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This year’s Melbourne Fashion Week will be entirely digital, accessible to all Australians and free

WORDS BY MAGGIE ZHOU

Only Melbourne designers will feature on the lineup, with each encouraged to showcase timeless pieces over seasonal collections.

Cancelled shows, cancelled orders and cancelled plans have coloured this Black Mirror episode that is 2020. And for those in Melbourne, it feels particularly unsurprising when another event meets the same end.

Melbourne Fashion Week (MFW) is proving why it’s one of the country’s leading fashion events, announcing shortly after yesterday’s press conference that it will be moving ahead for 2020, albeit with an amended program.

From November 23 to 29, MFW will reimagine itself for the online sphere, with its beloved runways and talks turning digital. If COVID allows, there will be in-person activations and pop ups across Melbourne.

In an astounding MFW first, all programs and events are 100 per cent free. While fashion weeks are notoriously exclusive, MFW is flipping the system on its head and championing accessibility, regardless of location or financial standings.

There’ll be more than 20 runways featuring an entirely Melbourne-based designer lineup, as well as live MFW Conversations with industry leaders.

As a continuing advocate of sustainability, MFW has amended its protocol so designers aren’t required to showcase new Spring/Summer collections. In fact, they have been encouraged to show timeless and classic pieces with a commitment to sustainability. This comes into effect after thousands of industry leaders have called to dismantle traditional fashion calendars, with Gucci one of the names who has announced its going seasonless.

Above all, MFW is especially committed to supporting local retail, fashion and hospitality industries. Lord Major Sally Capp acknowledges just how crucial this is.

“Melbourne is renowned for its creativity and style and we want to use this event to showcase our incredible talent and encourage people to support local,” Capp says. “Our retail sector usually employs more than 21,000 people and contributes $2.17 billion to the City of Melbourne’s economy every year. Fashion plays a major role in that and we’re focusing this year’s event on helping the sector and getting our city get back on its feet with safety as our priority.”

Keep an eye out for themed Fashion Capsules and shop window installations hitting the city from Monday October 26. Made in collaboration with local creatives, MFW pledges to continue supporting Melbourne’s breadth of emerging and aspiring talent, everyone from students to established designers.

MFW has been a proud partner of Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out since 2015. This year, it has been rebranded to Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night In. From Thursday October 22 to Sunday November 1, they’ll be various online events and offers, ready to be nabbed through your nearest digital device.

This Melbourne Fashion Week may look different, but more than ever, it is critical we rally around our Melbourne creatives and businesses.

mfw.melbourne.vic.gov.au

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