Please stop wearing evening dresses to fashion week

Words by Bianca O'Neill

Illustration by TwylaMae

Just don’t…

I’ve been to a few fashion weeks over the years, but there is one thing I will never understand about people attending: why on earth they are wearing evening dresses to an industry event.

If you’re one of the people yelling HOLD ON IT’S A FORMAL EVENT at the computer right now, then you are part of the problem. Sorry about that… but it’s true.

Fashion week is not a school formal. It’s not a party. And it’s certainly not a wedding – so there’s absolutely no reason to bust out that bridesmaid’s dress you were forced to buy in order to get its cost-per-wear up.

Admittedly fashion week has changed over the years; once a closed event for industry attendees, buyers and media, the runway was an exclusive showing of a designer’s vision for the future. It was basically a corporate conference – albeit with free-flowing champagne and a few famous people.

These days many fashion week events sell tickets – particularly in Melbourne where you can purchase a front row ticket at VAMFF or Melbourne Fashion Week. And look, that’s fine – why not bring the fashion to the people who are going to buy it? God knows the bloggers aren’t buying anything…

The only issue with the masses attending fashion week is the complete misunderstanding of what the event represents. This is the culmination of a designer’s creative vision – a display of their creative talent on show for media, retailers and punters alike.

And with that privilege – the privilege of viewing pretty things while sipping on Moet and snapping a few Instas – comes a responsibility to understand what the event actually is.

This is a place to be creative. This is a place to wear something you may not dare wear in real life. It’s a place to express who you are, as you attend a showcase of designers who are expressing who they are. It isn’t, however, a place to bust out a sparkly cocktail dress and heels. You just look like an idiot.

So if you’re the aforementioned person who yelled at the computer as an evening dress hangs in the background ready for tonight’s runway, heed my advice: check out what fash people wear to fashion week on Insta first. You’ll find jeans. You’ll find jumpers and sneakers. You’ll find minimal makeup and casual hair.

So tonight, dare to wear that crazy multi-coloured jumper with pom poms and fringing with a pair of Stans. But for God’s sake, please put the formal wear away.

Oh, and clap when you see something beautiful. It’s a sign of respect.

Follow Bianca’s fashion week journey at @_thesecondrow or listen to her podcast at @thefashionpodcast.

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