Attractions & Exhibitions

The PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival is back and here is what you can expect

The PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival is back for it's 28th year, crafted with the full spectrum of Victoria and Australia’s diverse fashion community.

You’re invited to explore the rich tapestry of the Melbourne and Victorian fashion industry. Running from the 24th of February until the 9th of March, the 2024 programme will feature an elevated Premium Runway series that brings greater visibility to the cutting edge, artistic, enduring and gritty fabric of Melbourne’s fashion community, as well as celebrating the wonderful success stories of the broader Australian fashion industry.

The 2024 Festival will deliver exciting new runway concepts that celebrate sustainability and circularity, First Nations design, self-expression at any age, and nurture fashion talent at all stages of development.

The festival’s preeminent Premium Runway events will feature over 85 designers, 65% of which are from Victorian, across 12 shows. Presented at the official home of the festival, the iconic Royal Exhibition Building in partnership with Museums Victoria.

Each night of the Premium Runway Series, the festival will present two different but complementary runways, connected by a theme that mirrors the hot topics of the fashion industry at the moment.

Monday, 4 March – Triumphant x PayPal Runway

Naming rights partner, PayPal, a global leader in payments and buy now, pay later, returns for its third year and will kick-off the Premium Runways, presenting the Triumphant x PayPal Runway. This opening night will be an extravagant and joyful showcase of contemporary style, refinement and fabulousness from Australia’s design trailblazers, international success stories and most-loved brands. The two runways at 6.45pm and 8.30pm will be the only repeat shows of the Festival, featuring Aje, Anna Quan, Oroton, Martin Grant, Ngali, Viktoria+Woods, and Bianca Spender.

Tuesday, 5 March – Fashion Futures

For the first time in Festival history, the programme will feature a dedicated sustainability runway. Thread Lightly Runway x Deloitte at 7.00pm showcases designers doing exceptional things to minimise their impact on the environment, including Arnsdorf, Bassike, Caves Collect, Joslin, Madre Natura, Nevekna, Nobody Denim and Yanggurdi. At 8.30pm, the National Graduate Showcase x Emporium Melbourne, presenting the top 10 graduate designers, hand-picked from Australia’s leading fashion design institutions and representing the next generation of fashion superstars, who challenge fashion boundaries and inspire awe.

Wednesday, 6 March – Dress Up

Suit Up Runway at 7.00pm is an exploration and playful reinvention of the suit and its conventions, including Chris Ran Lin, Dom Bagnato, Godwin Charli, MJ Bale, Par Moi, Reigner, Silk Laundry and Tomba. At 8.30pm, the Glam Up Runway will showcase event dressing at its finest with a focus on monumental silhouettes, heightened sophistication and outstanding intricacy, featuring Alin Le Kal, Asiyam, Cappallazzo Couture, Jason Grech, Mariam Seddiq, Paolo Sebastian and Paul McCann.

Thursday, 7 March – Tribe x Fujitsu

First Nations Rising Designer Runway x Fujitsu at 7.00pm celebrates exciting emerging First Nations fashion talent as selected by Festival collaborator, Mob in Fashion, including Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, Gali, House of Darwin, Lillardia Briggs-Houston, Miimi and Jiinda, Soild Ochre, Take Pride Movement and more. At 8.30pm, Urban Oasis Runway x Fujitsu presents renegade and First Nations streetwear designers that take cues from global conversations and translate them into distinctive fashion for the elevated every day. Featured designers are Amber Days, Best Jumpers, Ginny’s Girl Gang, Iljta Ntjarra, JAM the label, Joesph & James and Wah Wah.

Also taking place on 7 March, is the Festival’s must-attend industry networking event, the Australian Fashion Business Lunch. Celebrating ‘Fashion Visionaries’, a panel of dynamic fashion leaders will discuss inspiring stories of breakthroughs, boldness and embracing the forces of change to drive great success. Keynote speakers for this event will be announced at a later date.

Friday, 8 March – Power

On International Woman’s Day, F*** the Invisible Runway at 7.00pm faces directly into the fear and perception that women become invisible as they age and rejects this notion completely. Fashion is one of the purest forms of self-expression at any age and this runway showcases fabulous fashion that elevates women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. F*** the Invisible Runway will feature Banded Together, Gail Sorronda, Julie Goodwin, Kara Baker, Perple, Verner and Viceta Wang. Revelry Runway follows at 8.30pm with a line-up of contemporary designs for celebratory moments that can transform us, at least for the evening, and invite a freedom unknown in other hours, featuring Atoir, Hansen + Gretel, Husk, Maara Collective, Manning Cartell, Pfeiffer, Sass and Bide and Van der Kooij.

Saturday, 9 March – Finale

The Festival will conclude with two milestone moments. The return of the Grand Solo Showcase at 7.00pm with National Designer Award alumni, P.E. Nation, selected for this year’s solo runway as an acknowledgment of the brand’s brilliant success and the transformative role activewear has played in how we now dress. At 8.30pm, Block Party Runway x Visit Melbourne will mark the Premium Runway finale with established and up and coming designers doing bold, edgy and interesting things. Featuring Youkhana, Lucinda Babi, r. sport, Injury, Gary Bigeni, Nixi Killick, HoMie and Gotham, this runway will revel in the spirit of Saturday night dressing and the party will be in full swing after the final walk!

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