Mar 25

The 2021 Melbourne Fashion Festival

By Hannah Lafranchi, intern

As the 25th annual Melbourne Fashion Festival wraps for another year, we reflect on some unforgettable moments.

Spanning across 10 days, the 2021 Festival welcomed fashion, arts and ideas back to Melbourne, offering a hybrid of live and digital events.

Kicking off, the National Gallery of Victoria played host to the Gala Runway, presented by David Jones. One of Melbourne’s most iconic destinations set the stage whilst encapsulating the energy and excitement of the many fashion-lovers who were back at one of the first live fashion events since COVID. Friends of David Jones Victoria Lee, Tom Derickx and Cameron Stephens returned to the runway with guest guests viral sensations, The Inspired Unemployed and emerging talent Bella Thomas.  Special VIPs including Lara Worthington, Kate Waterhouse and Adam Goodes filled the FROW for the ’21 Autumn collection presentation from a range of local and international designers.

The Melbourne Fashion Festival continued to bring energy across the city with more live runways held in the NGV Great Hall, the State Library of Victoria and The Timber Yard. All attendees made the most of being back together, celebrating their mutual love for all things fashion and relishing the buzzing environment around them.

A Digital Runways Series allowed viewers worldwide to stream and support the revival of the Australian fashion industry, adapting to the current world climate. Melbourne’s quintessentially edgy style was captured in Runway 1, presented by QMS and Afterpay with the backdrop of Melbourne’s night city skyline on show, while whimsical scenes were shot in Redwood Forest for Runway 3, presented by Vogue Australia and Afterpay, as resort worthy looks were unveiled in Runway 5, presented by marie claire and Afterpay, filmed at URBNSURF, redefining the runway experience.

Runways weren’t the only element of the Festival this year as the much-loved Australian Fashion Summit made an online return, with an inspiring line up including Fashion Editor of The Age, Mel Singer; Vogue Editor, Edwina McCann; International Influencer, Bryanboy and Co-founder and Co-CEO of Afterpay, Nick Molnar, to name only a few. After a disruptive year, the summit challenged current business climates with innovative ideas to move forward.

Melbourne Fashion Festival has helped revive the fashion industry for a range of Australian and International designers while bringing back the much-loved and sorely missed atmosphere into the city.

Being an intern at this year’s Melbourne Fashion Festival was a real honour and privilege. Seeing first hand the passion and dedication that goes into each and every event was truly inspiring. Whether it was watching the Inspired Unemployed dance down the Gala runway at the National Gallery or taking in the pure sophistication and elegance of the Runway 4 at the State Library, the energy felt and memories captured exceeded all my expectations. It was a magical and unforgettable experience.


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