This year for the first time I was lucky enough to attend a full week at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA), and what a week it was! For those of you who follow us on Instagram, FB and Snapchat, you would have seen some of our coverage of the shows and events. But there’s a whole lot more to fashion week than that.
Fashion week is an industry event that gives fashion designers a chance to showcase their next season collection to buyers and the media before it goes into production. This gives the buyers and media a first hand glimpse at what trends will be coming through, what direction labels are going to take and a chance to find new and emerging designers. It also gives designers a chance to find out what does/doesn't work and provides them the opportunity to seek new stockists and vice versa. The fashion industry works a season ahead of real time and this year designers were showcasing their Resort collections (also known as High Summer).
Designers don't put a collection into production until after orders are placed and they know how much they need to produce. This is a safeguard so they don't spend a heap of money producing a collection that no one buys. It also means that when the product hits the shelf customers and retailers know it isn't mass produced and going to be flooding the streets. Which also means the pieces always feel a little special!
Who gets to go and how?
Unfortunately fashion week isn't something you can just buy tickets to. There’s a process of applying, getting approved and then getting invited. Registration opens up a couple months before the event takes place. When you register you have to provide details such as what company you work for, what it does, your position and prove the legitimacy for your work.
Once your registration is approved, your details go into a central database. From this database designers and fashion houses decide whom they want to invite to their show and send invitations. Then comes the all-important seating allocation, which is definitely hierarchical. VIP's always get the front row seats and it filters back in order of importance.
Does anything else happen besides from fashion shows?
Besides from fashion shows, designers also hold collection showings. This is where the brand invite buyers, stylists or media to meet with them one on one to have a closer look at the collection and discuss the option of working together. A handful of seminars also take place throughout the week featuring industry leaders and cover topics such as, winning formulas in the retail industry, technology and the future of fashion.
What did my days at fashion week look like?
While fashion week is glamorous, exciting and gave me a week in Sydney away from the store. It unfortunately didn't mean I was on holidays. There was after all, still a business back home in full operation! I'm lucky though that I have amazing staff that can run the shop for me. I also have a boyfriend who lives in Sydney, which meant accommodation and all the homely additions made it easy for me to juggle real life and fashion week life.
So for all who are interested, below is an example of what one of my days at #mbfwa this year looked like…
Monday 16th May
6am - Wake up for an early morning gym session with Jordan. I’m usually more of an afternoon gym goer, but I know my day isn't going to finish until late, so it's the only chance I have.
7.00am - Shower, breakfast hair and makeup - totes organised and ready for the day.
8.00am - OH MY GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR!? Besides the fact that I set up a spare clothing rail in Jordan's room and prepared all my outfits for the week the night before, I suddenly don't feel like wearing them. So ‘do I wear tomorrow’s outfit today? It’s not ironed yet! Do I have time to iron it?’ …I start pulling outfits on and off and sending pics to Gerard. I then quickly iron my shirt and wear tomorrow's outfit today. (This is why I never plan my outfits ahead. I’m such a mood dresser!)
9.00am - Great, now I'm running late! I don't have time to drive to Carriageworks because I have no idea how long it’ll take me to find a park so I book an Uber.
9.30am - I arrive at Carriageworks to a bunch of photographers snapping street style. Are they taking a picture of me? Or the person behind me? Do I stop and pose or keep walking and act natural? Keep walking and act natural - it’s probably not even my picture they are taking. I find Gerard at the entrance to Carriageworks and we go line up at registration to get our passes.
10.00am - The first show is supposed to be starting, but we're still stuck in line waiting for our passes, along with many others. It looks like the show isn't going to be on time.
10.30am - Finally have our passes, make our way to the runway and take our seats ready to watch Ginger and Smart.
11.00am - After the show I finally get a chance to grab my first coffee for the day! Then I start making my way over to the next show, Georgia Alice, when a bunch of photographers start snapping away like crazy. For a moment I think they’re snapping me, until I turn around and realise Christine Centenera is walking right behind me... naturally, my heart skips a beat and I have a total fan girl moment.
11.30am - While waiting for Georgia Alice to start the lady sitting next to me asks where my top is from (it’s Georgia Alice!) I tell her it’s from my boutique Rebel Muse. She replies "Oh I've bought two Macgraw tops from your online store. I love them so much!" We get chatting and I find out she is a blogger/creative director with a huge following. I can't stop smiling. Georgia Alice show starts and turns out to be one of my favourite of the week!
12.00pm - Grab Gerard and jump in an Uber to Rosebery for the Lofft Agency showings. The cab ride gives me a chance to reply to emails and check in on the store.
12.30pm - We get to the showing. Here we view the resort collections for Acler, Third Form, Pfeiffer, Dylan Kain and 66th The Label.
1.30pm - Finish at the showing and we are STARVING! We walk to a nearby café, scoff down a delicious meal and I get a chance to call the shop and check in with how the day is going. I also call Simon (my accountant) back so he can remind me that my BAS is due.
3.00pm - Catch an Uber back to Carriageworks for the Misha Collection show featuring Bella Hadid. Am running late. Luckily the show is running late too.
3.30pm - See Bella Hadid walk for Misha Collection. After the show Gerard calls it a day and leaves me to my own.
4.00pm - Head over to the Rebecca Valance show. I’m seated in the second row directly behind Tash Sefton and Elle Ferguson. People keep coming over to take their picture and I'm awkwardly in the background not knowing where to look.
4.30pm - Rebecca Vallance show starts.
5.00pm - I don't have another show to attend until 7pm. So I make myself comfortable in the Tempus Two Recharge Lounge where they have a phone charging dock! I get to recharge my phone and connect onto the wifi. Now I get a chance to do the wages and finish off my BAS paperwork to send to Simon
7.20pm - Head into the Zhivago show, because surprise surprise, the show is running late. While I'm waiting, I start chatting to a few Sydney based bloggers. Zhivago show is entertaining and interesting, but doesn’t knock my socks off.
8.00pm - All my shows are done and dusted for the day. Book my Uber and leave Carriageworks to one last flurry of camera snaps from the remaining street style photographers.
8.30pm - Home again to my man and a home cooked meal. My gosh I’m a lucky girl. A few more emails to finish off the day and in bed by 10.30pm. Ready to do it all again tomorrow!
WHAT I WORE
Shop my looks from MBFWA below...
Ashby Pleat Top by Acler - $379 - Yes technically its a top, but i'm short so can get away with wearing it as a dress. Can be worn over skinny jeans, leather pants or denim cut off shorts.
Images: Gerard Wilton and Ashley Syne from Syne of Style and Britney King; Words: Alicia Xyrakis.
Tell us have you ever been to #mbfwa? What was your experience like?