Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Australian Fashion Week: What’s Happening & How to Attend

Australian Fashion Week 2024

There’s not long to go now before Australian Fashion Week 2024 hits Sydney in May. The five day fashion extravaganza is always an exciting event to attend. While a few runways may be reserved for industry insiders, most these days are now also open to the public. Once the lineup has been announced tickets will become available for purchase online. They are highly sought after and many runway shows are known to sell out. It’s a great opportunity for those who love fashion to attend alongside those in the business. It’s always exciting to see the absolute latest collections of well established brands, as much as it is to see the creations of emerging designers and trends.

For anyone planning to attend from overseas, it’s worthwhile doing a little research in preparation. It may come as a surprise for those attending for the first time to discover that while smoking may still be a big thing in Europe and the US, matched or superceded by vaping, such practices are subject to regulations in public places in Australia. If you enjoy vaping, take a look at what nicotine prescriptions are required before you can legally enjoy a puff Down Under.

Australian Fashion Week
Image: Toah Heftiba, Unsplash

A Brief History of Australian Fashion Week

Australian Fashion Week started in 1996, founded by PR professional Simon Lock. The first major headline sponsor was Mercedes Benz before it was passed over to Rosemount Estate wineries in 2006. However, in 2011, the car manufacturer regained primary sponsorship, and the event was officially named Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia. It remained this way until 2020 when Afterpay secured top sponsorship, and the event was renamed to reflect the new backing.

Over the years, a number of eminent designer brands have showcased their latest creations at Australian Fashion Week including Oscar de la Renta, Chrisopher Esber, Carla Zampatti, Acler, Aje and Dion Lee.

Due to Australia’s geographical location and calendar timing, the event drew criticism in the past for being out of sync with the global fashion calendar. In 2015, the event was moved to May to become a showcase for resort wear, a much better fit for international buyers and the different cycle of seasons of the Northern Hemisphere. Australian Fashion Week was cancelled in 2020 due to the global pandemic.

For this year’s event Australia Fashion Week will be presented by Pandora, with Destination NSW as an official partner and Amercian Express as the official payment partner for what is an international trade event.

Who’s Showcasing This Year

The official schedule has not yet been released by event organisers. However, a handful of exciting clues have been released. Carla Zampatti will return to the event, closing out the first evening with a Resort 2025 collection from the brand’s creative director, Karlie Ungar.

Romance Was Born will debut a collection, while Acler will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a collection held on the Tuesday evening during the event week. Finally, event hosts Pandora will also host the closing show to wrap up the week.

Where It All Takes Place

As it has now been for many years, Sydney’s Carriageworks will remain the host location for fashion week, which will take place over five days from May 13-17. In addition, it has also become customary for a select number of designers to showcase their collections at off-site locations, such as the iconic Icebergs at Bondi Beach, though most runways will be held at Carriageworks.

Positive Changes

While Australian Fashion Week 2024 will largely follow the format of previous events, fundamental changes have been announced that will enhance inclusivity and accessibility. For the first time, designer fees have been waived for participants so that the previously existing financial barrier for smaller designers in the past. Instead, many emerging and smaller designers will be invited to present their collections throughout the week.

Additionally, DHL will present Australian Fashion Week’s Next Gen program, which has become arguable the most popular runway of the annual event. A prize of up to $100,000 will be awarded to four up-and-coming designers who present their work in the program.

How to Attend Australian Fashion Week 2024

Fashion weeks around the world are traditionally attended by the biggest names in the industry. But for regular fashion-loving folks, participating in these exclusive fashion events can seem like an exciting once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The good news is that fashion lovers who wouldn’t normally be invited to attend exclusive fashion events how have the opportunity to select runways of interest and take their place alongside industry heavyweight to view the collections.

If you’d like to attend Australian Fashion Week 2024, tickets will be available per runway via the Australian Fashion Week website. Expect to see the works of Michael Lo Sordo, Erik Yvon, Karla Spetic, Cue, Wackie Ju, NextGen, We Wear Australian X Afterpay and David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway, to name a few.

Attend Panels & Workshops

Suppose you are not able to secure your ticket in time for a runway. In that case, the event also offers a selection of interesting and exciting curated conversations, panels and special events to attend and enjoy.

Such events include Gender Diversity and the Fashion Industry with Jackie Wu, Club Culture and Fashion with Byron Spencer and Jonny Seymour, Sustainability and Industry 4.0, and a make-up master class, amongst others.

Australian Fashion Week
Image: Highlight ID, Unsplash

Pop-Up Bars

The various pop-up bars held across the event are open to the general public. They are a fantastic way to spot some of the best in chic street style, celebrities and fashion influencers without having to secure your spot at a show.

The Glenfiddich Valley of the Deer Disco and Bar will be open from 3-10pm from 15-19 May. Enjoy delicious cocktails and DJ sets in a converted 1972 Leyland Vintage Bus. Alternatively, the Hendrick’s Gin Parlour is open from 9-11am from 15-18 May, offering an array of gin cocktails with vinyl disks and a Michael Lo Sordo anniversary collection on display.

Featured Image: Malicki M Besser, Unsplash

To see our coverage of street style fashion (what people wore to) Australian Fashion Week last year, see: Afterpay Australian Fashion Week.

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