Here are some of the best free events you can attend at this year’s Melbourne Fashion Week

Here are some of the best free events you can attend at this year’s Melbourne Fashion Week

All The Free Events You Need To Know About At The Upcoming Melbourne Fashion Week | Urban List Melbourne

Get the fashion week experience without breaking the bank.

Melbourne Fashion Week (M/FW) recently unveiled this year’s program, and we couldn’t be more excited. Fitting this year’s campaign theme of Everyone to the Front, M/FW’s 2022 instalment is offering a plethora of ways to take part in the week without breaking the bank.

The impressive lineup includes a mixture of runways, installations, industry talks and fashion workshops. Events dedicated to beloved local favourites like Erik Yvon, Ngali and Kuwaii are found among citywide activations and exhibitions that focus on up-and-coming designers.

For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.
Here at Fashion Journal, we know that time is money (and if you’re like me, you’re probably a little short on both). To help you out, we’ve put together a shortlist of the best free events you can attend at this year’s M/FW.

It wouldn’t be a fashion week without a runway, and at this year’s M/FW you’re spoilt for choice. We suggest catching Ngali’s runway on October 12. The label is the two-time recipient of the National Indigenous Fashion Award (in 2021 and 2022), the first of its kind in the award’s history. The runway will showcase the label’s new collection, Miya, and spotlight the work of First Nation’s artists.

Melbourne’s iconic arcades will become part of the M/FW scenery this year. Tucked away in Collins Street’s Block Arcade, Vault will host a runway with looks made from repurposed secondhand clothing. As the physical home of the Victorian National Trust’s burgeoning collection of vintage garments and accessories, Vault has invited local designers to rework these pieces into new silhouettes.

Four pop-up runways will also be happening across the week. We’ve got our eyes on Pop-Up One – Trading Blak, which will be held at Federation Square on October 11, as well as Pop-Up Two – Celebrating Pride taking place in Melbourne’s CBD on October 14. Pop Up One will include a collection of designs from emerging and established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers, while Pop-Up Two will feature LGBTQ+ identifying designers.

City-wide installations
If you’re a city dweller like myself, you’ll probably stumble across one of the many metropolitan-wide activations M/FW has on offer. Seven fashion capsules have already populated Melbourne’s city centre. Each neon-lit transparent box uses garments and accessories to bring to life an industry-relevant theme decided by the M/FW organisers.

Outside the Southbank promenade, you’ll find a variety of woven pieces that pay homage to traditional weaving techniques passed down across generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander master weavers. On the way to Victoria’s State Library, you’ll come across a collection of zero-waste and upcycled clothing creations made by fashion students from tertiary institution, Collarts.

Local favourite Erik Yvon will also present their first large-scale installation, Mo Libre, at City Square. Available to view until October 16, the installation explores Erik’s genderless approach to design.

Retail events and exhibitions
Thankfully, there is a selection of retail experiences and in-store exhibitions at M/FW that won’t cost you a dime. Melbourne label Kuwaii is collaborating with Rachel Burke of Imakestagram to create a collection of one-off pieces made from Kuwaii’s offcuts and textiles. The playful exhibition can be viewed throughout the week at Kuwaii’s city store.

Wastefest, a five-day long event run by the Future From Waste Lab (FFWL) in Southbank, continues the week’s focus on fashion innovation. The lab has invited emerging designers to create and showcase an entire runway look from textile waste and old materials. Running between 12 to 2pm, FFWL will open its doors to the public, letting them watch the designers develop their creations in real-time.

M/FW’s focus on conscious consumption is also on display at the Wildlife Friendly Fashion Pop-Up on October 10. Supported by Collective Fashion Justice and the World Animal Protection Organisation, the display at Bourke Street’s Micro-Labs will showcase a collection of cruelty-free clothing and accessories from Australian brands like Sans Beast, UnReal Fur, Zette and Noskin.
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Fashion talks and workshops
Engaging with fashion is often an expensive exercise, but at least learning is free. This year M/FW is offering a host of free workshops and talks that connect you with industry professionals and educators. On October 16, the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre is holding a Make Do and Mend workshop. Here, you’ll be taught basic skills in sewing, hemming and threading, so you can mend the clothing you’ve perhaps loved a little too much.

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