fashion-filled week exclusively for Who What Wear.


(Image credit: Gemma Chua-Tran)

"My first event was the Batsheva presentation. I absolutely loved the whimsical designs of her collection. I particularly loved look three, which consisted of embroidered napkins sewn together."


(Image credit: Gemma Chua-Tran)

"I popped into the Bevza showroom the next day! Here's my little 'walking around' 'fit. I thrifted this Diesel vest and paired it with my fave Toilé Studios skirt and Stuart Weitzman flats. The weather in New York is not too kind. I don't know how anybody is supposed to function in this heat."


(Image credit: Gemma Chua-Tran)

"The first show I saw was Collina Strada, and what an insane first impression to start the week! The disconcerting collection was one of the first to be created by AI and further refined by the Collina Strada team. All the models donned a nihilistic grin, accompanied by an anxiety-inducing orchestral soundscape. Opening with the blunt lyrics 'The Earth's on fire,' it left very little and yet a lot to the imagination. For my makeup, I attempted a subtle split lip."


(Image credit: Gemma Chua-Tran)

"I did a little shop and browse, of course, and fell in love with the pieces from Nong Rak. I felt like I came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book!"


(Image credit: Gemma Chua-Tran)

"Popped along to the Bevza show in one of their iconic satin seashell dresses. Svitlana Bevza, a Ukrainian designer, elegantly integrated marigolds, representing the designer's love and revival for her motherland." 


(Image credit: Gemma Chua-Tran)

"I had my little Kim Shui after-party serve in Dyspnea and a thrifted tutu."


(Image credit: Gemma Chua-Tran)

"Had a little fun dressing myself for Colin LoCascio! It was such a fun show. All the textures and colours and patterns were so lively and vibrant. I'm very much taking note of the colorful metallic tights. I'll be adding those to my wardrobe in a moment."


(Image credit: Bottom left: Gemma Chau-Tran; top right: @gatsby.keyes)

"The Bach Mai show was to die for! The atmosphere of the music hall accompanied by the smoke and gentle lighting design completely wooed me—after absolutely sprinting in my Tabis through the city. Nobody told me how completely awful the New York traffic is. I even did a little shoot with my friend Gatsby in the dress to have my Scarlet Witch moment."


(Image credit: Gemma Chua-Tran)

"My final (and, dare I say, my favorite) show was Tanner Fletcher, one of my favorite designers with such an original catwalk idea. It was expressed as a beauty pageant with the gorgeous voice of Cait Jones announcing each of the models. The reception following was achingly beautiful. A live jazz ensemble accompanied all of Tanner and Fletcher's designs on display. I also had my last tourist moment in Times Square!! You'd have to beg me to get out of this dress."

Check out more of our NYFW coverage here

Executive Director, Entertainment

Jessica Baker is Who What Wear’s Executive Director, Entertainment, where she ideates, books, writes, and edits celebrity and entertainment features.