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Your comprehensive guide to PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival’s 2022 program

IMAGE VIA PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival

WORDS BY GENEVIEVE PHELAN

This year’s program is packed with must-see events.

It’s been a disjointed and at times turbulent summer. But if one thing ignites a sense of joy and possibility in a Fashion Journal reader, it’s a multifaceted 10-day extravaganza dedicated to clothing, design, people, diversity and creativity. 


Discover more up-and-coming local designers in our Fashion section. 


That’s right, Melbourne Fashion Festival is soon to grace Melbourne in a flurry of world-class runway productions and immersive activations from March 3 to 12. And as an official media partner of the Festival, we couldn’t be more excited.

It’s set to pull us out of a collective malaise, putting an end to our sartorial atrophy and the trail of missed events. From a food and music-filled immersive new Festival hub at our city’s centre to a wide-reaching swell of independent runways and exhibitions, see our guide to the 2022 program below. 

A new era, a new partner

The festival is reinvented this year in a union with PayPal, a global buy now, pay later leader. As the festival’s new naming rights partner, the iconic annual event will be known as PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival (PMFF) for the next three years. It also means we can shop the runway with ease by dividing purchases into four interest-free instalments with no late fees when buying from local fashion brands. Nice. 

A chic new home for the festival has been announced, as the ever-iconic Fed Square is primed to transform into a bustling Fashion District, complete with a pop-up Fashion Pavilion. The Festival’s epicentre will house fashion (of course), delicious morsels, tunes, and glamourous experiences, giving Melbourne a well-deserved shot of vivacity and life. To launch the Festival, a Welcome to Country Ceremony at Fed Square will officially signal a start to the festivities and is free for all to attend. 

The future of design, flourishing

A curated selection of emerging names in Australian fashion will be spotlighted at this year’s National Graduate Showcase (NGS), presented by Samsung Galaxy and supported by us here at Fashion Journal. The NGS is all about nurturing the next generation of Australia’s design prodigies. 

Our nation’s most talented fashion graduates will convene for a digital presentation of their collections in a showcase that has become renowned for unearthing new trends, refreshing takes and mediations on sustainability, aesthetic expression, and representation. 

Runway ready

Premium runway shows will feature across several cult Melbourne venues, with ACMI being host to many, in addition to the riotous atmosphere of Fed Square. The Gala Runway presented by David Jones will launch the Festival into takeoff, with an opulent and celebratory red carpet and runway show featuring the latest and greatest in garments.

Runway 5, also known as The First Nation’s Runway, is set to be a spectacular display of First Nations designers. Curated by First Nations creative director Rhys Ripper, the runway will be replete with ready-to-wear garments by Maara Collective, Ngali, Amber Days, Liandra Swim, Mgurri Miimi and Kirrikin. Ancient stories and history will mingle with contemporary fashion, encouraging us to consider the past and future of Australian fashion.

A special mention is needed for a must-see in our books: the Independent Runway, presented by Fashion Journal at Collingwood Yards. A flowing bar will lubricate the evening from 8pm, and the beloved arts precinct will play home to a string of independent labels and will be humming well into the night. Every ticket also comes with a bag of treats (which we all love), featuring products from the Festival’s partners, like Eleven and Lancôme.

Unmissably independent 

While the heart of Melbourne is enriched and enlivened, the Festival also pumps creative blood out around other parts of the city in a slate of independently-run events for its Independent Program. A sure-favourite is Thread Count, located at Collingwood Yards.

First Nations fibre artisans of the Top End pass on their ancestor’s stories and traditions, taking stage in a free (but impeccably rich) exhibition. There are many more where that came from, like a collaborative Sister Studios and Kannava Jewels one-off runway at Thornbury Bowls Club, in a summer’s sunset ode to La Dolce Vita.

Community-led boutique Error404 in North Fitzroy is inviting Melburnians to its place for an amalgamation of independent fashion and jewellery labels – like FJ favourites Moss Tunstall, Die Horny, Eethyn, Be Right Back, Metal Bender, Garage Bands and SGS Jewellery – under the one roof. All works will be exhibited via distinctive, dynamic installations, with creativity running rampant. This one’s another delightfully free event, but you’ll need to register your interest here. 

Cinema and fashion, screening at ACMI

Championing homegrown talent is something Fashion Journal and the Festival are inextricably bound by. We also believe in the art of occasionally getting really, really dressed up for things like, you know, the theatre. That’s why the Fashion Film Award is factored into this year’s proceedings – a cocktail-attire soirée-meets-screening, promoting the beautiful artistry of fashion via cinema. 

This red carpet event welcomes style savants and cinephiles to converge at the screen and the seam, revelling in the top 10 fashion films according to a diverse and highly-credentialed panel of industry judges. Where will it be screened? At Fed Square’s ACMI Cinema, of course.

Knockoff, it’s Fashion Weekend

You can thank the City of Melbourne for a mid-festival weekend dedicated to live stage events, real-time styling sessions, insightful panels, workshops, DJ sets and many other surprises. Fashion Weekend is underpinned by collaboration and showcases many of the communities, artforms and creatives that converge to create the Festival and propel the future of Australian fashion. 

To view PMFF’s full program, head here.

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