IDENTITY – Presented by The Fashion Advocate as part of VAMFF

The Loris Clothing clan. All photography by Lara Antonelli-Leorke.

In a world obsessed by how quickly things can be obtained, it is mighty refreshing to slow down the pace. None more so than the plague of fast fashion. Overbearing, unoriginal, unethical, unsustainable – it has had it’s time in the sun. It’s time now to start looking inward; to start peering towards home to discover what good fashion truly looks like. Supporting local talent – passionate creatives who use sustainable methods and materials, ethical practices, low volume, slow paced, one of a kind and truly inspired collections of clothing. Slow fashion is the future.

IDENTITY, presented by The Fashion Advocate (aka Claire Goldsworthy) was held at Como House on a sweltering Autumn evening, and it was a breath of fresh air. This deliciously laid back soiree was a stark contrast to the notoriously fast paced and busy atmosphere of Fashion Week. The ambience was a gorgeous introduction to what we were to enjoy on the grassy runway. With the historic homestead as our backdrop, the models walked out as the sun dropped (even if the temperature didn’t) and we were introduced to some known and some new Australian designers, all that were impressive in their mindfulness of consumption. Every one was tackling sustainability with their eco-conscious collections – without compromising on quality (quite the opposite actually, every creation is luxurious due to its hand-made, one of a kind or sustainable material nature).
By creating classically timeless pieces, every outfit has the ability to transcend seasons, and minimise wastefulness. In turn, this should help educate consumers about being responsible for the fashion they buy. Just like the food we eat or the consumables we buy, we should know exactly where our clothing comes from. One of the many problems with fast fashion in Australia is the unethical practices (underpaid overseas workers living under the poverty line, unsafe working conditions) and unsustainable materials being used to mass produce for huge chain stores. Change begins with the individual, and that is why IDENTITY is such an important part of the VAMFF calendar and why I am so grateful that Claire Goldsworthy has dedicated her time to creating such an impactful and positive event. There was a real sense of community, camaraderie and support on the evening, and I was fortunate enough to meet many lovely creatives and fashion lovers.

Here are some of the stand out designs from the evening:
Anthea Crawford is one of Australia’s iconic designers, proudly maintaining ethical Australian manufacturing for over 40 years. This monochrome checked double breasted blazer suit with cigarette pants was a real highlight, as was the red power suit.
The bright chunky knits by Loris Clothing had me dreaming of Winter, despite the fact that beads of sweat were rolling down my back. The cornflower blue turtle neck will be a staple for my Winter in Woodend without a doubt!

There were 60’s and 70’s inspired outfits at Hause of Glassborow created with up-cycle vintage material.
Shapes in the Sand’s breathtaking blue one piece, a key piece in their Pisces collection, is made from an eco-friendly material regenerated from ghost fishing nets. Now that’s amazing.
Zoe.o The Label had us lusting over these blush, pistachio and white linen creations.
Your search for a stellar jumpsuit is over, as The Anjelms Project delivers with this gorgeous and uniquely patterned outfit. And amazingly, every garment is hand-signed by its maker, which embodies fashion ethics in every sense. The label also aids disadvantaged communities in Bali, Nepal and india by empowering every person in the supply chain.
_Bais nailed classic simplicity with their effortlessly chic outfits.
Why Mary brought those free love vibes with peace symbols and 70’s throwback looks. The label supports local companies by only using Australian suppliers.
Birdtribe showed us why their name includes Wearable Art in the title, as the models looked like goddesses walking barefoot on the grass. The label promotes making a strong statement about inequality and human rights issues through clothing, as well as using natural plant dyes and fibres in their collections.
Loved the hats and bold colours at Smitten Merino, and was equally impressed with the fact that it is a zero-waste label – all offset fabrics are repurposed for smaller accessories.

I will happily say yes to wearing pink cockatoos on a shift dress any day of the week. This look was so bright and happy – perfect for an afternoon garden party. Each limited-run collection from Colour Coded is designed and made in Melbourne using natural fibres.
This gorgeous champagne-coloured flowing jumpsuit with back tie detail had heads turning as Ricepaper the Label showcased their transpersonal pieces.
Other designers included Tatyana Design, Sticks + Stone the Label and Pitra, all whom promote sustainable, repurposed fibres, handmade quality and ethical practices.

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