Spring in Melbourne is signalled by three things: the races, AFL finals and an influx of fashionable people gathering in and around Melbourne Town Hall to look arch, Insta-snap and politely applaud on cue at Melbourne Fashion Week.
Running from August 31 to September 7, this year’s event will have more than 150 events and over 300 designers on show. Here are five to look at.
Town Hall Runway Two
Over in the grand surrounds of Melbourne Town Hall on Tuesday September 4 at 6.30pm, expect to see the names that push the envelope of Australian Pret a Porter. Think Dion Lee, Bianca Spender, Scanlan Theodore, Viktoria & Woods, Camilla and Marc, Arnsdorf and Michael Lo Sordo. They’ll be set against artistic installations in a show that, as in previous years at Town Hall, will resemble a performance as much as a runway.
Town Hall Runway Three
Don’t stray from the action post Runway Two – Tuesday’s second event of the night is one to stick around for. At 8.30pm, evening wear will take the stage with gowns and tailored suiting by big names Rachel Gilbert, Carla Zampatti, Thurley, Calibre, Dom Bagnato and Joe Black. Jasongrech and nevenka will bring the romance, while Paris-based Martin Grant and London-born Still Still Studio should bring a hint of European flare.
Town Hall Runway Four – Student Collections
An insight into what you might be wearing in years to come. Talent from design schools such as RMIT and Whitehouse Institute of Design flash their wares this Wednesday September 3 at the Town Hall. The event has solid pedigree – 2009 students Cami James and Nadia Napreychikov went on to team up and create wild and internationally acclaimed label Di$Count Universe, and Chris Ran Lin, who showed his work here in 2011, has graduated to walk in the 8pm Underground show on September 2.
Town Hall Runway Seven
A daring collection celebrating the tipping point where fashion meets art, with some of the most forward-thinking local designers around. Names include Sydney womenswear maven Akira, New Zealand’s Zambesi, Melbourne’s own iconic Alpha60, contemporary womenswear label Aje, bold, luxurious locals Ginger & Smart, and the flowing fabrics of Lee Mathews. This Friday night highlight is where the collective’s new spring/summer 18/19 collections will get their first airing. Be on hand to know what all the cool kids will be wearing this time next year.
Closing Town Hall Runway
International labels with bricks and mortar shopfronts in Melbourne have their moment on Friday September 7 at the closing show. The Kooples, Zadig & Voltaire, Sandro Paris and Maje will wrap up the week’s runway shows alongside Melbourne high-end boutiques Incu, Left Melbourne and Masons showcasing hard-to-get labels such as Kenzo, Acne Studios and Vivienne Westwood.
Underground Runways – sold out
The delightfully dated city treasure that is Campbell Arcade (Degraves Underpass) will be a feature of Melbourne Fashion Week on Sunday September 2. The salmon-tiled thoroughfare will host a selection of the city’s homegrown labels both established and underground.
The evening is split into two showings: womenswear then menswear. At 6pm, get a glimpse of the latest from Brunswick-born label Kuwaii, alongside other go-tos with a fashion conscience, such as Kloke, Dress Up and Lois Hazel. Urban brands Verner, Erik-Yvon and P.E Nation will also be there.
At 8pm menswear labels Amxander, Autonomy, Blairarchibald, Coreprêt, Chris Ran Lin, Garbagetv, Jack London and Mndatory will take to the runway to showcase their latest looks.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with City of Melbourne.