A Saturday night quaffing bubbles with a gorgeous ladyfriend, watching lines of gorgeous people strut their stuff on the catwalk to showcase awesome Aussie independent labels – and all in the name of charity, no less – is my idea of a great night out. So my plus one and I were feeling pretty lucky and more than a tad excited to be invited as VIPs to The Dress Collective runway for Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Offsite Runway series.
Held at the grungy industrial space 524 Flinders St, we were greeted by flashing lights as we posed for pictures on entry, before making a beeline for Clever Polly’s pop-up bar to grab a glass of sparking and pick the optimum place for people/outfit watching. And what a glorious array of styles there were, from the sleek and polished to the hipster messes and everything in between.
And now to the runway. Featuring only Australian-made fashion, there was an impressive range of new and established designers, offering up everything from skimpy swimwear to gothic-inspired pieces and loud unisex streetwear. My favourite was Letitia Green’s bright and colourful prints. Better still, her bold designs are all ethically made.
My plus one and I were also mightily impressed by the diverse range in the sizes and shapes of the beautiful models, nicely breaking the mould of the bog-standard waifs and thus making every piece seem more accessible to us mere mortals!
Best of all, we helped raised funds for the Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit facility for in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders. The night ended with us toddling off to debrief over another wine, holding goody bags bursting with treats of the beauty and style variety.
Claire Henderson is a passionate lover of food, fashion, and all things fun and fabulous.