Monday, 11 September 2017


Melbourne Fashion Week took over the footpath of Swanston Street for its annual week long offering that launches the beginning of Spring and Summer and the social season in which Melbourne comes alive. 
Melbourne fashion week 2017
Suit: Jack London
Shirt: Department 5
Socks: Gucci
Shoes: Ben Sherman
Bag: No Name
Sunglasses: Arockonalens

The fashion obsessed flowed into the Melbourne Town Hall to view the latest offerings from both designers and retailers with their glasses of champers in hand. It is always a great environment to catch up with your fellow stylish friends, see familiar faces behind a camera and meet new and exciting people that your normally only communicate with through your instagram feed. The MFW Bar meant serious business inside with its set up and exhibition space, which unfortunately did not flow outside to the claustrophobic outdoor area on the footpath either side of the entrance. 
Melbourne Fashion Week 2017
Courtesy: Mamamia

For dedicated fashion addicts there were a handful of people on the street that peaked my interest. Hoards of bloggers, influencers and wannabes presented their best offerings for the camera's as they circled the block. As you know the louder and more individual you are in your clothes, the more likely you are to peak the interest of the papz and be snapped. In this case I felt like I was stuck inside a photo shoot for a menswear suit catalog. After a week of viewing the street styles I was left with the impression that Australian menswear fashion is still relatively conservative, with not much evolution between seasons or even years. Thankfully there were standouts from the ladies who bought their A game to the footpath injecting understated chicness and colourful combinations whilst braving the chilly nights.
Melbourne Style at Fashion Week
Shirt & Blazer: James Harper
Pants: Department 5
Shoes: Lacoste
Bag: Doucals
Sunglasses: Gucci

Trends that dominated the footpath outside the shows:

Street Luxe - The number one dominating trend was the mixing of streetwear with high fashion. Of course all black ensembles were everywhere, and the opposite. All white was also present like a flock of seagulls searching for a potato chip. 

Florals - As Miranda Priestly so eloquently put it, florals for Spring. Groundbreaking. Let's move on.

Belts - Belts were everywhere. Some good, some bad and some that I will be happy to never see again. If I see one more GG gold belt I think I will scream as it has replaced the tiresome YSL tassel bag that every woman has been renting for the last year.

Men in Suts - When it comes to men's suits there were some stylish accessories to set off the slim tailored fits that were on display. Plenty of pocket squares and lapel pins which showed individuality of the wearer. There were minimal pleated trousers which have been huge in Europe for the last two years and plenty of loafers with no socks. Special shout out to the gents who took the stuffiness out of menswear and wore something a little different and didn't play it safe. Bravo.

Pretty Ugly Shoes - Delighted to see so many wonderful shoes with different hardware and embellishments in a variety of styles both on men and women. Thigh high leather tan boots on women with chunky heels were a regular staple. The elaborate shoes would not normally be considered pretty but the vulgarity and opulence was beautiful and refreshing to see in Melbourne. ADORE!

Fur - Fur accessories adorned everything from earrings to bags and shoes. Poor little critters will live on for seasons to come after being dyed in fabulous colours providing a lux
vibe to ensembles.

Men's street style Melbourne Fashion Week
Blazer & Coat: Oxford
Shirt, Tie, Pocket Squares & Shorts: James Harper
Sweater: Ted Baker
Socks:  Gucci

Most of the shows were exactly as I feared, producing safe visions of well groomed and pruned ensembles ready for the horse racing season in a few months. The flare for dramatics or igniting a point of difference was eliminated by many big designers that played it safe and delivering much of what they have for the previous seasons. However there were a few examples of inspiration and creativity that will be burned in my mind for a while. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for updates

Garage Runway - As much as I enjoy a good summer dress, there was a lot of black and muted tones or uninspiring patterns that were constantly reused. I understand ethical fashion and the need to be wise with materials, but without variety comes boredom. I have seen so many dresses inspired by Queen B's baseball bat twirling dress to last me a lifetime. 

Menswear Garage - Alike the aforementioned it was held in the basement of the Melbourne Town Hall, the likes of Amxander, Jack London, Autonomy, Chris Ran Lin and Dom Bagnato sent styles down the runway that unfortunately did not peak my interest. Following European trends with oversized bumbags across the chest and numerous patterned materials that were reused for different pieces, there were a few nice pieces but nothing that made me gasp. The overall vibe of the show was trying to be edgy with the model selection, music, skateboards and styling, that it all felt the same. I left a little deflated after this showing.

David Jones - The creative styling team behind the show should be commended for creating safe ensembles that would peak the interest of suburban housewives and gents who require a suit for the races. A huge retailer like David Jones do know their target audience very well and this showcased their knowledge of their consumer, right down to the YSL heels or The Kingsman inspired gentlemen that will soon appear on movie screens.

Premium Runway Four - Finally an injection of what fashion means to me. There were opulent embellishments, tassels, fabric choices, voluminous sleeves and dramatics in the styling including a little homage to good old Formation film clip. The line up of deisgners meshed well together although once again there was a little too much black on the catwalk for my liking, but it is Melbourne after all and black sells. 

Premium Runway - Closing - The saying "Leave the best to last" was true of closing night of the festival with some inspirational displays sent down the ice melting runway. In a week that started off rather underwhelming it was good to wrap the festival up on a positive note with some of Australia’s most popular labels such as Romance Was Born, solid stand out for me.

After a few seasons not attending what was Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and rebranded MFW, it was pleasant to see new ideas influence the program and inject some much needed innovation into the festival. Melbourne has serious pride in it's events and the team behind Melbourne Fashion Week should be commended for staying current and on trend whilst producing a solid program. A huge shout out to the volunteers who spent 12 hour days holding the festival together. Round of applause.

I believe that some of the designers need to lift their game if they wish to retain current supporters of their brands, or attract new customers. By the end of the week photographers were not on the streets, media pit at the end of the runway appeared a little thin and there were many empty seats in the town hall creating an underwhelming atmosphere. With Melbourne Fashion Festival receiving an injection of funding from the State Government recently it will be interesting to see if the fashion capital is big enough for both Fashion Week and Fashion Festival. Let the catwalk battles begin.

No comments:

Post a Comment