It’s been one of those weeks. I’ve finally beaten the horrible flu/cold/virus/all of the above I was suffering from after a round of antibiotics, the sun came out in Melbourne and gave us some gloriously lovely days, meaning afternoons at Uni involved a quick lecture or tutorial followed by a long sunbathing session on the lawn, complete with ice cold lemonade and ‘mates’, and our college event this week had us enjoying a circus themed ‘boozy’ boat cruise down the Yarra River. Pretty great really. Yet despite all of this fun, with a mix of work in between, I couldn’t wait for the weekend. Yes, this Friday marked the start of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, and as one of the most cultural and arty cities I’ve had the chance to explore, I am very keen to get to as many events as possible. Oh, and today is also officially the last day of Winter. Oh, and I also did some Uni work on the beach…should I stop?
The shopping malls in the city embraced the start of fashion week with open arms. From pop-up markets and stalls for local and emerging designers to showcase their products, to catwalks and shows in the streets and department stores, the public were treated to a range of sights. I’ve spoken about my great love (maybe I should just call it a hobby?) of ‘people watching’ and standing in the middle of Emporium – one of Melbourne’s newest and smartest malls certainly didn’t disappoint. Friday night really was a contest between the little and the large, and it felt like particular shops and brands were competing for the most attention. For example, why would one choose to place two Calvin Klein models in the store’s window? Yes, people were actually queuing up to stand in between these semi-naked, beautiful models for a quick picture – I couldn’t decide if this was hilarious or just plain tragic, but the marketing trick definitely paid off because the queue lasted for hours. Levi perhaps went one step ahead though; the loud music pumping from the in-store DJ’s booth could be heard from a large distance and I was sucked into the crowd forming outside, watching three dancers wearing jeans from Levi’s new Spring collection, I presume showing just how easy it is to move around and stretch in them.
Even the catwalks varied in size and spectacle. The runway sitting in the middle of the road in between two malls was the big one to kick off the week – a huge set up complete with cameras and roses (more about this later) and what looked like a very critical and fashion conscious crowd sipping champagne and enjoying cocktails as the sun set. I noticed very ‘Melbourne’ outfits; the key being layering clothes like long plain t-shirts teamed with an expensive statement leather jacket and some killer high stilettos – looked classy without looking like too much effort had been put in. This compared to a small catwalk in the department store, where male models outfits were being described to the small crowd watching. Absolutely nothing wrong with this, just reminded me of the catwalks Gok Wan used to organise at the end of his TV programmes back in the day…so as I said, a real competition between the little and the large.
The theme seems to be floral. Real roses were placed all around the malls, on the catwalks and posters and the key colours were pastels of pinks, purples and plain white. Models showed off beautifully long and elegant dresses in these colours, which really said a firm goodbye to the cold Winter we’ve had. The show finished with a band performing in the Mall, a confetti canon blasting sparkly paper and flowers and me heading home carrying nine beautiful pink roses, which made for some very interesting and awkward small talk to some strangers on the tram who were massively concerned about me getting them in water asap?
Overall, I had such a fantastic night; great atmosphere and crowds, lots of freebies, shopping and discounts and even roses spread around my bedroom in empty beer and wine bottles. Now to do some work…