With a very early start I was on my way to my first Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.
The flight to Melbourne I spent daydreaming and brainstorming my new business idea that I was hoping to find some clarity on whilst being inspired in Melbourne for a few days.
Finding my way to my hotel on Collins Street I dropped my bag and headed into the streets of Melbourne to absorb and enjoy as many of the Fashion Week offerings that I could.
My top 5 experiences while in Melbourne for the Spring Fashion Week
1. Seminars at the RMIT Design Hub
I signed up for three seminars at the RMIT Design Hub. I can’t express enough just how amazing these seminars were. They were co-ordinated and presented by industry experts who were passionate in their field of specialty and that really shone through leaving me feeling totally inspired and energized to put what I had learnt into practice.
The first of the seminars that I attended was ‘Design Your Business’. This covered the essentials for the first stages of setting up a business. From Marketing and Social Media to Banking and Legal Matters and an insight from the legendary designer Dom Bagnato as to what you might encounter and what you need to know when starting and owning a fashion company. We also learnt about the new technology called Square. This is a new device, designed by the CEO from Twitter, which plugs into your smart phone or tablet at the counter or on the run and enables you to take payment for your product. We were also gifted with the book ‘Perception’ written by Franziska Iseli & Christo Hall which in four days of launching became the number #1 best seller on Amazon. Thanks guys!!
The second seminar I loved ‘The Power of Digital Communication’. The panel of experts discussed the advantages of social media today for growing your customer base and finding out where they hang out! We learnt about the excellent company Tribe which is has a new approach to marketing and growing your brand. In their words ‘Tribe is word of mouth marketing at scale’. So impressive and something I will be looking into!
My favourite of the seminars ‘Fashion Forward – Sustainable and Ethical Design’ was really encouraging and inspiring. The industry experts from GiDi Creative, Well Made Clothes, Ethical Clothing Australia, Vege Threads and Fashion Revolution are driven to help make changes in the way fashion is designed and produced now and in the future. Fashion, being the second most polluting industry in the world, needs to have regulations put in place to protect this world we live in today and to have a more thoughtful approach. This is something I am very passionate about so it all really resonated with me.
2. Dining in Melbourne
Before my seminar on day two I found this awesome café Hash Speciality Coffee & Roasters on Hardware St. Perfect to escape the noise of the city and to have a brunch meeting with myself over vegan French toast and tea.
I also had the privilege of meeting up with a friend of a friend, a fashion designer who lives and works in Melbourne, for dinner at Feast of Merit on Swan St in Richmond. I find it super interesting and inspiring meeting other designers and hearing of their career and life path and how they have enjoyed and endured the fashion industry. What better place to meet a friend than this cool restaurant which showcases locally sourced, sustainable and seasonal produce. Yum!!
3. Waste Not, Want Not
It was great to see the free exhibition Waste Not, Want Not on offer on Flinders Lane. I think that today more than ever it is so important to pay attention to anything that may enlighten you on sustainability and the impact that the fashion industry has on our planet every day. Although the exhibition was in a somewhat awkward location, and the exhibition was not as glamorous as some of its fellow exhibitions during the fashion week, it provided ideas by students on sustainability, recycling, upcycling and zero waste. All ideas that every designer should be thinking about today!
4. Vintage Shopping
Originally attracted to the area of Fitzroy to visit the Akira store on Gertrude Road, I was quick to learn that this area is also where I should be visiting for the impressive offer of Vintage stores. After my RMIT seminar I walked up to Fitzroy with excitement and anticipation at what I might find. I walked the block of Gertrude St, Smith St, Johnston St and Brunswick St. I was in my element!! Great vintage and retro stores with a really choice selection of products available!
I was also tipped off by a lovely lady I met at one of the seminars to visit the store Retro Star Vintage Clothing on Swanston St – Wow what a gem!!
All a must visit for vintage lovers!!!
5. The Creative Collection Exhibition
This free exhibition at the Melbourne town Hall showcased some of Melbourne’s creative gems and independent fashion designers and artists. Celebrating innovative designs and technical endeavours it was impressive to see this display and I left with the designer names Jason Grech, The Social Studio, Nixi Killick & Di$count Universe running through my head!!
Overall, the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2016 did exactly what I sought it out to do. It inspired, invigorated and focused me and gave me clarity!!
See you next year Melbourne, if not before!!