Australian Fashion Week has always intrigued me. Every April, Sydney hosts an array of beautiful designers, celebrities, models, mag editors, buyers and bloggers. An idea imported from overseas and given a good dose of Aussie irreverence. Remember when Kristy Hinze wore a $5 million diamond-encrusted bikini by Tigerlily and a rather enamoured snake around her neck?
So when high-end fashion e-tailer, Farfetch, asked bloggers to re-imagine Australian Fashion Week, I was in.
If I took charge of Fashion Week, what would it look like?
Models & Diversity
First and foremost, I would like to see a diversity of models. Diversity of age, of size, of appearance, of background. If the designer’s target market is 30 – 40 year olds, then it would be nice to see what the clothes look like on 30 – 40 year olds. Wouldn’t it be great to have size 16 model, Ashley Graham, on the catwalk? Wouldn’t you love to see Madeline Stuart at fashion week?
I’d also love to see the following faces at Australian Fashion Week:
- Gigi Hadid
- Imaan Hamman
- Samantha Harris
- Neelam Gill
- Brittany Beattie (winner Australian Next Top Model 2015)
- Emily Ratajkowski
- Megan Gale
- Robyn Lawley
- Cheyenne Tozzi
Designers & Shows
The following are just a smattering of my favourite Australian designers:
- Alex Perry
- Ginger & Smart
- Carl Kapp
- Easton Pearson
- Dion Lee
- Alice McCall
- Romance was Born
- Carla Zampatti
- Bec & Bridge
Australian Fashion Week has always promoted new talent. I’d love to see this continue with the introduction of two new shows. One, showcasing the talents of very new designers – whether they be at TAFE, university or self-taught. It should be open to anyone starting out that has the talent. Designers would be selected through a competition process and given mentoring by seasoned designers. Secondly, I’d love to see some of the Australian designers on BigCartel showcased. So many new, talented designers choose to sell through online platforms.
In addition to information about their inspiration and the clothes themselves, the show programs would have information about how and where the garments are made. Any sustainability efforts by the designer would be highlighted. I think consumers increasingly want to be assured that their clothes are made ethically.
Australian Fashion Week has launched some great collaborations between high-end designers and chain stores. I’d love to see that continue. Portmans and Alice McCall would be floral, flirty and cute. Akira and Peter Alexander would result in the loveliest kimono/dressing gowns around. Easton Pearson and Veronika Maine would have the urban warriors sorted.
For those lucky enough to have designer pieces in their wardrobe, it makes sense to wear those pieces regularly. The fashion forward are happy to mix their high street with their high-end. A runway show that not only showcased the collaboration pieces, but also how to wear the designers’ current collection with the chain stores’ pieces would be amazing.
The Front Row
My ideal (somewhat eclectic) front row would include:
Ruby Rose, Em Rusciano, Lisa Messenger (of Collective Magazine), Amal Clooney, Asher Keddie, Rebel Wilson, Elizabeth Debicki, Margot Robbie, Samara Weaving, Kate Waterhouse, Nicole Warne, Zanita, Margaret Zhang and Xiaohan.
In addition, I’d make sure that the smaller boutiques were well represented. Local, small stores are just as important to fashion and our economy as the larger players.
I would install huge screens around the venue, which would have a collage of Instagram pics of the street style that accompanies Fashion Week. Sometimes the best inspiration is off cat-walk.
Every invited attendee would be able to download an app. The app would include information about the shows and the clothes. It would interact with the Instagram inspiration board described above so that you can find out exactly where the items worn can be found. It would also allow runway show attendees to indicate whether they would buy the item on the catwalk as it is shown. Buyers and designers would then have access to that information to assist them in their future plans.
Australian Fashion Week lives in Sydney and that’s appropriate. I do think it needs to incorporate the other Australia cities. Whilst some of the capitals have their own fashion weeks, it would be great for the Australian Fashion Week to be truly and inclusively Australian. After all, each city has its own unique style, taste and weather! In each capital city there would be a venue which live-streams Fashion Week to a huge screen. Each city would also host its own runway show, giving local designers a chance to show their wares to a large audience. Those shows would in turn be live-streamed back into Sydney. Runway attendees would each be given the app described above, so that they could indicate what they would actually buy. This would give the Sydney-based buyers some insight into what might sell in different parts of the country.
What I’d wear
Now, the fun part! What I’d personally wear to fashion week. Because I am imagining things, I am also imagining a generous wardrobe budget.
All items can be found and purchased at Farfetch.com – click through on images below for links.
note: this post has been written as an entry into the Farfetch Fashion Festival Take Over competition.
What would you do if you were in charge of Australian Fashion Week?