Melbourne Fashion Week has grown in size over the years, becoming bigger and better each time, with a greater influx of viewers, designers and ranges.
This year, Arnsdorf, Bianca Spender, Camilla and Marc, Dion Lee, Michael Lo Sordo, Scanlan Theodore, Viktoria & Woods and more, graced the runway with their designs. The shows were held both indoor and outdoor, at Town Hall and on the street around the city.
Kate Gaskin. Photograph: Mimco
Head stylist Kate Gaskin, from Melbourne says in online site The Design Files, “I have been involved with the Festival for over 10 years now, and in my time, have seen it grow from what was once quite a local, small-scale affair, into a nationally recognised celebration of the country’s best emerging and well-known designers and retailers.”
This year, Fashion Week held over 150 events and 10+ runways, featuring 300+ designers. This week long event included not only runways, but workshops, talks, parties, exhibitions, films and free fashion experiences. With so much going on, it’s impossible to not think about the amount of effort that must go into it, especially each runway.
Steve Samuel, standing, second from right. Photograph: Melbfashionweek
According to 26-year-old model Steve Samuel, from Hampton Park, a rehearsal and a dress rehearsal are done as preparation for the show. That goes for between 2-3 hours to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Steve says, “On the actual day of the show, there’s always a call time that we have to be there by. The days can be quite long and tiresome so I always make sure that I get a good night’s sleep.”
When asked what behind the scenes was like Steve was very insightful. “As you can imagine, can be quite chaotic but it’s what I like to call organised chaos. Everyone’s usually running around, doing last minute things. Before the actual show, maybe a week or two before, we go in for a fitting where you occasionally meet the designer but you always meet the stylist. During that, we kind of try things on and have them adjusted, tweaked or altered to fit.”
Steve Samuel, standing in the middle. Photograph: Melbfashionweek
The designers expect their clothing to look perfect on each model by the time they hit the runway.
Kate Gaskin also says she is finding that more and more Australian labels are really refining themselves and exploring new ways of creating their own message through their visual designs, rather than following overseas trends now.
Bianca Spender. Photograph: Zimbio
Take Bianca Spender for instance, the Sydney based designer of her own brand. She told Vogue that she wanted to bridge the divides that exist in women’s wardrobes between their professional, public and private life. “We are all these three women, so why change as we switch between modes?
This meant creating things like wide-legged pants made for lounging, yet making them look smart enough to also be worn as a suit to work.
Bianca Spender had the thought that the clothes we wear at home, such as a jumper and a slip dress are usually our favourite, so she found a way to take the same comfort and design and turn it into high fashion for the everyday woman.
Jade Sarita Arnott. Photograph: The Lissome
Jade Sarita Arnott, Melbourne designer of the brand Arnsdorf says in The Design Files that her line is, “An investigation into modern sophistication and codes of dressing. Volume and scale are exaggerated in some garments, while others have a subtle manipulation of form.”
A lot of effort goes into the designs for their collections and then from there, the stylists are expected to help finish the overall look. The hair and makeup that accompany the clothing are just as important, and need a lot of thought and attention before the show.
Kevin Murphy’s ‘extreme ponytail and ‘fairy tale hair.’ Photograph: Melbourne Fashion Week
This year there seemed to be two major looks created for the hair by Kevin Murphy, the first being what he likes to call ‘fairy tale hair,’ while most people usually refer to it as their, ‘messy hair, I don’t care’ look. The hair looked untamed and natural, with curls surrounding the face.
Look two was very sleek, whether it was put in a pony tail, a plait or simply hanging around the face.
Kevin Murphy even commented on one of the looks saying, “We wanted to tap into the craftsmanship of these designers and reflect the incredible tailoring in their collections through the hair, so we created a very pulled together and precise ponytail. We’re calling this the ‘Extreme Ponytail,’ as it has an almost equestrienne feel.”
The makeup was rather futuristic and definitely made to be noticed. Mecca Cosmetics painted metallic and bright coloured shadows across the lid, the lashes or the lips.
The artistic and edgy back drops were never boring, the music suited each mood and the attendees adored everything about the atmosphere. When asked, most said something along the same lines of 23-year-old Emma Hunter from Narre Warren, “The show and the atmosphere were amazing and I would actually wear the clothing. The looks were incredible.”
For a sneak peak on how Melbourne Fashion Week played out, visit their Facebook, Instagram, or simply watch below to catch some clips of Town Hall Runway Two, which is known for being one of Melbourne Fashion Week’s most anticipated runways that showcases some of Australia’s favourite designers.