Melbourne Fashion Week at Collins Place

By Jack Hayes

Melbourne Fashion Week (M/FW) returns for 2021 for a packed program featuring runways, pop-up experiences, industry talks, workshops, exhibitions and more. 

In a celebration of the city’s thriving fashion scene, its talented designers, much-loved retail spaces and creative community, Melbourne will come alive from November 15 to 21. 

This year, the event takes over multiple stand-out spaces across the entire city for runways – from the deep-sea corridors of Melbourne Aquarium to the dark underbelly of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, witness looks from much-loved designer favourites all to the backdrop of these unique venues.

Fashion Capsules return to the M/FW calendar bringing art and fashion together for this series of exhibitions, while free roving pop-up experiences will takeover city streets and laneways to offer an element of surprise, live performance and delight.

Historic Melbourne fashion destination, Collins Place will host a Fashion Capsule 4, inspired by Country and our rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island cultural heritage. 

The capsule will showcase works from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists, fashion designers and collaborating artists from around the country.  

It will feature work from Aunty Beverley Meldrum, Black Cat Couture in collaboration with Papulankutja Art Centre, Iluka Sax-Williams, Jalaru Photography, Moydra Designs, Ngali, Paul McCann and Tiwi Designs by Ossom and Wild Blak Arts.

Charlie Digby, founder of Melbourne fashion institution and long-time Collins Place tenant, Digbys, said the M/FW was an incredible opportunity for fashion designers from all corners or the state to show off their wares.

“It brings fashion to the fore. Every good city in the world has a major fashion event and Melbourne is the fashion capital of Australia,” Mr Digby said. 

“We have been involved under in varying capacities over the years. It is a great way to bring exposure to your brand and also the industry itself.”

Before founding his business almost 50 years ago, Mr Digby originally had his eyes set on a life in the hospitality industry while looking to purchase a pub, but when none were suitable, he pursued a career in fashion.

According to Mr Digby his business operates on a vertical model, meaning they manufacture and sell their own products in all three shops across, made 100 per cent in Australia from imported exclusive fabrics from Italy and France.

Although she will not be represented in this year’s festival, iconic Melbourne designer, founder of Feathers Boutique and another Collins Place fashion stalwart Margaret Porritt said the festival had a rich history in showcasing the latest trends and fashion must-haves for the seasons to come.

“We are always involved in the festival at some capacity, but in this unpredictable world at the moment, we’ve decided to hold off this year,” Ms Porritt said.

“I have been in this business for almost 50 years. Growing up immersed in the world of fashion admiring the talents of my milliner mother I naturally evolved into a creative field.”

“Fashion Week has always been a great opportunity to inspire and be inspired. I get my inspiration from the streets, I used to walk New York, Paris, Hong Kong, street style has always been my inspiration. Now I look to real women creating designs for all shapes and silhouettes.”

For more information, visit: mfw.melbourne.vic.gov.au. 

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