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A week in the life of an editor at Melbourne Fashion Week

WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

Champagne, Instagram Stories, KFC and Ubers.

I’ve always fantasised about being a magazine editor. Like many other women I meet in this industry, from a very young age I was obsessively collecting my favourite publications. I pored over them with real intensity, acting as if they were a map on how to break into this notoriously competitive industry.

All I really wanted was to work in editorial, but I took a few different paths to get here (hello, I have a theatre degree). But now I’m in the latter half of my twenties and have landed a role that is pretty much perfect for me in many ways.


For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.


I get to spend my days writing and editing content that makes people feel seen and understood, like sex-positive features and stories about mental health and body image. I trial beauty products and vibrators (still a dream come true tbh), and, of course, get to talk on and on about all things fashion.

Here at Fashion Journal, we have a particular focus on Australian fashion – and why wouldn’t we? Our industry is overflowing with incredible talent, and shopping locally is becoming increasingly important to those of us who are trying to shop more consciously.

As we’re an official media partner of Melbourne Fashion Week (M/FW), I had the very fun – and very busy – job of recording my week as an editor attending shows. Below is a glimpse into the last week of my life, from necking champagnes in the VIP lounge to almost having a stress-related panic attack (more on that later).

Opening day and night

Here I am with Giulia, our Managing Editor, waiting for the Secret Garden Runway to start. A few months ago I discovered the time-saving hack that is a slicked-back bun. Suffice to say, I wore one every day of fashion week.

I wore my housemate’s Frisson Knit (I’m obsessed) and a pair of gifted glasses from one of my favourite Australian eyewear labels, Raie. The long hours are worth it when you receive something like this in the mail!

The show was beautiful, and there was breakfast provided – I treated myself to a few early morning champagnes and some amazing chia pudding type thing. My role at these types of events is to capture content for our socials and I suppose to do a little networking (when you’re as out of practice at socialising as us Melburnians, the bubbles help ease you into it).

Post-show, it was straight into an Uber and back to the office to pack my usual day into a much shorter one. As a media partner of M/FW, we had an agreed-upon amount of editorial coverage that was rolling out over the week, so I was getting the day’s content live and checking in with our writers on where they were at with their respective stories. Later that day, I rushed home to get ready for opening night.

I flew around my bedroom frantically before landing on the first outfit I tried on (of course). I chose a With Jean corset, a Jil Sander blazer and pants and heels from one of my favourite consignment stores, Goodbyes. Here I am enjoying the spoils of the VIP lounge (aka necking some champagne with Giulia and Fashion Journal’s Account Manager Ella because we arrived late and had to rush to the show).

The opening night runway, styled by the brilliant Deni Todorović, was one of the most joyous shows I’ve ever been to. As it was held during Trans Awareness Week, Deni and the M/FW organisers wanted to ensure the show championed inclusivity and diversity.

To me, it felt like a real celebration of diversity in its many forms, and despite what some publications are suggesting, everyone I spoke to left the show filled with joy. Deni nailed it.

Midweek

Lots of events happened during the week, but the one commonality was me rushing around and frantically catching Ubers. On Tuesday, I went with Ella to the Federation Square runway. Styled by Yorta Yorta man Rhys Ripper, it showcased some of the best in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander design and was an absolute pleasure to take in.

Later that night, Ella and I attended one of our favourite events – the Fashion x Art exhibition at the NGV. We captured a very sleek photo dump from the night on the Fashion Journal Instagram which you can see here. Below is a photo Ella captured of me engrossed in my phone, probably uploading an Instagram Story. I’m wearing my Jil Sander blazer with my Friends with Frank linen wide-leg pants (these two items were the real MVPs of the week for me, outfit wise).

And now for a quick reality check. Fashion week is not all glamour and free bubbles when you’re an editor – sometimes it’s scoffing KFC at 10pm because you haven’t eaten since midday and feel like you’ve been run over.

On Wednesday night it was the Aquarium Runway. In terms of venues, it really took the cake for me. I felt that FJ favourites Sister Studios, Arnsdorf and Grace Lillian Lee were the standouts of the night.

Once again I went with my trusty comrade Ella. She supposedly saw two fish mating while watching the models walk down the runway, so that added a little extra to the show. I wore a green knit dress by the Australian label Arthur Apparel and a mask by E Nolan, and everything else was vintage.

It’s panel time

This was my first year being asked to host a panel at fashion week and to say I was nervous would be the understatement of the bloody century. As a pretty anxious person, I was practically having a panic attack at the thought of having to navigate a complex conversation on, of all things, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and online identity.

As a digital editor, the online identity part didn’t intimidate me too much, but I was losing sleep over NFTs and worried I would struggle to guide the conversation in a useful and interesting way. But I’m all about exposure therapy, so I committed myself to learn as much as I could, and did some practise run-throughs with a few of my very patient (and very brilliant) friends.

As it turns out, the age-old advice about great things happening when you put yourself out of your comfort zone is true. The panel went smoothly, and surprisingly, I really enjoyed myself. I learnt so much from the panellists, and have a newfound appreciation for NFTs.

Not that an outfit matters that much when you’re only being viewed from the shoulders up, but I wore a button-up lavender and white gingham number from Melbourne label Permanent Vacation. At the last minute I decided to slick my hair back (what was I thinking attempting my first ever panel sans a slick bun??).

This positive panel experience reminded me why I enjoy interviewing (you don’t get to do too much of it once you’re an editor), and it’s an exciting avenue for me to explore now and then in my role. I guess I love panels?

Closing night

There were a few shows I couldn’t attend, but our amazing editorial assistant Izzy went in my place and captured content for our socials. She said the Student Collections Runway was a real highlight, and after looking at everyone’s coverage I’d be inclined to agree. Alas, you can’t attend everything or you would run yourself right into the ground and be surviving on a diet of bubbles and KFC (see above).

The closing night of M/FW was Sunday, and I wore a dress I’ve been salivating over since I saw it in Suku Home’s lookbook for its new collection, Utopia. Suku Home has long been one of my favourite local brands, and I’ve worn it to other fashion events before. I layered it over vintage pants because I’ve always had a penchant for dresses over pants.

Izzy came along with me, and we got this somewhat unflattering and poorly lit photo at the media wall, something we both usually avoid like the plague. The show featured some stalwarts of Australian fashion, like Scanlan Theodore and Bianca Spender, and there were a few very good suiting moments.

We wrapped up the evening by hanging out in the VIP lounge for quite a while. In what appears to be a common theme of the week, we threw back some champagne and canapes. We had an intense but enjoyable conversation with someone at our table about how disappointing men are and why we shouldn’t bother getting married. I concur. All in all, an excellent end to a very tiring, but very fun week.

You can read more about the week that was on M/FW’s website.

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