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About last night…here are our PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival Highlights

Photography By Natalie Jurrjens for RIISE
Published 18.03.22

Yes, our feet are aching, heads spinning and we have a pile of dry-cleaning to deal with. But they’re small prices to pay for how much fun we had at PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival last week.

And while the air kisses (and champagne hangovers) have faded, the memories will no doubt stick around. Here are our personal highlights from one of our favourite weeks of the year.  

Wendy, editor-in-chief:  Is it corny to say, “the friendships we made along the way”? After spending so much time at home over the past few years it’s hard to express how special it was to just be out and about. There’s nothing like rocking up to a show or party and running into your ten thousand best friends who you always forget to actually text. I especially loved just hanging out at Collingwood Yards across the week, rolling from one cute event to another, discovering a bunch of new favourite makers, and remembering how incredibly unique and special my hometown is.  

Courtney, features writer:  Our panel Class, Cash and Clean Fashion was really interesting, as were our panellists (Dewi Cooke, Lois Hazel, Lucianne Tonti and Maggie Zhou). It was great to get inside the minds of people who love fashion – but also care about making the industry more equitable. The set-up at the Festival Pavilion in Fed Square was also so beautiful.   

Attending my first runway show was another big highlight. Not just for the looks that were walked, but to see the fashion around the event and how creative people can be with their style. It’s also been super nice to spend some time in a new part of the city (we’ve been staying in Fitzroy) and have our Melbourne-based team share all their insider food and shopping tips.   

Katelin, editorial assistant:   My favourite event was the Independent Runway. It brought a fresh perspective to the fashion scene, and it was absolutely phenomenal to see the small independent labels (many of them with a strong focus on the planet) unleash their creativity. Going backstage was also super eye-opening to the work that goes into the entire show. I also always appreciated seeing all the street style – @lizsunshine captured all the best moments and looks, as always!  

I must also give a shout-out to my editor Wendy who strongly suggested a visit to SWOP (in my opinion, Fitzroy’s best vintage shop). I scored a divine second-hand GANNI leather jacket for $270. It originally retailed for over $900. Honestly worth the trip to Melbourne just for that.   

Hana, head of audience:   It was so nice to see the city alive. After years of uncertainty for the creative and events industry in Melbourne, PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival really seemed like the first time since lockdowns began that the city, and the CBD in particular, felt energised. Seeing people dressed up, heading to the runways and a drink afterwards, the group chat going back and forth about what we’re all wearing, and finding it tricky to get a last-minute restaurant table on a Thursday night. I loved all of it.  

Kiara, social media assistant:   I loved the Independent Runway. It was really nice seeing a bunch of independent brands showcasing their work. I was especially excited to see TOILÉ STUDIOS and Wackie Ju because I have been a fan of those brands for a while. I was also lucky enough to go backstage and the energy in the room was very high and full of excitement. I can’t wait to see what PPMFF has planned for next year!  

Liz, deputy CEO:   I know I’m a bit biased, but the highlight of my week was the RIISE Shop launch party. It’s been so long since we’ve been able to go to a party so it was such a thrill to celebrate with friends of RIISE. Plus the RIISE & Shine cocktail that Runner Up created for us was particularly delicious!   

Emily, commercial director:   I really enjoyed the insightful discussions in the Festival Pavilion, the unique set-up of Collingwood Yards and the Independent Runway. I really noticed the vibe around Melbourne and felt like the festival helped bring the city back to vibrant life again.   

Annabel, marketing coordinator:   A week full of fashionably styled people, runways and events – certainly something that we haven’t experienced for a while! And, wow, it really sparked my love for all things social. To give our own due credit, the RIISE Shop launch party event was a real highlight for me. Knowing the behind-the-scenes prep that took place, it was a special moment seeing it kick off with drinks flowing and laughter booming all night long. Safe to say the slight sting the day after from wearing heels was well worth it!  

Lydia, ecommerce specialist: I found the Class, Cash and Clean Fashion panel super informative and inspiring. I’ve been excited to come home and fall back in love with my wardrobe, especially after seeing all of the beautiful designs on display at PPMFF. The vibe at the festival seemed inclusive, collaborative and intimate.  

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