L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Diary 2012

The LMFF 2012 Runway at Docklands, Melbourne.

What better way to spend a weekend than with some good friends, good food and most of all, good fashion? When talk of a girls weekend away developed that happened to co-inside with one of Australia’s premier fashion festivals, I couldn’t quite contain my excitement. In recent years, the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival has emerged as not only a chance for consumers to attend world class runway shows, but as a full blown cultural event celebrating all things fashion and fancy.

Credit card crunch.

Hoping straight off my flight into a cab, I raced to a meeting with the Topshop team who showed me around their impressive Chapel St store and talked me through their latest ranges. Think scuba skate chic with lots of interesting textures and impressive prints. A sneak peek inside their personal shopping suite made me reconsider the way I shop…chaise lounges, personal stylist and the odd champagne and macaroon? Heaven.

Mania Mania ring.

After an early nights rest I went to meet my girlfriends at our Melbourne CBD hotel before devouring a delicious breakfast on Flinder’s Lane. One obviously needs all the shopping sustenance one can when it comes to this city. Stopping in to my favourite Melbourne boutique Green With Envy, had me, well, just that.With an impressive edit of top Australian designer labels like Ellery, ManiaMania and Camilla & Marc, it’s definitely a store to visit.

With outfits sorted we made our way down to Docklands, the harbour side home of LMFF. The setting sun was only outdone by the hoards of mingling fashion folk checking out each others street style best- think lot’s of brights, minimal shoes and patterned pants. After taking our seats, the Instyle L’Oreal Paris Runway began.

Long and lean shapes at Thurley.

Elegant shapes and lean silhouettes filtered through each collection, as top designer wears from the likes of Carla Zampatti, Thurley and Bianca Spender made their way down the catwalk. Interesting textures (think silver foiling on white lace by Jayson Brunsdon) and surprising colour blocking (maroon and grey by Yeojin Bae) added edge to an overall polished and grown up vibe. Australian catwalk favourites Louise Van De Vorst and Rachel Grasso strutted to perfectly selected electronic beats by Oliver Tank and Kavinsky.

Making our way through the swarm of post show street style snappers, we made it to our delicious banquet dinner at popular restaurant Red Spice Road, not before heading to carriage style venue The Toff for melon cocktails and a spot of dancing (alongside newly crowned LMFF Designer Award Winner Christopher Esber, no less).

Pizza and ciders at Little Creatures.

Why stop at only one jammed packed day of clothes and culinary delights? Sunday saw a vintage shopping blow out along trendy Brunswick St, followed by lunch and ciders at the relaxed Little Creatures Dining Hall. With endless boutiques, Brunswick St caters to those on the hunt for something a little different. Case in point, my tropical print shorts purchase. Did someone say Hawaiian holiday?

Gorman and Kuwaii on the LMFF runway, images here.

Sunday nights runway came alive once more with a collision of colour and texture. Presented by Frankie Magazine, the collection of designers looks were uniquely quirky yet undeniably cool. With clothes from off-beat Australian favourites like Gorman, Limedrop and Friend of Mine topped off with socks and sandals and floral headwear, consumers were given a clear message- this winter, anything goes.

The LMFF Front Row.

Being a public holiday in Melbourne on Monday, it was the perfect day to catch up on the LMFF Cultural program, with a stack of free fashion focussed events taking place around the city throughout the month of March. Our top exhibition picks? Be sure the check out Swinging: The Fashion Photography of Brian Duffy at the Sofitel Hotel and the Fashion Loves Art Loves Fashion exhibit at the Sophie Gannon Gallery in Richmond.

With more shows and events packed into the schedule before hauling my expanding suitcase back to Sydney, stayed tuned for LMFF 2012 part two…

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