Melbourne Fashion Festival makes Fed Square the unifying “heartbeat”

Kaylah Joelle Baker

The iconic PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival is set to awaken 2022 with an extensive program of fashion and art coming together in the most creative, celebratory way.

Coming off the back of 2021’s City of Melbourne Fashion Week November shows, where some of the most enthralling designers were showcasing their designs in renowned venues, the festival’s 10 days of fashion is set to inspire.

With attention on sustainability topics being represented by the Purchasing Power for the Planet panel, The Future of Fashion Resale talk and up-cycling workshops, this year’s festival has a keen eye on fashion circularity.

And there is something for the whole city to be involved in.

“Melbourne is Australia’s undisputed fashion capital, and we can’t wait to celebrate the industry’s creativity, style and flair as part of this year’s Melbourne Fashion Festival,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.

“The event will bring tens of thousands of fashion lovers to our wonderful city, providing a much-needed boost to our city business owners.”

From March 3 to 12, the streets of Melbourne’s CBD are expected to come alive with colour and adventurous style as runways, exhibitions, pop-ups, workshops, panel talks and performances overtake the city.

The PayPal-sponsored event is already selling tickets for the opening Gala Runway show on March 3 at the Queen Victoria Market and Runway 1 and 2 at Federation Square’s ACMI on March 7 and 8.

The festival is eager for festivities to begin, and fashion enthusiasts are needing to get in quick if they want to soak up all the ticketed events the festival has to offer.

Set to become the heartbeat of the Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Fashion District main precinct will be held at Federation Square and is open to the general public as a “place to meet friends and socialise” and for anyone “looking to kick the night off in style”.

“We’re proud for Fed Square to be the home of the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival, and many other festivals in 2022,” Federation Square CEO Caroline Ralphsmith said.

“We’re dedicated to bringing back the vibrancy to Melbourne’s CBD. The fashion festival will bring 10 days of dynamic fashion events to the streets of Melbourne set against the backdrop of Fed Square’s famous unique architecture.”

As a location that partners with “like-minded cultural institutions” in order to bring “compelling art, entertainment, creativity and culture to the city”, Ms Ralphsmith is confident Federation Square is the ideal central meeting point for the festival.

Acting CEO of the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival Yolanda Finch said the new location would also aid in “welcoming and including audiences that may have never engaged” with the festival before.

“The festival’s new home at Fed Square in the heart of Melbourne will attract people from all over Victoria, and Australia, as well as passers-by who may want to stop in for a coffee, see a fashion film or a free seminar,” Ms Finch said.

“Our aim is to offer a truly democratised experience of fashion that leans into the unifying power that fashion can have among a community, particularly in our collective pandemic recovery, to bring a sense of excitement and buzz back to our city streets and, importantly, a much-needed boost for our retailers.” •

For more information: melbournefashionfestival.com

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