Melbourne’s Autumn fashion week has quite a distinct flavour compared to our northern capital equivalents. Sure, there are still the grand waterside buildings and packed out post-show parties but the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival has tried to represent that ‘oh so cool’ and independent edge that Melbourne is renowned for. With a hefty chunk of off-site events, cultural programs and diverse group shows, it has successfully captured a broad cross section of designers from a myriad of styles and markets.
Exhibitions like the stunning Spirit of The Black Dress at Customs House or the ingenious Georgia McCorkill’s The Front Row edges in those sustainable questions people should be thinking about at fashion week. London’s Esthetica and the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris are becoming the norm, so it’s only a matter of time before Australia makes the leap. At LMFF this year there were a few designers with some ethical credentials showing: Kuwaii, Kate Sylvester and Ginger & Smart to name a few – the latter had their ethical accreditation anniversary late last year with Ethical Clothing Australia.
Fellow sustainably-inclined labels Bento and The Social Studio also featured with an off-site show. In a warehouse around the corner from the designers’ studios in Fitzroy, Penthouse Mouse transformed their space into an impressive runway. Each show by The Social Studio continues to get stronger and with new access to digital printers, dreamy blues swirled around skirts and bright warm reds floated like clouds on fluid fabrics. TSS signature layering was complimented by their new digital technology which sits them easily beside more prominent labels.
Bento paid tribute to our relaxed Australian lifestyle, with a subtle tomboy approach. Denim jackets and loose v neck tees were teamed with tailored slacks. With a palette of mustard, navy and neutrals the collection was very wearable. Overall the show was fresh; it wasn’t drenched with attitude like most others and kept true to the label’s aesthetic.
Stay tuned to hear more about the weekend’s on-site shows featuring Kuwaii, Gorman, Megan Park and more, as well as the exciting installments to come – including the always-impressive Graduate Showcase. Rumour has it we are in for a treat!