Dive into Melbourne Fashion Week, where the runway celebrates diversity and accessibility, redefining fashion's narrative in the vibrant heart of Australia.
Melbourne Fashion Week 2023 (Photos from Instagram @melbfashionweek)
If you're anything like me, or you're just on the fashion side of TikTok, your ‘for you page’ is ablaze with the high-octane drama of Paris Fashion Week. Yet, amidst this global haute couture frenzy, a down-under revelation awaits. Melbourne Fashion Week (MFW) takes place on a runway located nearly 17,000 kilometres away from the fashion hub of Paris. It serves as a shining example of inclusivity, providing an opportunity for fashion students and enthusiasts from all backgrounds to appreciate the excellence of the Australian fashion industry.
Contrasting with its Australian Fashion Week (AFW) counterpart, Melbourne extends an open invitation to fashion enthusiasts, boasting nine runway shows and 100 events, all available to purchase tickets to. This inclusivity also extends to aspiring creatives, bridging the gap between established designers and upcoming talents, a unique fusion not found in the confines of AFW.
The distinction between MFW and AFW comes sharply down to focus; while prestigious, AFW has historically maintained an air of exclusivity with a limited number of publicly accessible shows,, MFW, with its open-armed approach, democratises the fashion experience, allowing enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the dynamic world of design.
AFW had 12 runways that were opened to the public, while its schedule had 43 runways not open to purchase tickets to. This stark contrast in accessibility reflects a broader shift toward inclusivity and engagement within the fashion industry—an evolution that Melbourne has embraced wholeheartedly.
I want to clarify that I'm not suggesting events like Dior and Prada should be accessible to the general public. I acknowledge the importance of maintaining exclusivity for esteemed journalists, awe-inspiring celebrities, and affluent members of society in such high-profile shows. However, we can draw inspiration from Diesel's show during the 2023 Milan Fashion Week as a model of inclusivity for all fashion viewers.
Diesel has unveiled a groundbreaking shift for the Spring/ Summer 2024 show, embracing a newfound era of inclusivity in fashion affairs. The brand will now throw open its doors to the general public, marking a departure from the exclusivity typically associated with major fashion events. Access to the brand's highly coveted yearly events is now just a few clicks away on Diesel's website, making it as easy as choosing the perfect outfit for the show (this might just be harder than buying the ticket).
In the bustling realm of fashion exclusivity, MFW emerges as a beacon of inclusivity, showcasing the shifting dynamics. Now, let's delve into the runways worth keeping an eye on.
LE MÉRIDIEN POOL DECK RUNWAY
Dive into M/FW 2023 with a splash at the Le Méridien Hotel rooftop pool, where elegance meets the city skyline. The Le Méridien Pool Deck Runway unveils refined lines and bold silhouettes from Melbourne/Narrm’s celebrated ready-to-wear and slow-fashion designers like A.BCH, Amber Days, and Kuwaii. With a special live performance and the eclectic sounds of DJ Soju Gang, this runway promises a fashionable soirée under the stars.
Ganbu marra RUNWAY at THE LUME
Step into a visual storytelling experience at THE LUME Melbourne, immersing yourself in the beauty of First Nations fashion talent. ganbu marra takes you on a mesmerising journey with hypnotic projections showcasing Connection—an exhibition steeped in the world's oldest living culture. After the runway, indulge in the complete Connection exhibition and absorb the essence of this extraordinary display featuring designers like ADJADURA ART and Ginny’s Girl Gang.
STRATEAS CARLUCCI RUNWAY
In a hidden venue at Southbank's Waterfall Lane, Strateas Carlucci unveils its new transeasonal collection ‘Worn Out’ inspired by Radiohead's 'Fake Plastic Trees'. This runway champions genderless fashion with a strong sustainability focus, collaborating with Future From Waste Lab to transform landfill into renewed garments. A musical performance by indie-pop favourites Cub Sport will add an extra layer of allure. This showcase will feature designers like Strateas Carlucci and ARI Award-winning Cub Sport.
Embrace the ostentatious glitz of the noughties at the Underground Runway—a fusion of performance and fashion reflecting Melbourne's pioneering spirit. Independent designers showcase bold Y2K dressing and underground culture, challenging traditional runway norms. It's an unapologetic celebration of style and creativity, embodying Melbourne's unique creative ethos. Designers like Clothing the Gaps and Erik Yvon will captivate the audience in this audacious show.
STUDENT COLLECTIONS RUNWAY
Tomorrow's top designers shine at the Student Collections Runway, where innovation and daring silhouettes take centre stage. With a focus on determination, adaptability, and carving one's niche, this runway presents the unrestrained creativity of student designers. Witness the future of fashion as they push boundaries and unleash their artistic visions. Designers from leading institutes like RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles and Holmesglen Institute will be featured, showcasing the immense talent of young designers.
The closing runway at Collins Street celebrates the corporate highrise with unexpected eccentricities and a touch of dystopia. Against Melbourne's skyline, this runway finds beauty in the minimalism and uniformity of the office, delivering a unique exploration of homogeneity and the everyday. An ode to the corporate world with a fashionable twist, it's a spectacular conclusion to M/FW 2023. Designers like Chris Ran Lin and Oroton will take the spotlight in this intriguing showcase.
Melbourne Fashion Week 2022 (Photos from Instagram @melbfashionweek)
Personally, I'm thrilled to attend as many shows as I can. It's one of the initial instances where I truly feel involved in the Australian fashion scene. I'm particularly eager about the student showcases, as it's fascinating to witness emerging designers who may shape the future of fashion. Being a journalism student and a fashion enthusiast, having the chance to participate in events like this genuinely excites me, allowing me to discover the creativity that Australian fashion holds.
Melbourne Fashion Week is back for its 29th year and will run from October 23-29. Go to https://mfw.melbourne.vic.gov.au/ for the entire program and embrace yourself in this annual event showcasing Melbourne’s culture and fashion scene.