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:: Spotlight :: 2008 Melbourne Spring Fashion Week

By: Carmine Pascuzzi / Matylda Buczko / Maraika van Wessem; pictures by Matt Deller & Jess Lo

As one of the biggest weeks of the Melbourne event calendar, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2008 is set to dazzle from September 1-7, 2008 with over 100 free and ticketed public events that celebrate the arrival of the Spring-Summer 2008-09 fashion season. This is the fashion event of Spring, featuring all the hottest designers, labels, styles and retailers in and around Melbourne. A true showcase of all the beauty, fashion and style that is Melbourne this season, just in time for the launch of Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival.

There is a fashion event to suit everyone – day or night – from glamorous Official Evening Parades at the Melbourne Town Hall to intimate millinery workshops, film festivals, lunch-time fashion shows, street parades, shopping tours, markets, after parties at Melbourne’s most stylish venues and much much more. Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW) confirms why Melbourne is Australia’s retail and fashion capital.

Tickets for the Official Evening Parades at Melbourne Town Hall are on sale now - $20 for reserved seating or $17.50 for balcony seating. Tickets can be bought online or purchased in person from the Halftix Box Office at The Melbourne Town Hall.

Highlights include:

Official Parades featuring Melbourne’s leading designers;
The Luxe Collective Preview presented by Mercedes Benz Melbourne;
The Flemington Spring Fashion Lunch and Decjuba Girls Day out Fashion Marquee presented by the Victoria Racing Club; and
The Melbourne Spring Fashion Week Style Cruise.

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**Update as at August 5, 2008**

Sally Graham has been announced as the Face of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. Rising international catwalk star Sally Graham joined the founders of influential trendsetting label Fat to recently launch Australia’s premier public fashion event, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2008 at Collins Quarter.

Melbourne-based international model Sally Graham will be the Face of MSFW 2008, jetting back from a shoot in Milan to be part of the event. And in a first for MSFW, the City of Melbourne has appointed the four founders of Fat – Bianca Wiegard, Kym Purtell, Sarah Hamilton and Rachael Cotra as MSFW Ambassadors. The fashion label has been instrumental in discovering some of Australia’s top fashion exports and is widely recognised as one of the most trend setting fashion retailers in the country.

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OFFICIAL EVENING PARADES SCHEDULE

Showcasing some of Melbourne's key designers, the Official Evening Parades at the Melbourne Town Hall are a highlight of the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week program. Official Parades are held at 6.30pm and 8.30pm each night.

Tuesday, September 2 - The Luxe Collective
Be swept away by the sheer delight of this season's virtuoso performers in fashion and watch beauty and inspiration collide. Featuring Aurelio Costarella, Christine, Jayson Brunsdon, Maticevski, Nevenka, Nicola Finetti, White Suede

Wednesday, September 3 - Out of the Shadows
The most daring innovators in fashion are those who illuminate the paths less travelled, who dare to brave the unexplored terrain. Featuring Alpha 60, Antipodium, LIFEwithBIRD, Material Boy, Nom*d, TV, Therese Rawsthorne.

Thursday, September 4 - KaleidEscape
Fashion is nothing if not ever-changing, colourful, unpredictable… and magic. Step inside the kaleidoscope and let a riot of colour and movement transport you into a fresh, daring realm. Featuring Anna Thomas, Cohen et Sabine, Fleur Wood, Ginger & Smart, Gorman, Mad Cortes.

Friday, September 5 - Modern Odyssey
Every new fashion season brings the potential for discovery. If it's new and it defines contemporary, you will find it on this modern fashion odyssey. Featuring Dhini, FRISONIFINETTI, Gail Sorronda, James Cameron, Jessie Hill, Leopold, MATERIALBYPRODUCT.

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**Update as at August 14, 2008**

OTHER NOTEWORTHY MSFW EVENTS

Collins Street Fashion Right On Track
Monday, September 1 - 7.00pm - 8.30pm
The Collins Street Precinct Group are hosting their inaugural Collins Street Fashion Right On Track Show. Hosted by Melissa Hetherington, featuring leading couture houses and Australian and international designer brands in the exclusive and elegant 101 Collins Street Foyer.

JASONGRECH - Dolce Vita Fashionista Party
Tuesday, September 2 - 7.00pm - midnight
As the sun sets and Melbourne goes into overdrive, The Dolce Vita VIP Fashionista party explodes. Award winning label JASONGRECH presents the
latest sexy, colourful and form-fitting collection, at The Apartment. Meet the designers Jason Grech and Harry Georgiou and enjoy the party with a tantalising selection of all things sweet and a cocktail, complimentary upon arrival.

Lygon Court Fashion n' Film Feature, Cinema Nova
Wednesday, September 3 - 10.30am and 2.00pm
Be dazzled by a parade of a ‘mecca’ of Lygon Court's fashion designers hosted by Livinia Nixon followed by an exclusive premiere of - Brideshead Revisited

MARQUISE Spring Racing Preview
Wednesday, September 3 - 7.30pm and 10.00pm
Marquise will reveal a stunning showcase for the race-going style set with a confection of flowers and fashion featuring Peter Jago's unique hats and accessories. Flower Temple at QV

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**Update as at August 15, 2008**

Fashion Incubator Melbourne Central (FIMC) is set to pay homage to Melbourne’s iconic street culture at this year’s Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, hosting a fashion parade entitled Beat on Monday, September 1 at 12.30pm. Beat is certain to uphold FIMC’s reputation for eclectic design and distinctive flair, showcasing new Spring/Summer trends from designer labels such as Lenko, Zephyr Graham, Josua Andreas, Chroni, Grin and Wear It and Boski.

Beat will emulate aspects of Melbourne’s renowned street culture, with pieces reflecting the city’s colourful laneways, hidden bars, galleries, modern architecture and unique cafe decor. “Beat is an opportunity for our designers to flaunt their individual design style,” says Cindee Smith, CEO of FIMC. “We encourage our customers to stand out from the herd and we are proud of our unusual and unique urban style.”

The parade is free and open to the public so get to Shot Tower Square at Melbourne Central and experience a fashion tribute to the city’s legendary street culture.

Fashion Incubator Melbourne Central is taking a decidedly eco-friendly approach to their second parade in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, aptly entitled, Bamboo. Bamboo will be held on September 3 in Melbourne Central’s iconic Shot Tower Square and is a must for those who are looking for inspirational, environmentally friendly and organic one-off designer pieces. The parade will showcase fresh designs from Pure Pod, Josua Andreas, Ella and Sarva and garments will be constructed from organic cottons, bamboo fabrics and textiles from local and international suppliers.

The underlying message surrounding Bamboo will centre on renewable energy and sustainable business and manufacturing practices. “It has been really positive to see a global focus on sourcing and applying environmentally friendly manufacturing processes,” says Cindee Smith, CEO of FIMC. “We have started to adopt this trend at FIMC by starting our own brand of casual wear made from organic cotton. Bamboo is an opportunity for our designers to prove that you can be glamorous and green simultaneously.”

Bamboo is a free event open to all and will be held in conjunction with Melbourne Central’s Spring Shopping evening. The parade will begin at Melbourne Central at 6.30pm and repeat at 7.00pm.

Fashion Incubator Melbourne Central (FIMC) together with House of Burlesque is set to host an extravagant eveningwear parade on Thursday, September 4 as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2008. The parade titled Burlesque is sure to seduce and surprise, showcasing a vast array of eveningwear designs by Ryan Whelan, Josua Andreas, Fugue, Sarva, Wild Phoenix, Sideshow and fashion icons Jenny Bannister and Rhiannon Pietsch. Burlesque promises to provide a sneak preview of the season’s most lavish and luxurious eveningwear.

“We (FIMC) have some extremely talented designers and pattern- makers who are dedicated to quality of design and fabric,” says Cindee Smith, CEO of FIMC. “Burlesque is their evening to shine, and we have incorporated Burlesque dancing, fine wine and chocolate to create an indulgent fashion experience which compliments bespoke design.”

The parade will take place at Melbourne Central in the glass encased link bridge above Lonsdale Street. Starting at 9.00pm, it’s a night not to be missed.

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**The Fashion Right on Track Show**

The Paris end of Collins Street is set to come alive on the Catwalk on the evening of September 1 as the Collins Street Precinct, with Melissa Hetherington as host, stage a fashion extravaganza at 101 Collins Street, aptly entitled The Fashion Right on Track Show.

The evening is set to be a true celebration of Collins Street retailers and will reflect season’s directions and that of the upcoming Spring Racing Carnival. Just some of the many retailers participating include Bettina Liano, Harrolds, Henry Bucks, Husk, Arthur Galan AG Women’s, Cose Ipanema, La Perla, Keon Couture Design, Linda Gorringe Couture, Marea Bright, Loula Australia, Evelyn Miles and the Ken Gray Alister Reid Gallery.

Exhibiting garments from designers of the highest calibre, the Collins Street Fashion Right on Track Show is sure to be a much anticipated event within the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week calendar.

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**Decjuba Girls' Day Out**

Leading Australian fashion label Decjuba is proud to announce its second year as naming rights sponsor of Girls' Day Out on Saturday, September 6.

Spring Racing at Flemington is a great fusion of flamboyance and function which fits beautifully with what Decjuba brings to the high street. This year, Decjuba Girls' Day Out Fashion Marquee is shaping up to be even more glamorous and exciting than ever before.

Last year was a huge success with over 500 fashionistas and fashionmisters enjoying a day in the sun, watching parades of the latest Spring/Summer fashions, sipping champagne and eating delicious nibbles as well as doing a fair bit of celebrity watching.

Decjuba Girls' Day Out, featuring the Makybe Diva Stakes, marks the first of the race days of Flemington’s Spring Racing calendar and it is the place to see and be seen! It’s also a perfect opportunity for the girls to show off their new Spring Racing wardrobes

The Fashion Marquee is an official event of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week program, and this year guests will be entertained by parades from top men’s and women’s fashion designers, including the launch of Decjuba’s 2008 Capsule Collection! Of course there will also be loads of giveaways on offer throughout the day.

The offerings don’t stop there. Amy Pearson, the extremely talented singer from the UK, who has now made her home in Australia, will be treating guests in the Fashion Marquee to a performance. Amy’s third single “Ready to Fly” has been chosen as Seven’s unofficial anthem for the Beijing Olympics.

This is a day not to be missed for fashion, fun and racing! Tickets to the Fashion Marquee are $80.00. For further information and to purchase tickets please contact Flemington Customer Service 1300 727 575.

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LUXE COLLECTIVE PREVIEW by Matylda Buczko

Melbourne’s Spring Fashion Week was a whirlwind that brought our city a myriad of new fashion talent, while reasserting the genius behind some of our most talented fashion designers. The Luxe Collective range collated a selection of designers who capture romantic, feminine and dream-like qualities in their Spring/Summer designs. The collection’s motto is where beauty and inspiration collide…. and its preview, held at the opulent Mercedes Benz showroom, was indeed both beautiful and inspiring.

The show gave a lucky 200 guests an intimate insight into what styles we can expect to be wearing over the next six months. Australian designers Aurelio Costarella, Gwendolynne and Jayson Brunsdon presented snippets from their collections and were impressive in their unique style and use of fabric and colour.

The show started with a beautiful, graceful solo ballet dance which had the audience captivated, the ballerina wearing a soft flowing garment designed by Gwendolynne. Aurelio Costarella’s designs focused around the cool colours of greys, whites and blacks in soft, flowing satins. His use of elaborate feather stoles and long cocktail dresses made a splash on the runway and the range epitomised elegance and romanticism.

Although Jayson Brunsdon also drew on black and white as core colours of his new range, playful and flirty dresses added splashes of colour and fun. A stand out was a vintage-inspired pleated dress with bright colourful bows all over it, which invoked pop-art style infused with Audrey Hepburn elegance. A flowing, white three-tiered dress also harked ahead to summer trends. Gwendolynne’s new range sparkled beautifully under the lights, with the designer primarily using shimmery, metallic materials embellished with sequins and beading. It was a curious but lovely mixture of old world designs meshed with futuristic lines.

Canapés and cocktails were on offer before the show, as guests mingled in their fashion best and admired the stunning cars on show. All in all, it was a great night and an apt nod to Australia’s formidable presence in the international fashion industry.

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**COLLINS STREET FASHION RIGHT ON TRACK**

One of the highlights of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week in 2008 was the Collins Street Fashion Right On Track fashion parade at 101 Collins Street. The impressive foyer of the building was a fitting setting for the glamour of the Collins Street Precinct fashion retailers in this exclusive preview.

Guests were treated to a pre-parade gathering of food and drinks at The Italian restaurant, which sits at the rear of the building (the Flinders Lane entrance). Then the proceedings commenced with the event‘s MC Melissa Hetherington introducing the designers’ work. Amongst the designers on parade were Ag, Bettina Liano, Linda Gorringe and Henry Bucks.

Pictures by Matt Deller

Ag
Ag Bettina Liano Bettina Liano Bettina Liano
Harrolds Harrolds Harrolds Husk
Husk Husk Cose Ipanema Cose Ipanema
Cose Ipanema Cose Ipanema Henry Bucks Henry Bucks
Henry Bucks IM IM IM
IM IM Wolford Wolford
Wolford Wolford Keon Keon
Keon Keon Linda Gorringe Linda Gorringe
Linda Gorringe Linda Gorringe Linda Gorringe
Melissa Hetherington

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**FLOWER TEMPLE QV LAUNCH**

Having had a presence in the Melbourne CBD for approximately three years, it was Flower Temple's need for expansion and evolution that inspired the development of Flower Temple in Artemis Lane, QV - a gorgeous new store. On this special occasion, the shop was transformed into “Splendour On The Lawn” - featuring a boutique parade that showcased an array of fashion (Linda Gorringe Couture & Jason Grech), and millinery & headwear (Peter Jago) in the lead up to Spring Racing Carnival.

The store was built using entirely natural and organic materials in keeping with the environmental phiosophy of being green and preserving at all costs. Guests were treated to food and drinks, including the presence of yellow fairy floss. The dazzling elegance and innovative design of Peter Jago's unique hats and accessories combined well with the classy fashion.

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**LISA HO PARADE**

Lisa Ho has been at the forefront of the Australian Fashion Industry for many years. Her brand is one of the most recognised brands in Australia and has a strong celebrity following. Lisa has an exclusive department store arrangement with retailer, David Jones, and representation in over 250 boutiques both local and internationally.

Therefore, it was a treat for anyone invited to see an exclusive preview show of Lisa Ho's new Spring/Summer 08/09 Collection. It was held at Melbourne's GPO building. Champagne was served as guests mingled in eager anticipation of what was sure to be a gorgeous show. The room was abuzz with Spring Fashion Week excitement.

The parade was very classy. The amount of fabric used in each piece was awesome. The models simply floated down the runway.

Pictures by Jess Lo

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**LUXE COLLECTIVE PARADE**

Melbourne’s first taste of warm Spring weather for the year was the fitting time to unveil some beautiful and elegant dresses at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. ‘The Luxe Collective’ show at the Melbourne Town Hall on September 2 showcased a variety of Spring dresses, from fresh florals to a popular use of sheer white, black and silver for this Spring/Summer.

Featuring some of Australia’s design leaders, including Aurelio Costarella, Jayson Brunsden and Nicola Finetti, the show captivated audiences with the wide array of practical offerings, perfect for the upcoming racing carnival. Aurelio Costarella's collection featured the most beautiful and individual designs, incorporating bubble skirts, flowing gowns and feminine workwear.

The highlight of Costarella's collection was a silver puffed sleeve jacket, which demanded the full attention of onlookers with its bold tailored lines and fearless individuality in the shape. Another notable mention was Nevenka, who lightened the mood with an offering of a blended of colours and fabrics, including paisley print with checks, pastels, fabrics of the 70s and chunky belts. This was teamed with light florals, contrasting with an offering of black unpretentious black dresses.

White Swede made nice use of parasols to add elegance, and displayed an offering of 1970’s-inspired swimwear in black and gold. Other standout designs included Jayson Brunsden’s black and white blazer and black eveningwear with a fluffy trim; Nicola Finetti’s black dresses in a variety of incarnations and some block colour business dresses from Maticevski. If the parades are anything to go by, Australian women will be showing if their legs this Spring/Summer.