14/07/2016
Strictly VIP.

Words by

Eliza Sholly

If you’re into fashion, there is no greater week than Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. The city becomes an Instagrammable hub of fashion, events and culture. And you, you become a porous being, soaking all the culture through your skin like a glorious, fashionable osmosis.

However, while you’re ready to soak up the action like the beautiful fashion frog you are, it can sometimes be tough to lure your non-fash friends into joining you. While the MSFW line-up does a lot of the work, certain people do need a little extra convincing.

To help you out, we’ve set you up with an itinerary of some of the best, most impressive and sometimes free (!!) events of the festival. This will help you maximise the week, give your friends a reason to join you, and allow you to impress your mates with your extensive fashion knowledge.

Opening Gala

It's the Opening Gala, so obviously your friends are going to be impressed that you got invited to opening night. You didn't. You bought tickets. But they don't need to know that. Aside from celeb/blogger/ex-Bachelorette contestant spotting, there will also be a media wall. This means that yes, you can get your photo taken in front of sponsors' logos and yes, you can share it to all your friends with geotags informing them that yes, you are very fashion. The lineup of designers is also pretty stellar, with Aurelio Costarella, Carla Zampatti and Thurley on the bill. It runs from 7-8pm, meaning you can pop your name down at Chin Chin before the show, and by the time it's finished you'll only have a two hour wait for your table.

Where: Melbourne Town Hall
When: Tuesday August 30, 7-8pm
Buy tickets here 

Waste Not, Want Not

This event aims to raise awareness about the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. This means the crowd will likely be very cool and probably rode a fixie to get there. After you spend roughly half an hour complaining about the lack of bike parking, you can indulge in the incredible designs. The work showcased will be the creation of final year fashion design students, so this is a great chance to feel inadequate about your accomplishments. Don’t let that get you down however, because YOU attend free MSFW events, meaning that YOU’RE officially cool and cultured.

Where: 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
When: Friday August 26 to Monday August 29
More info here

MSFW Hub

There are a number of incentives to check out The Hub this MSFW. Firstly, it will be home to bold new directions in fashion and retail, offering day to night programing with a mix of interactive brand experiences. Secondly, it’s free. I don’t really need a third do I? Free is enough to win anyone over. But just in case you needed some more selling, the space will become a sartorial sanctuary, with spring-themed decor that is perfect for the ’gram. Thank me later when your likes are through the roof.

Where: Melbourne City Square
When: Friday August 26 to Friday September 2
More info here

Makers and Shakers Emerging Designer Market

Going to markets is essentially the first rule in being cool. Well, in my head anyway. The Makers and Shakers Emerging Design Market brings together some of the cities most exciting and innovative designers. They will be showcasing their latest ready-to-wear collections, jewellery, accessories and more. It’s basically an excuse to shop, so we doubt your friends will need much convincing.

Where: Melbourne Town Hall
When: Friday August 22 to Friday September 2
More info here

Emporium Melbourne’s Opening Runway

This is the kind of cool urban runway that will remind your friends how lucky they are to be attending MSFW with you. Little Bourke Street will be transformed, as the cityscape becomes a backdrop for the show and your glam AF Instagrams. You will also have the opportunity to shop the runway looks right after the show, at the Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out. This will give you the chance to purchase more outfits that you can wear to future MSFW events.

Where: 266 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
When: Friday August 26, 6-6:30pm
More info here

FreekÁ Runway

Taking your friends to the FreekÁ Runway will really cement your reputation as the ‘girl who knows what’s on in Melbourne.’ Because that girl is you. You know what’s on. FreekÁ is a multicultural runway that celebrates the super rich cultural diversity that exists within Melbourne. This runway is an opportunity for creatives to express themselves through fashion, dance, art and music. Tickets sold out relatively quickly last year, so if you can snag some, it’ll make you look like you know the right people.

Where: Twotonmax, Langford Street, North Melbourne. 
When: Saturday August 27, 6:30-10:30
More info here

Emerging Designer Runways

If you’re interested in fashion, then these are definitely the runways to attend. These shows give rise to the next generation of runway success stories, as attendees glimpse the future of fashion direction and style. This is a great way to support some local talent, as well as schmooze with a younger crowd. Schools showcasing include RMIT University, Box Hill Institute, FashionMasters, Holmesglen Institute, Kangan Institute and Whitehouse Institute of Design.

Where: Melbourne Town Hall
When: Sunday August 28, 5-6pm and 6:30-7:30pm
Buy tickets for the RMIT Runway here
Buy tickets for the Emerging Collections Runway here

Seminar: Design your Business

If you’re the kind of savvy entrepreneur that likes to get shit done, then this is the seminar for you. Industry experts will share insights and advice to help get your venture off the ground, turning your retail dreams into a reality. The workshop will provide you with the necessary tools to build a strong business foundation, covering finance, legalities, strategic planning, marketing and grants. Everyone knows you have to fake it ’til you make it.

Where: RMIT Design Hub, Carlton
When: Monday August 29
Buy tickets here

Ballarat Regional Extension

There’s nothing like a road trip to get the creative juices flowing. Plus, once you arrive at the Ballarat Regional Extension, you’ll be greeted with an MSFW experience like no other. This series explores the talent of the Western Districts, with runway shows that feature local designers, a wool industry retrospective and a Spring Racing edit. Other events include an artisan Trunk Sale, plus a BTS fashion industry experience and premium cocktail parties. You could even do a train trip from Southern Cross Station – so Harry Potter chic.

Where: The Mining Exchange Gold Shop, Lydiard Street North, Ballarat Central
When: Friday September 2 – Sunday September 4
More info here

Closing Resort

After dragging your friends to the best that MSFW has to offer, surely they’ll be begging to go to closing night with you. After a rigorous selection process to determine which friend is worthy, you can enjoy the Designer Resort Runway. Prepare to be transported to the warmer months, where the sun always sparkles and you don’t have to worry double layering. You’ll get lost in a palette of bold prints and colours, easing the pain that comes with the closing of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

Where: Melbourne Town Hall
When: Friday September 2, 7pm-8pm
Buy tickets here

Illustration by Twylamae whose fashion extends beyond these Seinfeld tees.

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