This post is sponsored by Nuffnang On Saturday I attended The Boutique Edition Fashion Show, followed by the The Boutique High Tea. Sponsored by Dilmah Australia, the fashion show and the tea were both held at the lush and lovely Malvern Town Hall.
They were the only Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) events I went to this year, as I knew I wouldn’t have time to post about them before flying off on holiday, and so didn’t apply for any accreditation. And anyway, there is plenty of excellent coverage on lots of other sites, with excellent photography and reviews – and I think we can all live without me adding to the batch of blurry instagrams for a season!
That said, it was those instagrams, blurry and otherwise, that started to make me regret not going, as some bits looked great – especially the Mimco and Camilla shows. You can imagine that I was chuffed about being invited to Dilmah’s Boutique Edition, as the idea of a fashion show AND some afternoon tea definitely appealed, and then I saw that one of the designers showing was Camilla. Double good!
I also love going to things at Malvern Town Hall, as it is really, properly beautiful. I am so happy that they are keeping this historical building so well looked after, and putting it to good use for things like this, rather than knocking it down to make way for some ugly apartments, as is happening in much of Melbourne. It’s the perfect setting for a lush afternoon (and evenings) of fashion shows, teas, dances and beautiful things in general, so let’s keep it, please!
The traffic was especially bad and I was running a tiny bit late – as in two minutes, just fashionably so – and arrived to a packed foyer to collect my tickets. (I needn’t have worried, as the show was being tres fashionable and running late too.) Two tickets were put in my and I joined the happy crowd waiting, chatting and looking forward to the show, and enjoying the string quartet playing outside for us.
We were eventually allowed in to the hall. The seats (each topped with a goody bag) were set up in a double line around the room, a bit like a figure of 8, which I always like as it means everyone should get a good view.
So, I managed to find a seat without the reserve card, sat down, and waited. I wished I’d found the bar as I hadn’t brought any water along with me and I was getting really thirsty, but not to worry, tea was coming later – a very cheering thought. Finally, the lights dimmed, another classical stringed group (more than four this time) started playing (which was lovely, it really set the mood for an elegant parade) and then gave way to the heavy beat of the show music. (Which, by the way, was really good. I hope I can find the set list online somewhere. Think Goldfrapp – oh, and, with excellent timing now that we know she will be touring, a Kate Bush song – whoop!)
And, honestly, it was worth the wait. We were shown sophisticated and mainly evening looks, the models walking around us so we could all see, and I really did enjoy it.
The hair and makeup looked great, too: I love big and messy hair, and while this is obviously more editorial, I LOVE me some huge, wild and tangle-y curls. I wish I could have seen the makeup close up, as it looked very 1930s inspired, with dark glittery lids and dark lips. I also spotted a (drawn on, thankfully, for the models, as it’s not a look for everyone!) thin, high arched brow. It was all really theatrical and gorgeous, and I would definitely wear a slightly (very slightly, this is my jam!) toned down version. (In fact I ordered a dark red lipstick yesterday, which I will be waiting for me when I get back to Melbourne. Excited!)
I have loved feathers for AGES, and have missed out on a few feather jackets over the years – I keep telling myself they’re not practical blah blah, and then they sell out and I regret not buying them, and then another one comes out and I repeat the cycle. Boo. This John Cavill dress with the beaded bodice and feather skirt in soft pale pink-y nudes was lush. I would love to wear something like this (and to have somewhere to wear it, too). Do want.
Trelise Cooper showed some full skirts in bold colours, with exposed zips down the back. Elsa Schiaparelli was known for exposed zips, and I am glad the recent trend for them has stuck around.
Lisa Barron had bold stripes, full skirts, and gorgeous draped beaded detailing on bare shoulders.
Camilla was a swoosh of glamorous bohemia, bright colours, and tassels swirling behind high suede boots. This is something I would wear in another life. (I just really like seeing it, it just makes me happy!)
And, finally, Moss & Spy were all otherworldly sheer floaty fabrics and ethereal prettiness.
After the show we headed up stairs for the Dilmah Boutique High Tea. I love it when we are allowed to see more of these old buildings, and get to explore the bits that are usually closed off. It was a very popular and busy event and a lot of people had the same idea as me: to get in line for some cakes!
And these cakes were absolutely lovely – beautiful to look at and beautifully presented, piled high among vases of pink roses. Also, hats off to the people at Burch and Purchese, who were behind these sweets for the Tea – to make our waiting go faster they handed out pale pink, heart-topped salted caramel lolly pops. I ate mine there and then – never underestimate the power of a sugar hit. (Also, I then saw some fantastically brazen queue jumping. They did it with such panache that frankly they deserved their time saving efforts and I honestly didn’t mind at all. It was actually quite funny!)
With the talented time-savers squeezed in behind me, I loaded up my plate with rather too many treats and took myself off through the fun, party atmosphere to a quiet corner, where I could look out over the balcony and enjoy more sugar than I should. They were really very good, and I should know, as I ate far more than was sensible.
I didn’t, alas, manage to get a cup of tea, but I did enjoy my share of runway fun and cake. Which is not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon at all. Plus, we got some Dilmah tea in our goody bags, and I’ve been enjoying it from the comfort of home. It’s hand picked Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka, “… bright, with a medium strength and delightful bouquet” which is very much my cup of tea (yes I went there) as I liked my tea strong, but not too strong. Very nice! (I’m literally drinking a cup as I type this.)
Thank you to Dilmah Australia for having me at the show, I was chuffed to enjoy some great moments of VAMFF.
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