MBFWA 2016 – The Round Up

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Shows, viewings, meetings, launches… MBFWA 2016 was one of the busiest weeks of fashion that I have ever experienced

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It may have wrapped up more than an entire week ago, but the social media world isn’t ready to forget Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 just yet… which happens to work to my favour as I have only just finished editing all of my images ready for a little debrief on the week that was.

MBFWA, where do I start?!

If I am to be completely honest with you, it was an absolute rollercoaster of emotions. The lead up to MBFWA was full of excitement, then panic when I started to look at the number of invites I had compared to the incredible number of shows there were (which, upon reflection, was ridiculous because any more shows and I don’t know how I would have done it). I worked myself up into a ridiculous frenzy before I got on the plane (RE: leaving for near on 2 weeks, jumping head first into a foreign environment and all the other ridiculous thoughts one has in such a situation), shed some tears and then made myself physically ill by the time I got to Sydney. When the realisation of what you are about to do, off your own back as a l’il old Perth blogger, actually hits, it is pretty darn scary.

Feelings aside – because that is where they were thrown when I arrived to my first, half-empty show – the week wasn’t really as ‘big’ as I had envisaged it would be. Sure, it was busy and exhausting and exciting and fun, but for the most part, all the glitz and the glam that social media had me believe about MBFWA wasn’t there. My first MBFWA experience was Zhivago’s runway show, a local Perth label that I have seen change, grow and, to be honest, stagnate. Unfortunately the show was so empty (not an uncommon occurrence at the shows I was at), that Jenelle and I managed to score front row seats, which was the perfect vantage point for the gorgeous male dancers and cabaret singer pre-show. The runway show itself was a short 5-7 minutes of, well, pretty stock standard Zhivago to be honest. For my first encounter with MBFWA, it was a pretty lacklustre one – well, at least it was in comparison to all the ideas and images I had conjured up from watching it go on, year after year, via social media from Perth.

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The rest of the week went by in a blur of Uber rides, 5 minute shows with hour long delays, and a whole lot of extra meetings and showings.

Thanks to the blur, I can’t actually remember too many of the runway shows without prompts from my photos, but the ones that stick out clearly in my mind are House of Cannon, Kaliver and Monster Alphabets in the Next Gen show, and Dyspnea.

For Annie Cannon’s debut solo collection, House of Cannon was pretty spectacular. The colour, the print and the story behind her resort ’17 collection had me excited for every single piece that came down the runway. Who knew that billowing maxi dresses covered in a rainbow arrangement of match box cars could be so eye catching?! While the lines of the garments were relatively simple, the prints – and the refreshing sight of male garments – were what stole the show.

Dyspnea pretty much had me from the words ‘Doughnut Time and pink champagne’ typed on the invite. Their #girlboss studded show – including WA’s own Gabby Sullivan –  was the cutest darn princessy/etherial interactive show I had ever had the privilege of being a part of. For everyone that has only just recently jumped on the pink bandwagon, I challenge you to the pink of Dyspnea’s show. It was girly, embellished and out of this world, the sort of thing I expect from a show at MBFWA.

Outside of the labels mentioned, there was a lot of black, white, grey and blush on the runway (in the shows I attended anyway) – predictable and safe colours that didn’t really leave too much of an impression on me. If I can take anything from the shows, it would be that bell sleeves, neck ties and pleats aren’t going to be thrown out with last night’s leftovers!

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Off the runway, there was a whole lot more buzz too. It was interesting to see what everyone chose to wear (ahem, got given to wear by certain companies… let’s be real here) to the shows, and even more interesting to watch who the street style photographers chased down to shoot. While there was a lot of black, white and neutral on the runway (at the shows I got to see anyway), the street style scene was all about colour, embellishment and crazy. It was an interesting observation to make considering the labels that cater for your every day shopper seem to be pounding out a lot of neutrals at the moment.

It was a lot of fun spotting and even getting to chat to some of the people that I have been following for a long time, even if it was just a friendly, fleeting ‘hello’. There is nothing like a genuine, friendly personality that makes me want to support someone’s journey in the blogging industry even more. Unfortunately, I also copped the flip side of that and was also extremely let down that some people can be incredibly rude. Maybe it is the country in me, but if someone politely smiles and says hello to you, you do the same back… not turn around and pretend it didn’t happen.

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As a whole, the MBFWA 2016 experience was definitely a learning curve and an eye opener. I am glad to have been, to have seen, and to have worked out what to do differently next time. While what was on the runway is the primary reason to be there, I gained a lot from taking the time to meet and chat with people, observing everything that surrounds the shows themselves, and understanding what is actually happening in the industry over there on the other side of Australia. With the knowledge and experience I gained this year, I am ready for an even bigger and better week next year!

If you are thinking about heading over for MBFWA next year, do it. Outside of pretty garments and dramatised shows, there is a lot to be learned, especially for people living outside of the Sydney-Melbourne fashion hub.

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