I’m a hat-wearer. It’s come on slowly over the year, this hat-confidence – from being comfortable with a beanie (my daily Magpies beanie for the morning walk, perhaps a cabled peach Mimco number for more formal beanie moments) to a low-profile dun-colored turban, upgrading to a bejewelled bright orange turban, before developing the panache to tote a three musketeers wide-brimmed fedora over one eye. I have reached the pinnacle of hat-wearing of late with my crowning glory: the fez. It’s a natty number: red, so naturally eye-catching. It has a high profile, which makes one taller (excellent) and it has a tassel, which gives one a kind of Poirot-y je ne sais quoi. It has an air of mystery, and is quite a serious hat despite its jaunty appearance. It is also fun to wear while driving, turning to wave at fellow drivers when stopped at red lights. So when I was invited to attend the VAMFF runways earlier this year, I could think of no better an item to sit atop my noggin. It was time to rock the kazbah in my fez.
But what to wear? Having been lucky enough to attend the Melbourne Fashion Festival in its various guises for several years, I understand that comfort is actually important – not only to best negotiate the dodgy surrounds of Docklands – but to take photos on the riser at the end of the runway. No tottering for me in this event – I chose the Hugs dress – a wonderful piece from favorite label The Gently Unfurling Sneak which features hybrid creatures – an Edwardian lady with a leonine head and an octopus x ships’ captain. Perfectly surreal for matching with a fez, amirite?
My good friend and colleague (and incredible clothes re-purposer handy with both design and thrifting), Leeyong of Style Wilderness had similar ideas about decorative garb for the VAMFF runways, wearing a tribal crop with matching belt, leopard turban and beautiful earrings from her jewellery line Wilderness Bazaar.

What a babe.

The runway we attended had a lot of black going on. Some of it was elegant, much of it was unremarkable. The Carla Zampatti runway (pieces below) was probably the highlight – she’s a lady who knows how women want to view themselves and that comfort and clean lines are always in style.
Alex Perry’s runway was neat and featured lovely laces with a bit of peek-a-boo-nipple – but not the sweeping, luscious lines of formal wear he’s so famous for. It might have just been the collection, but it did feel a little bit Forever New goes to David Jones. After all those flashing lights, determined models and black, black, black … reader, I must say that Leeyong and my own outfits were probably more interesting than much of what travelled down the run. But maybe that’s what we love most about attending fashion events …. it’s the audacious audience members that are the real standouts and style-makers.