Balling on a budget.

Words by

Eliza Sholly

You know that feeling where you’re actually a 150% totally cool and fashionable human, but your bank account just doesn’t reflect that? Well, I know the feeling all too well.

For poor humans like myself, it is super easy to ball on a budget this fashion week. The trick is to take advantage of all the free events on offer, particularly those that are a little left of centre.

Here are the best of the best free events to check out this VAMFF, handpicked by a girl who has overdrawn on her account so much that the bank knows her by name.

Sequin-Savvy: A history of calisthenics fashion 

What: Like KX Pilates, hip-hop yoga and F45 are today, calisthenics was a fitness craze that swept Melbourne in the mid-1800’s. City-dwellers flocked to gymnasiums to strengthen their bodies, all without Broadsheet telling them it was the hottest fitness trend of the moment. It was long-lasting love, people. Over time, the movements and music has changed, and so too has the fashion. This display explores calisthenics fashion in the Changing Face of Victoria exhibition.
When: Thursday March 9, 12.30 - 1.15 or Saturday March 18, 2pm - 2.45
Where: The State Library of Victoria  

Tickets here.

National Designer Showcase Exhibition

What: Celebrating the next generation of designer talent, the Royal Exhibition Building foyer will be transformed with the work of the National Graduate Showcase designer collections. Light boxes will display works of the graduate designers, with photoshoot imagery from this month's issue of Fashion Journal.
When: Tuesday March 14 - Sunday March 19, 5.30pm - 11pm
Where: Festival Plaza, Melbourne Museum Precinct

Tickets here.


What: The RMIT RAD experience is a collection of fashion and retail experiences that are delivered by RMIT alumni. Visitors will find a luxury market featuring live fashion installations, high tea, food and cocktails.

When: Thursday March 9, 12pm - 4pm
Where: RMIT Building 12, Swanston Street Melbourne

Tickets here.

Talking sustainable fashion with Clare Press

What: Writer and eco-influencer Clare Press has made quite the name for herself over the years. From interviewing Beyoncé to reigning as features editor of Marie Claire, she has also written two books on the topic of ethical fashion. Her most recent, Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went From Sunday Best to Fast Fashion explores the history and ethics behind what we wear. This event will house a conversation between Clare and fashion and lifestyle editor of The Age, Melissa Singer. Tickets are free but RSVP is essential, perfect for those who have an interest in sustainable style, and those who just want to know what Queen B smells like.
When: Saturday March 11, 4pm
Where: Readings St Kilda, 112 Ackland Street, St Kilda

Tickets here.


What: Anyone who knows me, knows I love a pun. That's why Soxhibition! is high on my list of VAMFF priorities. Sounds a bit weird? Bear with me. The collaborative project saw established artists work alongside designers from The Social Studio, to create new artworks using materials that have been woven into socks. The independently-designed socks will be exhibited alongside designs from Soxy Beast, a brand that works with artists to create bold sock designs and donates a percentage of profits to Australian charities. 
When: Tuesday March 7 - Saturday March 18
Where: Fortyfive downstairs, 5 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 

Tickets here.

Amber Chloe meet and greet

What: Amber Chloe is a high-end ready to wear and bespoke label, made right here in Australia. If you’ve ever planned your wedding/bridesmaid dresses in your head, this is your chance to quiz the head designer without an appointment and have all your hypothetical questions answered. If not, it’s an excuse to shop past and present collections in-store with an exclusive 20% off discount.
When: Saturday March 4, 10am-4pm  
Where: Amber Chloe,  1B Rose Street, Armadale

Tickets here.

The Social Studio Block Party

What: For the fourth year in a row, The Social Studio will be holding a runway show/block party showcasing their exclusive collaboration with Melbourne-based contemporary artist, Kate Beynon. It’s kind of like those street parties your parents made you attend when you were younger, but actually really fun this time. The event will celebrate everything local, bringing the best local live acts, fashion, food and market stalls.
When: Wednesday March 1, 12pm - 6pm  
Where: The Collingwood Arts Precinct

Tickets here.


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We've come a long way since the old suit and tie.
Exploring the Fashion and Textiles collection.
The one that was held in a carpark.
The one where I outfit repeated.
Presented by Target and Supported by Fashion Journal.
The one where street style steps up.
The one where I tried (and failed) to look effortlessly cool.
A celebration of the strength and diversity of Australia's fashion industry.
Curious Birdy & S.Rush collaboration collection.
NB: some of these lessons were learned the hard way.
Really, really, ridiculously good-looking.
Celebrating bigger and better than ever.
House-infused elements, disco vibes and robotic styles
The one you need in your life right now.
Let us take a moment to reflect on the inspiring week that has been. In GIFs.
VAMFF comes to a close with Romance and Bush Magic.
Converse kicks on the runway? Thumbs up always.
The best part of fashion week.
We really, really wanted to reach out and feel the models (and yes we know how weird that sounds).
"I like the idea of how we as Australians are really in awe of everything that’s going on overseas, but really we take a...
"We looked at Japanese Bosozoku girls, which is an underground subculture of female biker gangs in Japan."
"I guess I feel a bit, not like the underdog, but I am very different to everyone else here."
"Well it was quite interesting last year, the fire alarm was set off by a steamer and we all had to evacuate."
"Not for the fainthearted, but for today's fashionkilla."
'You are never going to see us do the same sort of thing or send the same thing down the runway."
"But this is the pinnacle, the most important award in the country."
Melbourne Fashion Festival off to a fiery start.
Not too busy to visit us Melbourne kids.
The future of Australian fashion is right here...
This is going to make for one jam-packed festival.
TOME, ètre cècile and Martin Grant are coming home for VAMFF.
A inside look into behind the scenes of VAMFF.
A cultural night out for the fashion lover.