The 2016 line-up for the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) has just been revealed. Here's what you need to know right now, including details of a 'wet dog' themed fragrance launch. No, really.
VAMFF celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Anyone remember 1996, the year the festival was founded? We wore baby tees, backpack purses and plaid. Our major style icons were the cast of Clueless (barring that total Monet, Amber), 'heroin chic'-era Kate Moss and the Spice Girls at their peak.
So much (yet so little) has changed. We'd still sell our first Celine for Cher's revolving wardrobe, la Moss still endures, and what of these rumours about the imminent reunion of our all-time favourite girl band?
Yet big changes are afoot at the Festival. It's farewell Docklands, hello to the Melbourne Museum precinct and the Royal Exhibition Building, as VAMFF tries on a new look. We're already keen on this venue as a more artistic and architectural backdrop for the main runways, plus the ease of access for a pre-show dinner (and by that you know we mean a post-show drink).
An outside area the festival has dubbed "the Plaza" will be ground zero for people watching with all-day pavilions, entertainment, activations, and the Priceline beauty school set up here.
Big names are dropping in too. Nicola Formichetti, a.k.a the hottest creative director on the planet, is the star of the Marketing Breakfast. His work at Diesel, Mugler, Uniqlo, Dazed & Confused mag and collaboration with Lady Gaga is enough to make us get out of bed before dawn. The effervescent Jean Paul Gaultier also returns to our shores during the fest - he will have the best seat in the house as his Designers for Target collection is seen live for the first time (runway attendees will also get to shop the collection first).
On the home front, Dion Lee is being honoured with the prestigious Grand Showcase. We hear the designer, favoured by Cara Delevingne and Emma Watson, actually approached the festival to see if they might consider him (the answer was essentially "duh!")
VAMFF continues to move away from a pure fashion offering to a fusion of cultures and collectives from the worlds of art, design and food. As the latter is our obvious favourite, the new Eat My Style project has us salivating. Bibelot, Burch and Purchese, Zumbo and LuxBite are doing desserts inspired by designers on offer exclusively during the festival.
On a side note, if there's one thing we like as much as food, it's puppies! Another pick from the cultural program is the Eau De Wet Dogge fragrance launch and not-so-serious art exhibition. Yes it's a real perfume (EdWD also comes as a car freshener) inspired by Teena the sausage dog.
Autumn/Winter is coming. Will you be one of the 400,000 people celebrating its arrival with us at VAMFF 2016 (February 13th–March 13th)?
The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is taking place from 7 – 13 March at the Melbourne Museum Precinct, and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. With a strong local and international brand offering, you'd better get in quick if you're planning on attending a runway or two - tickets are on sale now. There are also plenty of free events - check out the program on site now.
Photo credit: Provided