7 of the Most Memorable Moments From Past Australian Fashion Weeks

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With Australian Fashion Week coming up (it starts May 9, if you didn’t know), we’ve been taking a look at what’s planned for it — highlights include Jessica Mauboy performing at the Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway, up-and-coming designers to look out for and the first-ever curve runway — as well as some of the memorable moments from past Fashion Weeks.

We’ve covered 10 of our favourite street style looks from past Fashion Weeks, and now we’re focusing on the runways, highlighting some of our favourite moments from past shows. Fashion Week in Australia starting in 1996, so there were a lot of moments to choose from. Still, we’ve managed to narrow it down — ahead, seven we’ll never forget.

Bella Hadid Walking in a Show

In 2016, Bella Hadid walked the runway at Misha Collection Resort 17. One outlet at the time estimated that Hadid had been paid up to $USD291,760 for the appearance.

Of the collection, Hadid said: “I want to literally wear everything from this collection. I literally wore an evening dress today with tennis shoes and it still looked cool.”  

Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage

Rats on Ksubi Runway

No long-time Australian fashion community member will ever forget when designer Ksubi let 250 rats loose on the catwalk during their 2001 debut show.

“Like a scene from the Pied Piper, a wave of them in all shapes, colours and teeth-length charged down the 30-metre-long catwalk,” wrote founder of Australian Fashion Week, Simon P Lock, in his book In The Front Row.  

“A wave of shrieks and screams followed them as the guests in the front row freaked out,” Lock recalled. “There were people literally climbing over each other to get out of the front row and its eye-to-teeth view of the rats. Others tucked their feet up underneath themselves, fearing a stray rat was about to leap over the Perspex.”

Watch it all go down here:

Katama Show at Andrew Boy Charlton Pool

While most Australian Fashion Week shows were held at Sydney Opera House and these days, at Carriageworks in Eveleigh, some are held at off-site venues — like the deck of pools, as was the case with the showing of Katama collection in 2017. Models in the show walked along the sun-drenched pool deck of Andrew Boy Charlton Pool, against a backdrop of several ships parked in the Naval Yard.

“My family has history in the Navy, so it’s always informed Katama,” designer Garrett Neff told Fashion Week Daily at the time. “You literally could not pay to get this as your set.”      

Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Ten Pieces at Bondi Icebergs

Speaking of pool backdrops, who can forget when unisex label Ten Pieces presented at Bondi Icebergs. Models walked alongside and inside the emptied-out pool as waves crashed beyond.

Photo by Caroline McCredie/Getty Images for Vittoria

Romance Was Born Presenting at Sydney Uni

Romance Was Born is known for its out-there designs, so in line with that ethos, in 2010, it chose out-there venue McLaurin Hall at Sydney Uni as the venue for its show. Presented under a transformed sandstone clock tower of the uni, the collection, Dinosaur Renaissance, was time travel themed. “[It’s about] forming a portal between the Jurassic era and the birth of the Renaissance; dinosaurs coming back and the lower class rising up and being able to wear what they want,” co-founder Luke Sales said at the time.

Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Gemma Ward Returning to Modelling at Ellery Show

Strobe lights, ballerinas from the Australian Ballet and a glitter cannon featured on Ellery’s runway, the opening show of Australian Fashion Week in 2015. But while all that was notable, it was model Gemma Ward returning to the runway after a six-year break from modelling that really stood out.  

Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage

Cherry Blossom Tree at Camilla’s Show

Kaftan queen Camilla brought Japan’s cherry blossom season to Sydney with her 2018 show, which closed the week. Drummers performed around a fake cherry blossom tree in a Carriageworks gallery, while waiters offered matcha lattes and guests strolled across floor strewn with 210,000 fake cherry blossoms.

Photo by Jennifer Polixenni Brankin/WireImage
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