Melbourne, a city often celebrated for its cultural exploits, will soon put its fashionable foot forward for its annual spring spectacle. Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW) is set to paint the town this September, this year being the first that the City of Melbourne event will debut work by students from Melbourne’s other educational institutes in addition to RMIT. Melbourne School of Fashion, Whitehouse Institute and Kangan Institute are among some of the leading fashion schools that will put their standout students on fashion’s front line for the first time.
“It’s very exciting to be part of it all,” said the Melbourne School of Fashion’s Chris Avery. “I’m stressing out a little, but it’s fun. I put a lot of me into the collection and want to show the world what I’m about.” Chris will showcase his latest designs as part of MSFW’s newest initiative to include a variety of Melbourne’s fashion schools to celebrate the diversity of creativity in the city. “My collection (the Eighth Day) explores the relationship between the modern world and the spiritual universe. Through strong bespoke tailoring and soft organic drapery, the collection represents the transition between each world,” said Chris.
The completely Melbourne-based event is a story of success for many independent designers, with MSFW bringing the fashion savvy to the very best front-row events. “It’s a great way for students to celebrate the culmination of their work and to see their pieces in a real-world fashion context,” said Hazel Squair, MSFW’s communications coordinator. “It provides an opportunity for fashion media and the local industry to see the work of up and coming talent, which is great exposure for students as they make the transition to designer.” With the intention to make the event more eclectic and representative of Melbourne’s iconic identity, MSFW will offer students the opportunity to showcase their work via runway presentations and exhibitions during the week. “We have broadened our MSFW: Emerging program to include other schools as a way to embrace the mix of disciplines, and to create a true reflection of the emerging talent in Melbourne’s design landscape,” said Ms Squair.
Whitehouse Institute student Eleni Nott is another MSFW first timer, saying her love affair with fashion began as a high school student sketching designs during class. “I’m totally excited. I came (to Whitehouse Institute) ready with my raw love for design, innovation and sheer determination to succeed,” she said. Eleni’s contemporary designs seek to stimulate the consumer’s capacity for the unconventional, with her designs focusing on texture and text. “My garments pay homage to the beauty of individual thought and the concept of variable personal perceptions,” said Eleni.
In a city that commends talent, honours design, and celebrates style, MSFW hopes to engage with the future of Melbourne-based designers by
offering opportunities that will sure lead to some exciting success stories. “We have a number of designers who are presenting on our MSFW: Designer Runway who showed at our student shows in previous years. This event will do great things for these students. (It’s all about) exposure, exposure, exposure,” she said. In a field as competitive as fashion, she’s not wrong.