VAMFF Diary: David Jones Opening Runway

Note to self: wear clean clothes.

Ah, Fashion Week. The ol’ seven day slog. The week in which we run exclusively on caffeine and alcohol and both at once (thanks Lavazza). The week that sees us slap make-up on in the car and wonder just how the hell bloggers have time. 

It’s a love-hate relationship (mostly love) and it all kicked off last night.

The pre-show 

I rocked up in a dress that I wore a skirt because I couldn’t find the right bra and a top that was well overdue for a dry clean. Turns out it’s still really bright at 6:30pm so I told everyone that weird brown stain was from coffee I spilled this morning (‘how embarrassing! etc etc). 

I comforted myself and repeated my newfound mantra:
“I’m not a blogger. I don’t need to look good.”

I then felt totally validated when Street Smith ran over to take my photo. Like a normal person I smiled for the camera but no. She told me off. No smiles, I had to pose serious and walk candidly because #fashun.

I was also late (for a fashion show?) so was ushered inside pretty quickly, got in trouble again – this time for taking Snapchats (holla @fashionjournal) – and shown to my seat.


Note for anyone attending VAMFF this year. The Royal Exhibition Building is HOT. Yes, hot/beautiful like mine and Ryan Gosling’s future hot babies, but more to the point, hot like sweat. In fact, it was just like the sweat that was forming between my butt cheeks and apparently not forming on anyone else in that entire hall.

The show was the David Jones Runway presented by Vogue Australia which is one of my faves because:

  1. it’s opening night and everyone pulls out the big guns from their wardrobes
  2. everything on the runway is available in store, so it’s like one big shopping sesh

I can’t remember how many designers were showcased, but it was heaps. So I thought I’d review the runway in dot point format below. This is basically the notes from my phone so don’t judge.

Also there were so many labels maybe just scan to your faves? I dunno, it’s your time. But this is how it all went down. 

The Runway – Youth

The show was split into various categories with ‘Youth’ the first. Romance Was Born opened.

  • Romance Was Born: The runway kicked off with an all-black Romance Was Born number which was kind of surprising for the ultra-bold label (but also beautiful and very Melbourne). RWB has always teetered on the verge of wearable and a bit too artsy for me, but this was just right. The selection showed a restraint atypical of the label, but still in line with their vision and voice. Notes on my phone included “Versace vibes but yoga man print,” “Booooooooots” and “Feathers that look like a bald man has sewn hairs to his scalp but beautiful” …if that gives you any indication of how it went down.
  • Manning Cartell: Pieces showcased were nothing too innovative, all totally wearable and will sell out around June/July as school formal season hits. 
  • Alice McCall: This lady is killing it. She played with volume in the most refined, simple and elegant way. She’s learning restraint and it’s paying off.
  • Thurley: We’ve said this before, the current collection is like a fun game of spot the reference. You can pick a series of designers that have (prob) influenced this collection. This, in fashion, is not unheard of, but you still lose brownie points when it comes to reviews. In any case, Thurley is arguably doing lace better than Lover. CONTROVERSIAL, I know.
  • Calibre: Any label dressing men in that dusty rose/blush colour and an angora look sweater is a winner.
  • Bec & Bridge: Instantly wins points because Erin Wasson came out in a showstopper. She is a goddess. Wasson aside, Bec & Bridge is slowly killing it with its whole metallic/ ’70s vibe. The label has released similar collections for a while now and it just keeps on getting better. Arguably, some styles are a little too basic, but Bec & Bridge is and always has been a wearable brand at heart.
  • Camilla: Pretty sure every iPhone/ Samsung/Lenovo tablet went up at this point. This round saw architectural references emerge through prints and a stoney colour palette, complemented by more structured pieces. Well, structured for Camilla – a coat did feature.
  • Viktoria + Woods: This is a label that has its finger on the pulse, releasing trends at just the right time. Think oversized, cosy sweaters designed to be dressed up and all in very on trend tones.
  • Jac + Jack: Invest.
  • Bassike: Ditto. Shoutout in particular to a long sleeved maxi dress that looked so elegant despite its textured fabric and raw hemlines. How they stopped that looking like a sack, I have no idea. In other news, their men’s outerwear can only be described by this emoji. It’s simple, clean and the perfect shape. 

Side note: there’s a lady in the front row wearing her sunnies inside. YAS. So fashion.

The Runway – Denim

I’m going to tackle this section of the runway as a whole, just like DJs did. 

  • Denim: The offering can only be described as #ontrend with raw hems, cropped lengths and flares. Also every single denim jacket that came down that runway was perf.

Other side note: Sam Harris is so beautiful

The Runway – International Designers

Other other side note: I’m going to skip the International Designers because Aus talent > everyone else.

The Runway – Australian Designers

  • Camilla & Marc: Is it too bold to say this is their best collection yet? The duo has played with shape, layers and fabrics, and it’s all totally luxe and sleek. It’s oversized without being bulky and just flows like heaven on the models. I die.
  • Kitx: This woman understands lines, where they’re needed and how to make fabric flow. Everyone looks taller, longer and leaner in Kitx. As for this colleciton, it feels more luxe than her past drops; the colours are deeper and the fabrics are richer. 
  • Tome: Sorry, I’m biased. I love everything these guys do and couldn’t possibly give a fair review.
  • Willow: Unfortunately, Kit’s namesake brand (which she is no longer a part of) is not keeping pace with the woman herself. Kitx is innovative and exciting, while the Willow offering increasingly feels older and safer, not unlike my Mum.
  • Aurelio Costarella: Ugh, peplum. Still? Aurelio also delivered a men’s style suit which was styled with an undone bow tie and was all sorts of yes.
  • Christopher Esber: Usually one of my favourite designers, Christopher just didn’t deliver as I’d hoped. For a designer who made his name through skilled draping, sleek feminine lines and a finesse of simplicity, this was different. Usually Esber’s skill emerges in an undefineable way – there’s no focal point and that’s what makes him great. This time it all felt too obvious. Sorry Chris, I still love you.
  • Jack London: Any brand that can make sequinned blazers and velvet polkadots look incredibly wearable for men deserves a round of applause.


And now for the finale. 

There was a switch to ambient music for dramatic effect. Suspense built, Friend in Fashion took selfies with See Want Shop and Vydia, and the rest of us waited for Ellery.

You’ve probably all seen this collection by now, so I won’t go into it. But it was beautiful. Especially as confetti fell from the ceiling.

The show wrapped up and we weren’t sure whether to clap because what were we actually clapping? Applauding David Jones for being a great stockist? Yes? Well alright then.

I quickly left, but not before perving on the DOC antipasti board available on site.

Until tomorrow,

Giulia xoxo

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