Thursday, 31 May 2018

M.A.D Fashion Showcase 2018

May the 5th saw the third annual Melbourne Alternate Designers (M.A.D) fashion showcase. This year the event had a location change, taking place in the Melbourne Arts Centre. It is amazing to see this event grow and be able to utilize such a famous and beautiful building, and it was now more accessible with more parking and being so close to the CBD and transport.
The runway took place in a separate, but connected, room from the market, and had a unique layout. With a crescent pathway running across the room, and the main stage running at a 90˚ angle, this allowed the audience more chance to see the garments, the models to interact with the audience, and a more traditional catwalk to still be present. The night ran smoothly and on time, something M.A.D has set a standard for and continues to keep.

The market this year appeared to have many more artists. Ranging from those selling prints and pins, to others selling clothing and accessories, this year once again showcased local artists and had something for everyone. My only qualm with the market was, due to the floor’s layout, a bottle neck was created and with so many attendees it was difficult to manoeuvre. But this is something that happens due to the popularity and large attendance, and being in a new space there are bound to be a few hiccups.

The night was hosted by Mr. Marmalade, a magician and entertainer. He wowed the audience with some ring tricks, and provided a fun setting for the evening. He hadn’t learned the safety rules off by heart, but made it an obvious and meta joke by reading off instructions (and I would prefer he read off paper than forget anything); it was a clever and amusing way to handle the ‘boring’ aspect of a show. Mr. Marmalade’s comedy ranged from innocent (pointing out his table never folds in easily), to dark (declaring war on children), which proved this show is definitely 18+. I enjoyed Mr. Marmalade’s MCing, he was entertaining and kept attention, but didn’t steal the show. 

The first designer for the evening was Sugar St Claire, previously known as Cherry Pie Millinery. Her showcase featured headdresses and outfits worn by burlesquers, and having some performance element to her runway started the night off in a great way. Featuring millinery from ‘simple’ flower crowns, to peacock feather fascinators, to giant feathered headpieces, Sugar St Claire’s work is gorgeous and can elevate a beautiful outfit into an extravagant one. My favourite piece was a silver star headdress, the stars create a halo around the head and under stage lights for burlesque would no doubt appear to be floating.  
Eevie La Volpe

 Tiki Amazon

 Lucky Dip



 With A K

 Loli Box

 Ana Diction

 Ana Diction

 The designer

The second designer was Intimdation. Known in the cosplay community, Intimdation made his M.A.D debut with street style wear crossed with post-apocalyptic fashion. Whilst it may seem a bit too eccentric for street wear, especially with the use of camo print, it’s reminiscent of what can be seen in Harajuku; where everyday clothing and eccentricity go hand in hand. The outfits looked practical and comfortable, and Intimdation is known for adding pockets and hidden pockets in his outfits. My favourite outfit was a white (and black) top, skirt, with a hound tooth cloak.

 Shaelyn Wood

 Eleanor Gray

 Eleanor Gray

 Jamie Eames

 Nicholas Cato

The following designer was Scarlet Menagerie, featuring costumes or everyday clothing for the fashion bold. Her collection featured skirts, reminiscent of Victorian age and creating unique silhouettes and layers. Her tops were layered, with loose sleeves, but more form fitting on the torso, creating a much nicer silhouette (especially with the skirts) and movement to the outfits. My favourite outfit was a blue and champagne top and skirt, she really worked with colours, using champagne in the skirt, scarf and belt she broke this up by using a contrasting blue for the top. 
HMUA: Mekayla Ashley hair and makeup artist

 Scarlet Menagerie

Sylvia Mogie

 Ashley Paskin

 Marilyn Mocktail
After this, Ylva the Red showcased with medieval costumes. Perfect for renaissance fairs or LARP, these costumes seem historically sound (as far as I can tell). The team created a range of costumes from different time periods, to different classes from poor peasant to rich king. They use heavy fabric, which gives the costumes weight and nice movement; making them feel real and what would be worn back in the middle ages. They also add little elements, such as embroidered trimming, which makes the outfits look personal, rather than ‘off the rack’ costume shop. My favourite outfit was a blue gown, with white head piece, and grey cloak, it was an outfit that looked like it could feature in a movie.
HMUAs: Nick Brown, Jack Taylor
Sleepless Darkness Cosplay & Modelling

Nicole Bennett, Dan Knaggs

 Rianne Albiston
 Kay Robertson

Kay Robertson

 Ti Butler

 Jessica Witney

 Salvan Singh

 Helseth Indigo Dreams

 Nicole Bennett

 Dan Knaggs

 Bec Goulden (front right)

The Designers

Finishing up the first half of the show was Clockwork Butterfly. Featuring neo-Victorian inspired outfits, this collection was inspired by candy and sweets of the Victorian era. She created unique silhouettes for each of these outfits, even with three of them featuring skirts no patterns, cuts, or shapes repeated. She pays attention to little details from bows placed where fabric gathers, to a striped pocket on black, these details add extra surprise and show how much thought is put into these designs. My favourite outfit was inspired by lemon drops, featuring a ‘mullet’ skirt, the outfit is modest but still allows the wearer to showcase their legs.
Dominique Weir
Emma Johansson-Taylor

Vee Marie

Vee Marie

Chery Fyfe

Eloquent Mx Loki

Eloquent Mx Loki

Stirling Gill-Chambers

Stirling Gill-Chambers

Silhouetté D’Amour

The Designer

After a break the second half of the show opened with Mr. Marmalade drawing and calling winners of a raffle. The proceeds of the raffle went towards Fly by Night Bat Clinic, a non-for-profit which rescues and rehabilitates flying foxes. The drawing of a raffle was a bit clunky, with the drawers unsure of which prizes went together, and unable to read artists’ handwriting. The raffle wound up having to be stopped early in order to keep running on time, but this allowed people more chance to buy tickets. I know they received a lot of items for the raffle, so even if everything went smoothly there might not have been enough time, and I’m sure in the future a smoother system will be implemented.

The mid-show performance consisted of Miss Gemma Trick showing off various circus tricks with hula hoops. She differentiated herself from previous years by having hoops with LEDs, along with her outfit sporting lights, creating a more sci-fi feel to her performance. It was a fun show, and a great way to get the crowd ready for the next lot of fashion.

 Starting the second lot of fashion was Tricksy Pixies, showcasing scale armour and leather lingerie. Perfect for people into fetish and BDSM fashion, this collection combined scale mail with leather harnesses. The scale sections of the outfits fitted the model’s forms well, rather than looking like a sheet of armour, and were incorporated into the harnesses, rather than looking awkwardly layered. She also utilized colour with the scales, using blacks, blues, reds, and silvers, which added more choice and personality. I would have liked to have seen higher cut underwear on the models, as they seemed really thick compared to the harness straps, but I understand the choice and she did coordinate them to the pieces (the red and black scales were matched with red underwear). My favourite piece was a full black scale and harness, with scales covering the chest, along with scales on the shoulders; it was a very regal look.

 Ruby Ravonfaere

 Anna Phalaxis

 Jayde Helena

 Amy Sinnet

 Lou Kenton

 Lucy La Parr

 The Designer

Following was Kongas Kreations, with an Alice in Wonderland inspired collection. His showcase featured only two looks, the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter, but they were well executed and very detailed. I was surprised by this, I knew of Kongas Kreations as a leather worker and props maker, so to see him create beautiful costumes from hat to shoe. Whilst the costumes are made from fabric, there is still leather elements (some of which I didn’t realize were leather until after the show), the headpieces, corsets, gloves, and boot covers are all shaped leather. Having two costumes I can’t choose a favourite, they are both gorgeous and show the skill Kongas has in his craft.
HMAU: Kristyl Robertson 

 Rebecca Flanagan

 Rebecca Flanagan

 Rebecca Flanagan

 Elliee Nunn

Elliee Nunn
 Elliee Nunn, Rebecca Flanagan

The next designer was Button Fox, showcasing a large collection of street wear. Known throughout pop culture conventions, Button Fox has made a name for themselves creating cute capelets, especially Pokemon-based ones. In their showcase they displayed outfits that were less fandom based, and could be worn by anyone. Using blacks, greys, and deep reds their capelets, hoodies, and jackets could easily be added to anyone’s wardrobe. What I loved was that every item had some kind of fox element to it, from fox graphics, to silhouettes made from contrasting fabric, fox ears on hoods, and (my favourite) Button Fox trademark fox faces which hold the closures on the capelets. My favourite outfit was a grey dress with a grey capelet, they were simple but cute cuts that could easily be added to many wardrobes, had good movement, and looked very warm and comfy.
HMUA: Cassandra Jade


 Penelope Brightflower, Cassandra Jade

 Penelope Brightflower

 Aisha Diandra


  Kara, Jesse

Liam Davie


 Emma Hall, Miss Chloe


 Alice Oak, Liam Davie

 Alice Oak

 The Designers

Following was Epic Armoury, showcasing outfits and armour perfect for LARP and renaissance festivals. Rather than sticking to one style this collection showcased the wide variety of styles Epic Armoury creates, from pirate, to full body armour. Each look varied in what it would feature, with some showing off the clothing and sewing abilities of Epic Armour, with only small leather accessories, to others showing off the leather smithing and the clothing used only to finish the look. My favourite look was a musketeer outfit, it showcased a balance of clothing, with poof sleeved shirt and embroidery cloak, and leather work, with torso armour, belt, and hat.
MUA: Helseth Indigo Dreams & Astrokerrie

 Aaron Webster

 Jack Hamilton, Helseth Indigo Dreams

George Porihis

Returning to the M.A.D stage was Von Chibi, showcasing elegant evening and event wear and headpieces. Each of her outfits and headdresses created unique characters, from an innocent deer to an ancient Egyptian god, her showcase was entertaining to watch. Utilizing blacks and greys, these outfits would suit anyone, and can easily be dressed up with accessories. The headdresses were gorgeous and would make a conversation starter and draw eyes to the wearer. My favourite outfit was the Jackal head headdress, the moulded leather was a beautiful idea and created texture which was replicated in the skirt, it was ferocious and stunning. Though I have a close second of the headdress with the connected spikes and chains hanging, it is an elegant outfit but looks deadly with the headdress.
Hair & MUAs: Daniela Natale, Emma Rose

 Emily Beasy

 Emily Beasy

 Nastassja Symons

 CJ Chandler

 Skye Korvin

 Hayley Anderson

 The Designer

Finishing the evening was Lyris Design,
showcasing her gorgeous corseted gowns and outfits. Each year Lyris outdoes herself, showing off new skills she has learned, and this year was no different. Beginning the show in darkness, her first piece showed off symbols carved into armour and lit up underneath by red light. Once the lights went up, the armour is revealed to be incorporated into a jacket, rather than sitting on top. And Lyris continued this incorporation of armour or sculpted pieces into the outfits, with flowers on corsets which flowed onto skirts, and dragon headdress with a spine running down the back of a coat. This combining of fabric and sculpture was something Lyris had shown last year, but has definitely developed further this year. My favourite outfit was a black and red flower gown and corset with a nude illusion, the shapes and flow it creates are beautiful. I also loved the dragon headpiece and spine.

MUA: Miss Twisted
Hair: Gorejess Designs

 Jeshua Wilson

 Jeshua Wilson

 Miss May

 Angie Bubsy

 Miss Twisted

 Tab Talbot

 Tab Talbot

 Raff Allen

 Dani Fischer

 Sophie McNamara

 Vivien Katherine

 The Designer

Once again M.A.D created an amazing night showing off alternative designers and local artists. Even with a few hiccups, which are to be expected of any event especially with a new location, the night ran so smoothly. Each year this event outdoes itself.
I had a great night, and left feeling inspired with new designers I’m wanting to support.
I’m looking forward to returning next year! 

Written By: Dezmin Humphryis
Photography: Slippery Photography 

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