• Tess Shanahan

VAMFF 2016


Well, yesterday concluded the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival for 2016. A massive week, but what an amazing job everyone put together. This year the shows were held in the Royal Exhibition Centre in Melbourne, and the Melbourne Museum. A different spot to the previous location in the Docklands. The atmosphere was great with much more on offer, such as popup bars sponsored by Lavazza, Samsung, Asahi, Diesel and more. A sea of fashionistas, bloggers, designers and talent adorned the venues, the week was definitely a hit.

Showcasing many Australian designers, it’s hard to choose a favourite with so much talent on show. Alex Perry will always be right at the top of my list. His dresses are so elegant and fit the female body with perfection, hugging all the right areas. Carla Zampatti is another designer who always impresses me. Some other collections I admired included Bul, White Suede and Thurley. ‘I love Mr Mittens’ made me want to curl up in a little ball, their woollens are to die for. KingKang Chen also stood out. I love to see designers taking risks and doing something different, and these guys manage to keep their edge while being so effortlessly cool.

Jumpsuits are still a favourite for me, I’m obsessed when they’re floor length and loose. This show season we saw a lot of neck ties, tassels, flared pants and top arms, simplistic bold colours, with a few designers throwing in some defined print patterns.

There is definitely very little glamour about shows, except for the moment your make-ups done and your posing in an outfit by your favourite designer. But that’s where the buck stops. If you do multiple shows in one day, which most models do, your call times can be up to 12 hours each day for the whole week. Your skin is put under a lot of pressure, and your hair is strained, with the constant poking and prodding, and hair spray. With multiple rehearsals and outfit changes, it’s common to be exhausted, sore, and one of the worst problems… blisters! This year a blister of mine turned into a big open wound. By the end of the week I was limping, and even after five layers of tape and bandaids it wasn't enough to hide the blood coming through. Now it’s bruised and painful walk on. No shoes for me this week…! Hot! And these stories are common ones. One of my friends lost her toenail one year. Yes, it completely fell off. Another girlfriend is meeting a nerve specialist next week, as she has lost the entire sensation in one of her toes. Backstage definitely isn’t pretty!

On a slightly different topic, last week I was invited onto ‘The Spade’, a new podcast series started in Melbourne challenging some of the worlds biggest topics. It seemed fitting to chat about the fashion industry and body image leading up to the week, so make sure you check out my interview. Hear a bit about what goes on behind closed doors, and hear my perspective on body sizes in the industry. It can be a controversial topic, and I would love to hear what you have to think! Listen here.

It was great to be involved in yet another successful VAMFF. Make sure you check out all the pics on the offical website so you can see what’s coming up in fashion this season, and shop your favourite designers.


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