Six free things to do at Melbourne Fashion Week

If you’re about ready to say goodbye to the grey of winter, the new season is just around the corner. Melbourne Fashion Week (31 August to 7 September) heralds the coming of spring and good news, there’s free events! So you’ve got a completely valid excuse to enjoy the no-cost entertainment and treat yourself to a new spring season outfit to welcome the return of the sun. 

  1.  Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out

Melbourne Fashion Week (MFW) kicks off on Friday 31 August with Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out (VAEFNO). The most glamorous night of the year to sip champagne and shop the city has been turbocharged. Find exclusive offers at over 600 (!) stores across the CBD and for the first time, festivities run from 10am to 10pm. Head to the Bourke Street Mall for the official launch at midday, with Vogue activities and performances and runways in David Jones. Consider swapping heels for sneakers because it all continues until 5pm on Saturday 1 September.

Want to make it a night to remember? Visit Melbourne Central’s Iridescent Instaglam Party for a shimmering makeover at the Holographic Beauty Station. Then snap a selfie inside a giant bubble with your fresh new look.

Two girls posing in front of a 'Vogue' media wall, holding a phone out in front of them to take a photo

Don’t miss the Vogue x American Express Fashion Night Out

  1. MFW opening weekend

Across the weekend in the Melbourne Town Hall forecourt, there’s free DJs and a champagne bar to get you in the mood. Meet the future of Australian fashion in the Town Hall Swanston Room, where the Australian Fashion Council has curated a collection of local independent designer labels.

On Friday 31 August check out lunchtime and late arvo street runways in Union Lane, featuring Elk, Obus and more. There’s roving models wearing spring collection highlights at pop-up runways around Melbourne Central, GPO steps and Collins Street, featuring ready-to-wear, streetwear and high end designerwear.

  1. The Fashion Capsules

Six mini exhibitions will be installed throughout the city showing fashion perspectives from multimedia artists, jewellers, craftspeople, floral artists, filmmakers, fashion graduates and more. Discover The Fashion Capsules at Arts Centre Melbourne, Campbell Arcade, Collins Square, 101 Collins Street, Bourke Street Mall and Emporium Melbourne. On view 24/7 from 31 August to 7 September.

A woman in a shiny red body suit wearing a long pink veil, standing outside in front of a park

Fashion Capsules

  1.  Street Runways

Street Runways are back at MFW, kicking off Friday 31 August. Street Runway Two returns to Union Lane on Wednesday 5 September for two lunchtime showings at 12pm and 1.30pm. With a focus on multicultural influences and sustainable trends, designers draw from African, Asian, Aboriginal and Middle Eastern heritages from labels including Asiyam, Keegan and The Social Studio.

On Thursday 6 September, Section 8 bar in Tattersalls Lane become the backdrop for Street Runway Three. It’s all about independent and emerging labels, handpicked by the Australian Fashion Council (AFC). Make a beeline for the AFC pop-up shop in the Town Hall after the 1.30pm showing, or kick on after the 4.30pm event as Section 8 turns into an arty party with DJs until 1am including DJ Sezzo, Recluse, Paz and Lewis Can Cut.

  1. Pop-Up Runways

Pop-Up Runways are happening all through the week, with models hitting the pavement sporting this season’s ready-to-wear looks. Saturday 1 September is all about Laneway looks from Kinki Gerlinki and Princess Highway, strutting though Degraves St, Centre Place and Hardware Lane. Mosey over to Carlton on Sunday 2 September as Husk, Lee Mathews and more take it to the streets.

There’s more in Docklands on Monday 3 September, Fed Square on 4 September and menswear takes centre stage on Friday 7 September just off Little Collins Street, with casual style from city go-to destinations including Incu and Jac + Jack.

A group of models in various quirky outfits stand in a row on Bourke Street

Pop-up runway ready

  1. MFW Forecourt at Melbourne Town Hall

There’s so much on offer in the heart of Swanston Street, and it’s all free, all week, and open until 10pm weeknights and 5pm on the weekend. From major brands including hair care heroes Kevin Murphy, Specsavers and Lovables to local artisans, there’s things to do, try, experience and win throughout the hub, bar and lounge areas.

Meet the makers as they show off their craft, from milliner Louise Macdonald to cobblers Preston ZLY, jeweller Lord Coconut and more. A line up of all-female DJs will be spinning each night.

Need to make room for your new fashion purchases? Not-for-profit organisation Wear For Success will be out in force with check-in stations at Town Hall and Collins Square for your pre-loved clothing donations. They’ll help men and women in need to dress appropriately for interviews and get back into the workforce.