In just a few short weeks we will find ourselves, yet again, ready for VAMFF. The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is Australia’s largest fashion event and kicks off on March 1st this year. It will provide ten action-packed days of fashion, entertainment, workshops, forums and also the Australian Fashion Summit. The festival celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016 and has grown exponentially since its inception in 1997.
At its heart, VAMFF is a not-for-profit consumer fashion event dedicated to celebrating and amplifying established and emerging designers. Principally partnering with Virgin Australia, VAMFF has an array of notable partners including Mercedes Benz, Elle, Bazaar and Vogue.
Whilst the festival celebrates fashion and loves luxury, the runways themselves are designed to be accessible for all, with attendance being completely open to the public.
VAMFF is also known as being somewhat of a pioneer to the “see now, buy now” fashion show mentality, meaning everything you see is available for sale. This trend has since been favoured by other shows and brands including Tommy Hilfiger.
Featured Runways this year start off on March 3rd with Gorman celebrating 10 years of collaborating with other Australian designers. This is followed by the gala runways, the menswear runway and grand showcase, and national graduate showcase.
The event also features an independent runway called ‘Connection to Country’ which celebrates the top Indigenous fashion designers not just from Australia but worldwide. The designers also collaborate with artists and musicians to create a full and immersive reflection of their pieces.
The runways of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival are held in the Royal Exhibition Building with an abundance of other events happening around it.
Also a huge part of the festival is The Plaza which is the Festival Hub and again open to the public. The Plaza is a lively area of pop up bars, delicious food, runways, fashion exchanges and workshops. It is also the site of the Plaza Block Party hosted on March 9th and boasts live music, activities that the whole family can take part in and best of all, the Global Fashion Exchange where you can swap and repurpose your wardrobe.
This year, the Australian Fashion Summit will be making its inaugural appearance and is launching on International Women’s Day, March 8th. This summit is an all-day event intended to support, educate and create opportunities for industry business professionals or those aspiring to be one.
The event itself comes right after the International Women’s Day Breakfast and you can attend these events by purchasing a bundle ticket, or single tickets if you prefer. The Summit’s keynote speakers are Ashley Graham and Christina Dean and there is no shortage of local and international professional talent and entrepreneurs to fill the rest of the day.
Staying on top of everything that’s going on can be a huge task with so many exciting events on offer but there is a way to fix that by becoming a member of VAMFF. Being a member means you’ll never miss a beat. A membership allows you a chance to get pre-sale tickets, priority lane access, and of course, special ticket and partner offers. Best of all, becoming a member is simple, fast and free; just head to the website and register.
Opportunities to get further involved in VAMFF exist for everyone. If you are just looking to get up close and personal with the event you can volunteer there, or if you want to become involved in a business sense you can come on board as a sponsoring partner. The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is all-inclusive and welcomes participants of all ages.
It also practices a Green Policy, focusing on sustainability, environmental responsibility and minimising waste. Not only is there something for everybody but it’s innovative and fun and making waves as a fashion event that is a little bit different and forward-thinking.