Wednesday, 8 February 2012

L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival 2012

Hello all my dear '99ers!
Here it is, after much umming and ahhing and forward and backing I have decided what my picks are for LMFF 2012.

The LMFF 2012 Campaign image. (Image taken from

First and foremost, the two fashion shows that for me will be most exciting:

LMFF Runway 4 presented by Vogue (Monday March 12, 7pm)
While all the official runway shows will undoubtedly be fabulous, Runway 4 features who I believe are the the cream of Australia's crop, some are already established, others are gaining ground quickly, and certainly each of the labels presenting has developed a strong design signature and a recognisability that sets the apart from their peers.

Dion Lee:
I was lucky and privileged enough to actually be at the show where Dion Lee presented his graduation collection at the 2008 Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. His grasp of cut, subtle use of print and what would become his signature twisting between drape and structure using transparent versus opaque fabrics was there to behold.

Back stage at the '4 Boys Fashion Design Studio show' (Image taken from

One of the campaign shots for the 2008 collection. (Image taken from

I was ( also ;) ) lucky and privileged enough to actually, albeit unexpectedly, be sitting front row at the show where Dion Lee presented his stunning collection at the Sydney Opera House in 2010. The perfectly positioned pleated chiffon that snaked its way through spliced jackets and jackets made from bonded neoprene in the softest lavender and baby blue palette was truly the highlight of the week.

 Backstage at the 2010 Spring/Summer collection. (Image taken from

An outstanding display of control and release with pleats. (Image taken from

Kim Ellery's wham-bam-glam-rock- overdrive style is notorious. Studs, sequins, platforms, leather; its all here in plentiful supply. This will certainly be a show stopping part of the show at LMFF!

Campaign shot from Summer 2010. (Image taken from

LMFF National Graduate Showcase (Thursday March 13, 6:30pm)
It is always inspiring and exciting to see the newest crop of graduates show their collections to the public eye, and this year I believe will be an absolute treat. Having attended the RMIT graduation runway at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week in 2011 I have seen a few of the designers whose work will be shown here, and it really is outstanding.

 Amelia Agosta's skeletal bodice bra and structured hip pants. (Image taken from

Laura Huishan Li created intense sculpted leather bodices, but this mask version was the ultimate.
(Image taken from

Tickets are on sale now for both these events and other LMFF Runway shows too!

Now I, like all of us really, am a sucker for Hermes (please excuse the lack of accent (said in a perfect French accent of course), on my 'e', we are low-fo here).
The NGV Australia is screening the documentary 'Hearts and Crafts', which shows us exactly how and who makes the world's most covetable luxury accessories. It screens four times, at 1pm and 3:30pm on March 8 and again on April 10.
It is a free event, though bookings are required, and I have already booked mine, so get to it!

Image taken from

I am definitely looking forward to the exhibition 'Swinging: The Fashion Photography of Brian Duffy', which will be on display at Level 1 of the Sofitel Hotel from March 1 - 29.
Brian Duffy started his career as a fashion designers assistant in London, and in the early 1950s relocated to Paris and by chance discovered his love of photography. He would later go on to shoot countless editorials for Vogue and Elle, two Pirelli Calenders (1973 was particularly risque) and of course the haunting cover for David Bowie's 'Aladdin Sane'.

 Aladdin Sane cover, 1973. (Image taken from

Jane Birkin (image taken from

There are two major Sustainable Fashion events that are sure to be a treat this year; 'Upcycling' at the Carlton Hotel, and of course the wonderful 'The Spirit of the Black Dress', now into its fourth and strongest year!

Upcycling features work by some of Melbourne's best known talents including Gwendolynne and Richard Nylon, Jenny Bannister and Julia deVille. Each practitioner has created something from raw, found or natural materials, and it will surely be impressive given the calibre of the participants. The event takes place on the 21st of March at the new Hasti Bala bar at the Carlton Hotel on Bourke St.

A design by Gwendolynne at the White Wedding Dress exhibition in Bendigo, veil by Richard Nylon.
(Image taken from

'The Spirit of the Black Dress' was an idea formed in 2009 by the wonderful Tullia Jack and Jane Hayes around recycling, upcycling, and use of sustainable design principles specifically in relation to the fashion staple, the little black dress. The idea took off rapidly and this fourth installment is back with a vengeance with Jane at the helm. There is a runway show, exhibition and fully fledged magazine!
Having seen designers such as Alexis Belcher, Michelle Czech, Nikolina Kucan and Georgia Mccorkill show their wares, this year sees a fine selection of designers including Sonya Kraan and Bento (an already successful sustainable label).
The exhibition takes place at The Trust from March 7-20.

Spirit of the Black Dress group image (image taken from

Finally, to top it all off, a trip out of town, to the next highlight at the Bendigo Art Gallery: Grace Kelly: Style Icon. Another collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, the exhibition will feature pieces from Kelly's career as a Hollywood star and also when she became Princess Grace of Monaco. There will be iconic costumes, and must see Haute Couture pieces from all the major Paris coutieriers of the 1960s and 70s, including Yves St. Laurent, Balenciaga and Dior. I certainly cannot wait, and then to a pleasant cafe in Bendigo for afternoon tea, what a perfect day!

A selection of Grace Kelly's dresses on display at the V&A in London (image taken from

Hope to see some of you at events around town and enjoying the fashion spirit that overtakes Melbourne early March! And of course if you've been doing Fashion Month (starting tomorrow in NYC oooo!!), it will be the cherry on your proverbial fashion pie!



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