Review: MSFW fashion show “Urban Bloom”

On a mild evening after work I was invited to the Melbourne Town Hall to experience a show of ‘ready to wear’ fashions as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW).  MSFW is truly an institution in Melbourne and helps to ensure the city shakes off a gloomy winter and prepares for a mild, colourful spring. I met a lovely group of ladies outside the Town Hall and we ascended the blue carpeted staircase, under an arch of beautiful fresh flowers and made our way to the VIP bar. I felt very special being in the VIP bar as we were in a very plush room, adorned with paintings of some of the previous Lord Mayors of Melbourne. I thoroughly enjoyed sipping on Campari and Tonic, some champagne and partaking in canapes while discussing all things spring, events, foodie destinations in the city and travel with my new friends. The VIP room quickly filled with fashion aficionados, sponsors and some special guests.

 After sharing plenty of laughs and stories, we all tottered down to the fashion runway area (not without quickly grabbing another glass of champagne on the way). I did feel very privileged to be in 4th row away from the runway – such a good spot for people  / model / fashion watching! Clutching our goodie bags (and champagne!) we all settled in for an exciting show. The runway itself was styled with large pastel paper flowers which I admired, as I make the same sort of flowers in my craft room (albeit on a much smaller scale).

 I was pleased that this runway show featured ‘ready to wear’ pieces, meaning that if I really liked a piece I could go out and find it at a store such as David Jones, or another well known store that carried the particular designer’s label / pieces. Over the evening we saw sweet, flowing and stylish outfits by designers and labels Kate Sylvester, Megan Park, Yeojin Bae, Alice McCall, Nevenka, Uma Wang By Cose Ipanema, Akira, and Romance Was Born at David Jones. Each label and designer had a different flair and emphasis for their set of outfits, with the models strutting to different pieces of music.

My favourite pieces included lacy dresses with frilly sleeves and ornate collars, some of which looked like they were right out of ‘Alice in Wonderland’; the use of large kimono like sashes on outfits by Akira; and a very ornate sequin and beaded jacket on one of the models. I’m sure you can spot that in my photos as that jacket was a real show stopper! Accessories differed wildly – I enjoyed the flat boater hats seen on many models, and one designer even matched their models with pieces of Australian flora (gum leaves and wattle sprigs).

 At the end of the show, all the models walked out in pairs (Noah’s Ark style!) and appeared on the runway, before walking single file right in front of the first row of seating, until they disappeared backstage again. This was a nice way to end a show, as I’ve never seen models walk off-catwalk / runway before, and this also granted us a closer glimpse of our favourite pieces. It was such an enjoyable night and I’m very grateful that I was granted the opportunity to attend the delights of the evening.

 Disclaimer: I attended this event as a guest of the InterContinental Hotel, Melbourne.

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