Style Melbourne

Fair At Square Fashion Show

Last week I was treated to an impressive fashion show of mostly Australian designers (including accessories) at Federation Square. Some like Bento and Sosume would be familiar to regular readers. Others have Australian Fashion Week catwalks under their belt already or are fledgling labels. But there is one thread that ties each of the labels on show. I’ll get to that in a moment, but first a few highlights;

– Longtime pattern maker Glen Rollason has launched 3rd Time, a collection of menswear. I’m not usually one to go for a “crafty”, patch-worked aesthetic however Rollason’s obvious tailoring skills and restrained construction elevate jackets to instant classics.

– Bachhara and Roopa Pemmaraju (the latter offset beautifully by Ghost & Lola’s sparkling costume jewellery)  both presented exotic yet somehow still “Australian” prints.

– Accessories that caught my eye were Elgar’s and Lyle’s statement ‘Golden Temple’ necklace and Hand Hook Yarn’s crochet and fringed neckpieces and collars.

– The Red Carpet Project showed a kind of broken-down glamour in their dreamy frocks.

So to that aforementioned binding thread. The show was hosted by Moral Fairground, so all of the labels share some kind of  fair trade or ethical aspect (either in the humanistic or eco-conscious sense). They may practice fair trade, be handmade, naturally-dyed, utilise reclaimed fabrics or vintage materials or give back to the community; among a thousand other ethical concerns. The reason I didn’t open with this fact is that to be successful, I feel ethical fashion has to compete with mainstream design. Each of these labels most certainly hold their own.

The idea of “heirloom” fashion (ie. forget trends, try to buy things you’ll want to keep/wear forever) was brought up and I’m quite taken by that concept. My other personal thought is to simply buy less. As well as striving to surpass traditional labels in terms of design, my hope for the (distant) future of fair fashion is that the industry will be holistically ethical. No need to define a certain designer as being green or ethical; it all just is.

Roopa Pemmaraju & Ghost and Lola accessories

3rd time & Mulberries accessories

The Red Carpet Project & Fourth Daughter accessories


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  1. Pingback: Fair@Square parade | The Red Carpet Project

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