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:: Spotlight :: Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival 2016

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

In a great milestone for the fashion industry and for the organisation itself, the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) turns twenty years old in March 2016. The festival will see the largest ever community of creatives come together for the 20th edition. With more than 200 Australian and International designers’ brands and over 140 events in the program, including the solo presentation by Dion Lee, VAMFF 2016 is set to be one of the most spectacular to date. It will run from March 7-13, 2016.

One of the premium fashion event highlights for the 20th Festival will be the recently announced Jean Paul Gaultier for Target Runway. The runway show, on Wednesday March 9, led by the iconic fashion designer himself, will be the first time Australia will see Gaultier’s exclusive ‘Jean Paul Gaultier for Target’ collection up close; which includes over 100 pieces of men’s, women’s and kids’ and infant clothing.

Premium Runway shows announced:

Premium Runway 1
Presented by and AMP Capital Shopping Centres and Supported by L’Oréal Paris at Priceline Pharmacy

Tuesday March 8 6.00pm
J’Aton Couture
Romance Was Born
Scanlan Theodore

Premium Runway 2
Presented by ELLE Australia and Supported by L’Oréal Paris at Priceline Pharmacy

Tuesday March 8 7.30pm
Alice McCALL
Bec & Bridge
Bianca Spender
Manning Cartell

Premium Runway 3
Presented by InStyle and Supported by Schwarzkopf at Priceline Pharmacy

Tuesday March 8 9.30pm
Aurelio Costarella
By Johnny
Megan Park

Premium Runway 4
Presented by Harper’s BAZAAR and Supported by Revlon at Priceline Pharmacy

Thursday March 10 7.30pm
Alex Perry
Carla Zampatti
Dion Lee
Ginger & Smart
Martin Grant
Yeojin Bae

Premium Runway 5
Presented by SHOP Til You Drop and Supported by Schwarzkopf at Priceline Pharmacy

Saturday March 12 8pm
Finders Keepers
Shona Joy
Third Form
White Suede

Premium Runway 6
Presented by frankie and Supported by nude by nature at Priceline Pharmacy

Sunday March 13 6.30pm
I Love Mr Mittens

Premium Runway 7
Presented by Oyster and Supported by Revlon at Priceline Pharmacy

Sunday March 13 8.30pm
Elissa McGowan
Emma Mulholland
Kingkang Chen

Presented by Asahi Super Dry

Friday March 11 9.30pm
Witness the nation’s leading designers on the Festival’s world-class runway, presented in collaboration with Australia’s premier fashion publications and their editors. Be inspired by the best in beauty looks by International Make-Up Director, Rae Morris for Priceline Pharmacy

The Designer Line-Up:


Join the fashion crowd at the Festival Plaza, proudly supported by major partner City of Melbourne, at the Melbourne Museum Precinct. Enjoy the party atmosphere with a free program of pre-and-post show activities and parties every day of the Festival week from 10.00am until 11.00pm. Situated in the heart of the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum will be a purpose built virtual citadel of bespoke retail, enhancing the Festival’s bricks and mortar drive to connect fashion and beauty enthusiast to all things new season.

The Festival Plaza will see the return of the Priceline Pharmacy Beauty School where you can snap up all the best beauty advice and an onsite Ticketek Box Office so you can purchase your ticket to the next runway right away.

Be entertained in style and sophistication at the Runway Bar and best of all, with an all new bespoke program of free Festival parties, everyone can join the fashion festivities from noon until late. Festival goers will be fuelled with an unprecedented premium food and beverage offering by Peter Rowland Catering.

As our architects and stylists further perfect their plans for the Festival Plaza, we will keep you updated on the ever expanding repertoire of pre-and-show activities announcing the Party Program, not to be missed line-up of Festival DJs and musical maestros, and many more.

How to get there

Tram 86 or 96 to corner of Nicholson and Gertrude Streets
Free City Circle Tram to Victoria Parade
City loop train to Parliament Station
Bus routes 250, 251 and 402 to Rathdowne Street
Stop #5 of the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle
View location on map


A car park is located under Melbourne Museum
Patrons can enter from Nicholson Street or Rathdowne Street.



Presented by David Jones and Supported by Vogue Australia
Witness the largest designer line-up of the Festival. Experience a uniquely curated runway featuring collections from leading Australia designers. Be a part of the glamour and excitement at the Festival’s premiere runway show presented by David Jones and supported by Vogue Australia.

Join David Jones ambassadors, designers, models, and celebrities pre-and-post-show, relishing in the free Opening Event Party on The Plaza at the Festival’s runway hub at the iconic Melbourne Museum Precinct. Featuring David Jones’ line-up of Australia’s favourite designers.

Monday March 7 at 6.30pm & 8.30pm
Royal Exhibition Building
Melbourne Museum Precinct


**Update as at February 1, 2016**

The Melbourne Fashion Festival Ltd. (MFF), the not-for-profit organisation that owns and delivers the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, is thrilled to announce that Myer will return to the Festival program in 2016. For the first time in five years, the retailer will showcase its Autumn collections on the program as the Festival celebrates its 20th year and boasts the biggest line-up of Australian designer brands in its history.

Myer will host two fashion runway shows in its flagship Myer Melbourne store on Friday 11 March 2016 at 5:30pm and 7pm. The Face of Myer Jennifer Hawkins and Myer Ambassador Kris Smith will grace the runway in front of 1000 Myer customers and media, hot off the heels of the exclusive and intimate VIP event held in Sydney at Barrangaroo Reserve on February 11.

Graeme Lewsey, MFF CEO, believes that the presence of all of Australia‘s leading retailers on the program, big and small, further strengthens the Festival's core objective of generating an economic outcome and showcasing Australia's exceptional design talent. “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Myer back to the Festival for this monumental year. The Festival provides the ideal platform for retailers like Myer to invite consumers to be a part of the magic and showcase its stable of established and emerging Australian designers’ new collections available in-store.”

Daniel Bracken, Myer Chief Merchandise and Marketing Officer, Deputy CEO said the partnership with the Melbourne Fashion Festival is a perfect fit. “Myer is excited to be returning as an official sponsor of Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival for 2016. As Australia's largest department store group, we are thrilled to once again align our brand with Australia's premier fashion and retail event. Our focus is on delivering wonderful experiences that combine wanted brands with the theatre of shopping that we know customers love. VAMFF is the perfect platform to showcase our latest new season Myer Australian and International designer collections and contemporary brands to customers right in the heart of our flagship Melbourne store.”

Exclusively view the new season fashion trends from your favourite designers, including Alex Perry, Aje, White Suede, Asilio, Self Portrait, Acler, and TY-LR. For the very first time, guests are immersed in the retail space itself to watch the runway, making it easier than ever before to purchase your favourite pieces off the racks instantaneously.


**Study Melbourne showcase**

Study Melbourne has showcased the work of talented Victorian fashion students as part of its Four Seasons in One Night catwalk show. The show captured Victoria’s love for fashion and international design, as well as celebrating the contribution of international and domestic students to the fashion industry.

Part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Cultural Program Project Series, the event celebrated the next generation of Victoria’s designers and Victorian education providers who support their journey.Four international and local student designers unveiled a collection to reflect the seasons and cultural diversity of Melbourne, as well as the role fashion plays in the local community.

Designs on show at Four Seasons in One Night were created by:
 Yan Ho (Malaysia), Holmesglen Institute – Summer

 Yanxi Chen (China), Box Hill Institute - Autumn

 Connie Diamantopoulos (Australia), RMIT University - Winter

 Kunuch Somritutai (Thailand), Box Hill Institute – Spring

Students from William Angliss Institute, SAE Institute Australia and Melbourne College of Hair and Beauty also played a role in the preparation and running of the show.

A selection of designs from Four Seasons In One Night will be featured until Friday 11 March at the Study Melbourne Student Centre, a vibrant international student hub located at 599 Little Bourke St, Melbourne. Video profiles of the designers will also be shared around the world via Study Melbourne’s social media network, which is now Australia’s single largest online international student community.160,000 international students enrol to study in Victoria each year with international education generating $5.6 billion in export earnings in 2014/15.


The Melbourne Fashion Festival Ltd. (MFF), the not-for-profit organisation that owns and delivers the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, is thrilled to announce the debut of the Festival Plaza supported by City of Melbourne which will host a party and entertainment program not to be missed. Nestled between the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum at the Festival's new home, the Festival Plaza will enhance the pre and post show Festival experience for guests.

From 7 March to 13 March, the Festival Plaza will become a destination for local, interstate and international visitors to join in on the fashion festivities as it transforms into an entertainment hub including the festival bar, fashion event pop-ups, retail spaces, beauty school, technology hub, dining destination, a fashion exhibition and more.

A highlight of the Festival Plaza, the ‘Festival Bar’ will be the place to be with a delectable gourmet food offering by Peter Rowland Catering with a delicious menu that has been inspired by food that brings people together. The food will focus on fashionable flavours that incorporate premium ingredients and will satisfy all tastebuds. Of course, a stream of beverages will available in collaboration with partners; Asahi Super Dry, Chandon, Lavazza, Moët and Chandon, Sanpellegrino, Thomas Goss Wines, and Vodka Cruiser.

Diesel World will see guests appreciate an inclusive, Australian first, global exhibition that features video projections, iconic products and interactive installations from the brand's 38-year history and vision for the future.

The Festival Plaza will also be home to the Priceline Pharmacy Beauty School where consumers can snap up all the best beauty products and drop by for a personalised consultation by the retailer's expert beauty advisors. Technology remains at the forefront of the Festival experience with Samsung providing the latest devices at the Samsung Studio to allow the style conscious to browse, buy and share their favourite looks from the runways immediately.

Exciting on-site retail spaces will also help to set the Festival Plaza and Melbourne Museum Precinct abuzz. A carefully architected space cube by global retailer BNKR, and a pop-up display at the Museum‘s store showcasing the Gorman 'Geology’ Autumn '16 Collaboration with Melbourne Museum will assist Festival goers with any last minute outfit purchases and post-runway retail therapy.

The party will continue long after the last model has walked the runway at this year's Festival. Every night, a schedule of musical and theatrical acts, such as Cultural Program performance artists and DJs including Banoffee and Oscar Key Sung, will entertain guests on the Festival Plaza. Melbourne's highly acclaimed and revamped Spice Market will act as the Official After Party Venue of 2016. Programmed after parties will be held from 11-13 March.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival CEO Graeme Lewsey is elated with the establishment of a Festival Plaza, with the hub of activity set to further enhance the Festival experience in more ways then one. “The Festival Plaza will become more then just a meeting place for our ticket holders, it will be a thriving world of fashion, entertainment and hospitality that adds another level to our Festival and the precinct. Our supporting partners have embraced the opportunity to activate in the space, committing to developing an engaging first-class experience that will continue to expand in years to come.”

Head to VAMFF.COM.AU to view a full program of ticketed and free events and activations to be held at the Festival Plaza.


**Macgraw Announced as Winner of the 20th Tiffany & Co. National Designer Award**

The Melbourne Fashion Festival Ltd. the not-for-profit organisation that owns and delivers the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, announced Sydney sisters Beth and Tessa MacGraw from macgraw as the winners of Australia's most esteemed and highly regarded award for emerging talent in fashion design, the Tiffany & Co. National Designer Award supported by Harper's BAZAAR.

Celebrating 20 years of design excellence, the Tiffany & Co. National Designer Award Supported by Harper's BAZAAR recognises designers in their early stages of business, who excel in creative design and quality and who demonstrate potential for growth and development within the industry. The Award has helped propel the careers of many of Australia's great designers and the alumni includes STRATEAS.CARLUCCI, Dion Lee, Romance Was Born, Yeojin Bae and Toni Maticevski, brands that continue to experience industry success globally.

An esteemed panel comprising of Graeme Lewsey, CEO of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, Glen Schlehuber Vice President & Managing Director Tiffany & Co.; 2015 winners Amanda Cumming and Kate Reynolds of PAGEANT; Kellie Hush, Editor-in-Chief, Harper's BAZAAR and Donna Player, Director of Merchandise, David Jones came together to judge the five finalists, which included Celeste Tesoriero (NSW), Hokum (VIC), KACEY/DEVLIN (NSW), Kloke (VIC) and macgraw (NSW).

Launched in 2012, macgraw fuses classic silhouettes with polished, modern lines. Their designs are strong yet feminine and effortlessly elegant; a unique handwriting that is rapidly attracting recognition from media, stockists and consumers alike.

After being crowned the winner of the 2016 National Designer Award, Beth and Tess MacGraw were presented with a $10,000 cheque and a custom designed trophy from Tiffany & Co. They will also be flown to New York, courtesy of Virgin Australia, where they will meet with the Tiffany & Co. design team. The total prize pool, valued at over $100,000, also includes a money can't buy business development package including legal services provided by K&L Gates and Harper's BAZAAR look book styling assistance.

Festival CEO Graeme Lewsey said the highly regarded award cultivates innovative design excellence on a global scale. “The National Designer Award provides valuable support for designers who we believe show potential to contribute to the future Australian fashion and design industry. The Festival is incredibly proud of the alumni of this Award and are thrilled to welcome macgraw into this prestigious line-up.”

Glen Schlehuber, Vice-President & Managing Director, Tiffany & Co. Oceania said, “Amongst an outstanding group of finalists this for this year's Tiffany & Co. National Designer Award, macgraw stood out for progress and growth as well their business acumen and understanding of their customers. We look forward to working together and watching the brand grow nationally and internationally in the future,” Schlehuber stated.

Designers Beth and Tess MacGraw were overwhelmed to accept the award. “We are so honoured to have received this prestigious award, particularly given the standard of the other finalists. We are very grateful to Tiffany & Co. and the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival for recognizing our potential and providing us with this incredible opportunity.”

The announcement took place at an exquisite VIP presentation on Wednesday March 9 at Tiffany & Co. Collins St, Melbourne.

For more information, visit