The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is in full swing in Melbourne this week.
As the CFDA* continue to debate the merits of moving towards a consumer facing New York Fashion Week, it is interesting to watch Australia’ oldest consumer fashion festival continue to evolve.
When CEO, Graeme Lewsey, took the reins from Kiri Delly in 2011 the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) was in its 15th year. It has always been a consumer facing event (as opposed to a true, industry-facing fashion week) and was born from a desire to help the Australian fashion industry through a recessed economy in 1996.
One of the bigger changes Lewsey has instituted in his time has been an increased focus on activations that allow consumers to interact with the VAMFF partner brands.
VAMFF continues to make attending a runway show a socal event, with guests arriving early to take photos, engage with activations and have a drink with friends.
Afterwards, I noticed many guests gravitate towards the gourmet food trucks for a quick bite as well as the various bars for a drink.
Runway 3 showcased pieces from some of my favourite Australia designers: Dion Lee, Manning Cartell, Ginger and Smart, Yeojin Bae, Macgraw and Romance was Born.
*Council for Fashion Designers of America