Style Melbourne

In the Garden: Royal Botanic Runway 2014

Collette Dinnigan with Grandiflora florals, Robert Robert shoes, Hair by Redken, Make-up by Mac Cosmetics at the Royal Botanic Runway. By Naomi Rahim for StyleMelbourne.

British horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll proclaimed “A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne recently taught us that we don’t need Chanel-style couture carousels¬†or smoke and mirrors of any kind as a setting for a spectacular fashion presentation worthy of Paris, Milan or New York. All you need are a few artfully planted succulents, Guilfoyle’s Volcano as a winding catwalk and Mother Nature’s graces.

Our gardens are so revered that the Royal Botanic Runway attracted Australian designer heavyweights that aren’t even locals Collete Dinnigan, Akira Isogawa (both Sydney-based), Martin Grant (Paris) and Aurelio Costarella (Perth) to its cause of drought proofing and water sustainability. The grand production incorporated live floral pieces, feathered head-dresses and red carpet moments. Aurelio Costarella’s girls look like exotic birds that could be at home among the bushes. Martin Grants’s precision and geometry caught my eye while Akira made me think he must dream in a rainbow spectrum of fabric. Collette Dinnigan’s showing was significant in that it may be the final collection the lauded designer may ever create (I never say never).

I hope the flawless presentation become an annual fixture on Melbourne’s fashion calender. You can donate to keeping the beloved gardens in bloom here if you so wish. Listen to the playlist inspired by Will Pyett’s runway soundtrack here.

Photography by Naomi Rahim

Aurelio Costarella with Reny Kestel headpieces, Katie Marx florals, Hair by L'Oreal Professionnel, Make-up by Mac Cosmetics, Zomp shoes, Lanvin jewellery from Christine. By Naomi Rahim

Martin Grant with Grandiflora florals, Habbot shoes, Hair by Matrix and Make-up by Mac Cosmetics at the Royal Botanic Runway. By Naomi Rahim

Akira Isogawa with Wona Bae florals, Miss Louise shoes, accessories from Christine, Hair by Shu Uemura, Make-up by Mac Cosmetics at the Royal Botanic Runway. By Naomi Rahim

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