So on Friday 8th of March (International Women's day for those of you who weren't aware- fun fact for the day), I went to the 'Masters & Apprentices' runway show as part of the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festivals cultural program for 2013. The Australian Academy of Design invited 6 top fashion design students and recent graduates to participate in the show, as both homage to the Australian fashion icons that have mentored them and a departure point for their new directions in fashion. The six interns were drawn from the following fashion elites; starting with the names of the interns, there was Carly Harman for Alex Perry, Samantha Tibbles for Anna Campbell, Paige Carroll for Mariana Hardwick, Michelle Catling for Nevenka, Joseph Jang for Yeojin Bae and last but definitely not least Melita De Jong for my sisters label LifeWithBird (designed by my sister Bridget McCall/ Messner and husband Nicholas Van Messner).
Annie Cabral, the Creative Director gave a welcome speech and then introduced Alex Perry, who was a guest speaker at the event and welcomed all of us with a speech about how amazingly talented these six students are, and how hard each of them have worked to get to where they are today. He mentioned how although the fashion industry is seen as glamourous, it really is only a small percent as the hard work that goes into producing collections can, and often does result in blood, sweat and tears. Funnily enough, he talked about how in his office, he loves to swear and it is a second language that is spoken when things are stressful and full on (which is pretty much all the time). Anyway, it was a great introduction which had us all laughing and excited for the show while taking our minds off the fact it felt like we were all sitting in an oven, roasting. It was such a hot night (still about 30 plus degrees at 8:30pm), that we were all very anxious for the show to get under way.
The fashion industry is one of the toughest industries to succeed in and only a small minority of designers can claim they have 'made it,' and make a comfortable living from it. While some designers are lucky enough to get their labels started with great opportunities, the generosity of great fashion mentors can provide new and emerging Australian designers the opportunity to learn a great deal from their talent and experience. The 'Masters & Apprentices' runway demonstrated the result of the students raw potential, teamed with the leading Australian designers experience and flair to produce some truly amazing results. The six recent graduates presented to us, showcased the fruits of their learning in a successful and inspiring runway show that left me excited for our young and upcoming talented Australian designers.
The runway took place at the Academy of Design in Ingles street, Port Melbourne, which is an amazing and beautiful building and was filled with fashion and creativity- it was so inspiring to be able to walk around and check out all the amazing work on display. From sculptures, to photographs to stunning designs by the mentors, the night, was in my mind a complete success. We were welcomed with drinks of champagne, wine, beer (or in my case strawberry & pear cider- so good!), canapés and there was an amazing group of three girls, two singers and one on the keyboard, singing cover songs such as Alicia Keys 'New York.' The girls had such powerful, mesmerising voices- they gave me goose bumps!
The show went really well with each student showcasing between four and six outfits (I got a little confused at one point, but pretty sure thats how it went!?). Of course I loved Melita's (from Life With Bird) designs, as although I may be bias- it is one of my favourite labels! You could see that each of the interns had hints of their mentors looks in their designs which isn't surprising as some of the internships went for a period of 6 months. I also loved Michelle Catling (Nevenka's intern) and then Calry Harman from Alex Perry was extremely impressive. There were a few pieces that were a bit too cheeky and a little too sheer, but at the end of the day, we were at a runway show, and as it goes- the designers don't plan or intend for whats on the runway to convert straight onto a look that is to be worn on the street. There is supposed to be that WOW factor, something that catches your eye and stays in your mind after the show has finished. Well it worked! All in all I was very impressed and won't be surprised if each of the six go on to have very successful careers in the industry.
At the end of the night we received amazing gift bags sponsored by Grossi filled with Phillips headphones, Grossi spice mix, Klara mineral foundation and a beautiful pen by Zetta Florence. Then on departure we were also given a cute little box from 'Little Bertha' with cupcakes, meringues, gingerbread biscuits and a 'to die for' chocolate brownie inside! Every sweet was mouth watering and I pretty much inhaled them.
As we were walking past Alex Perry I just had to ask for a photo, thinking it probably wouldn't happen. He'd been getting hounded for a good 15 minutes for photos from the minute the runway finished and was in the hallway on his way out. I said, 'Alex can we please take a quick photo,' and little do you know, he turns around! So Sandra's holding her iPhone and I'm thinking we need a shot with the three of us, so I'm looking around and say 'I need someone to take it.' Alex grabs the phone off Sandra, flips the screen view so its facing us and takes a SELFIE!! He was in the middle with Sandra and I on either side and the first photo was a tiny bit blurry, so he took another! Funniest moment and totally unexpected.. We had photographers behind us taking photos of it. What a legend. It was so hot as well and we were all crowded in the hallway trying to shuffle out. Anyway, love a team player and my opinion of him has just gone up!
So here are some photos from the night below. I hope you enjoy (The last photo is really blurry but just had to include it anyway!!) xx