A fashion insider’s guide to MSFW

27 August 2015

Written by: Jordan Drummond

With Spring just around the corner, Melbourne’s fashion inclined are gearing up for a jam-packed week of style.

Beginning this Friday, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW) provides a full calendar of runways, pop-ups, workshops and industry events.

Director and head stylist of the Australian Style InstituteLauren Di Bartolo, tells upstart about the event.

“MSFW is a really exciting time in Melbourne. Although it’s not necessarily as prestigious as the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival that is held earlier in the year, it is a lot more accessible for those who aren’t maybe in the industry,” she says.

MSFW is a City of Melbourne initiative. It puts local Australian labels to show, as well as up and coming designers.

Final year fashion students from RMIT University, Whitehouse Institute of Fashion, Kangan Institute, Box Hill Institute, FashionMasters and Holmesglen Institute are given the opportunity to showcase their collections in the emerging runways.

“The emerging designer shows are a must see. I think it’s so important to support future talent and some of the pieces are phenomenal. You can really see all the work that has been put into the collections and it’s exciting to see where fashion design in Australia is going,” Di Bartolo says.

She also says that opening night is a must see.

“There’s always a bit of glitz and glam about the first night of MSFW. As a stylist, I love to people watch [and] what I really mean by that is outfit watch and opening night is definitely the place for that.”

For the first time in Melbourne, MSFW partner, Vogue, are bringing their Fashion Night Out event, which has only ever occurred in Sydney.

The event provides shoppers with special offers at retailers in Melbourne’s CBD, as well as free pop-up fashion runways.

“I will definitely be taking advantage of Vogue’s Fashion Night Out this year. It’s great that they have finally brought it to Melbourne given that we really are Australia’s fashion capital,” Di Bartolo says.

MSFW will also run many free events and exhibitions. Di Bartolo says anyone interested in fashion should attend.

“This is part of what I love about MSFW, you really don’t have to buy expensive tickets to be immersed in the fun of it. I have encouraged our styling students at Australian Style Institute to get to any of the free exhibitions they can because they’re great for inspiration,” she says.

“I’m particularly interested in the Creative Collective event. I’d love to pick up some unique, local pieces there.”

Di Bartolo says that men shouldn’t feel excluded from MSFW.

“I think it’s really important to not let men’s fashion fall by the way side in these fashion weeks. I know that in my industry I need to be on top of all the menswear trends so that I can better serve my male clients and students.”

The ‘Mr’ Runway on Thursday night will present the spring/summer trends for men this year.

MSFW will also be running DIY workshops on PR strategies and how to leverage your brand, for those looking to get into the industry.

“I would say even just take notice of the different street style that’s around next week and take some inspiration for yourself. Every fashionista and her Macbook Air is a blogger these days, so why not join the revolution?” Di Bartolo says.

For more information on MSFW visit their website. You can buy tickets to the event here.

upstart’s Culture & Lifestyle team will be profiling up and coming designers who will feature in a range of different events at MSFW. Stay tuned for these profiles in the coming week.


Jordan DrummondJordan Drummond is a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Journalism) student at La Trobe University. Follow her novice Twitter musings: @jordanmdrummond.