Dear culture vultures; did you know the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is not entirely about faaarshun and catwalk shows? The program is packed with art, performance and creative ideas (plus a lot of it's free!) We've rounded up the very best off-the-runway events at VAMFF 2016 for you to devour.
1. Designer Bites
This foodie event is also part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, so you can tick off two massive Melbourne events in one go. Efficient and delicious! Designer Bites is an experimental five course dinner by LT curator Laura Thompson, with unconventional Thai/Indian dishes by Sarin Rojanametin of Small Dinner Club plus an art installation by designer Stanton Cornish Ward.
2. Marilyn Monroe
It's hard to believe there's never been an official Marilyn Monroe exhibition, but VAMFF and the Bendigo Art Gallery have scored a coup. This show features glittering movie costumes and pieces from her personal wardrobe - and there's a giant statue of the glamazon's infamous pose (billowing skirt and all) from The Seven Year Itch that you can pose for a selfie with and/or shelter under.
3. Delusions of Grandeur
Artist Emma Abrahams re-imagines cult fashion figures and pop culture personalities as macabre skulls for this Sophie Gannon Gallery exhibit. You'll definitely want to hang a few of these freaky faces on your walls. In the case of some - Anna Wintour we're looking at you - it's a little hard to tell the difference from the real thing.
4. Fashion Film Series
Turns out the Zoolander sequel isn't the hottest fashion film to hit screens this year. VAMFF's Fashion Film Series showcases international and Australian short films on a bunch of screens around Melbourne including ACMI, Fed Square and online at Russh. They range from technically clever to thought provoking to legit hilarious. You might even stumble upon the film's screening before the next blockbuster you see at your local cinema.
5. Ladies In Black
If 1950's fashion (we feel you... Mad Men left a sartorial hole in our hearts), the golden era of department stores and people randomly bursting into song are your thing, this Melbourne Theatre Company show is for you. Based on a forgotten Aussie classic novel called 'The Women In Black', the musical Ladies In Black features tunes by Tim Finn (yes, Crowded House Tim Finn) and a bunch of custom costumes at Southbank Theatre.
6. Teena's Bathtime: Eau de Wet Dogge
Believe it or not this is a perfume launch (and we hear it actually smells kinda good). David Capra's fun installation at West Space is all about his pampered pooch Teena and her tumultuous relationship with having a bath. We're down for anything that involves looking at, thinking about, or playing with sausage dogs.
7. Eat My Style
You know we guarantee sniffing out the food at any occasion - and Eat My Style is a new highlight of the festival's cultural program. Bibelot, Burch & Purchese, Luxbite and Zumbo are creating ridic designer desserts based on the styles of Limedrop, Lifewithbird, Emma Mulholland and Rachelalex. Catch is, you can scoff the sweet dishes for one month only.
8. 200 Years of Australian Fashion
In a rare feast for the eyeballs, the National Gallery of Victoria is unearthing more than 120 fashion pieces by 90+ local designers for an exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre. It's the first survey of our fashion history on such a grand scale.
Want to know more about this doggy fragrance launch? Find out more details...
Photo credit: Provided