The L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival is unique in many ways, and one of the things we applaud them for most is for the way it brings fashion to the people. It’s not just industry folk invited to the catwalks, the general public can also feel like a VIP at parades. There are also a heap of free events to attend around the city and exhibitions galore for the cultured fashion lover. A new event this year involved hundreds of spectators and the chance to win a whole lot of prizes for being a super stylish individual.
Hosted by Sarah Gale, Project Runway judge and buyer, the idea of the LMFF Style Celebration was to offer the city fashion tips and insider tricks and spot the already fabulously styled in the audience. The Nervo twins, Mim and Liv, were the first style judges, scouting the talent at Federation Square. Like many of the judges they found two young women who mixed high-end designers, chain store chic and op-shop finds to create a unique look. Zahlia wore a vintage Dior corset, paired with a Friends of Couture tutu.
Stylist to the stars, Fernando Barazza, spotted an uber stylish couple floating around, again mixing Salvos finds with brands like Lee, Globalise, Dangerfield, Sportsgirl and Novo. LMFF Festival Director Karen Webster also had a fabulous find with a girl who was very into layering, the perfect Melbourne trend. She teamed two tops from Jeanswest with a two skirts purchased overseas with an online buy of wedges, accessorised with bangles from Forever New. For the designer element, she wore sunglasses from Burberry.
Style tips were also on the agenda for the day. Using materials from Spotlight, the stylish and clever Barazza and the creative Webster demonstrated how easy it is to make accessories and on-trend items ourselves, whilst watching trashy TV. Barazza hammered some gold square beads (from a hardware store) in a cube pattern to some old jeans to funk them up. He also made a necklace by cutting up vinyl and using a glue gun to stick buttons, beads and jewels to the piece creating statement without the lofty price tag. He also made a belt, that wouldn’t be out of place on a disco-flooded floor, out of gold chain and safety pins.
Webster was able to demonstrate how we can embrace the dramatic shoulder look without buying separate pieces that may only stay in fashion for a season or two. A simple black blazer is needed, as well as black (or whatever colour you so desire) shoulder pads (available from Spotlight), which are highly affordable and detachable. Using glue, stitches or safety pins, once decorated the shoulder pad can be stuck to the shoulders of the jacket. She had plenty of ideas for adornments of the pads as well. Gold beads, purple feathers, chains and anything else that can be stuck down! Studs were popular with the audience, and considering how much jackets with studs can be to buy, it won’t be surprising if Spotlight runs short on supply of studs.
And finally Sarah Gale offered one of the best pieces of advice for the afternoon, and quite a good philosophy to live by, “fashion is what you buy, style is what you possess.”
Wise words by Tara McGrath
Images courtesy LMFF & Lucas Dawson