For the team at Cocktail Revolution, fashion festivals make for some of the most exciting and important events on our calendar.
With the global fashion week circuit coming under fire for being outdated and unsustainable, what does this mean for smaller fashion festivals within Australia?
The necessity and impact of traditional fashion shows has certainly diminished with the rise of digital platforms. However, we still think fashion festivals play an important role in supporting the industry on a local level.
Audience & Emerging Creatives
The exclusive vibe of the international fashion week circuit can leave fashion lovers outside of major cities feeling as though they’re not part of the community or conversation. Local fashion festivals provide an opportunity for local audiences to be part of the action instead.
Even for those who don’t have access to fashion shows in their city, honest and diverse coverage of fashion festivals is a great way for fashion fans to get a glimpse into the atmosphere of these events.
While many attendees are simply fans of fashion and design, others are looking for a way into the industry themselves. Attending and volunteering at fashion festivals is an excellent way to get insight into the industry and establish connections. For local photographers, stylists, models and more, fashion festivals and smaller runway events are often one of very few opportunities to connect with the industry without travelling far from home.
As for the designers who show their collections, fashion festivals offer a platform for retailers and potential customers to interact with their garments. While this model doesn’t necessarily reflect the way people buy clothes today, it can still play a major role in the evolution of a brand. A unique and successful runway show can generate buzz around a designer that manifests in a loyal local customer base and interest from retailers.
More than that, for designers who’ve got their websites ready to handle the buying frenzy that can come with a positive reaction to their runway showing at a larger fashion festival, garments can fly off the digital shelves immediately they’ve been shown.
A major attraction of any fashion festival is the student or emerging designer showcase. Usually, this involves current or graduate students from local design schools showing their collections. Without the pressure of creating garments that are likely to have commercial appeal, the designs are often the most original and captivating of the event. For student designers, showing their collections at a fashion festival can lead to collaborations with stylists and photographers as well as wider industry attention. Let’s not forget the importance of simply celebrating your hard work and enjoying the excitement of the reveal.
From the street style scene and star attendees to the madness of backstage and glamour of the runway, we love covering all aspects of a fashion festival. We’ve seen models go from their local runway debut to opening runways for Chanel in Paris. We’ve seen designers transform their brands into international success stories. Whether you want to look at them as a career launchpad or simply a fun community event, there are plenty of reasons to still champion the fashion festival.
Check out our coverage of this year’s Australian fashion festivals.