Today, Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (better known as VAMFF) announced the six finalists for Australia’s most prestigious fashion award. Sponsored by David Jones and Harper’s Bazaar, the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival National Designer Award recognises and rewards excellence within the budding Australian fashion industry. Dion Lee, Yeojin Bae and Toni Maticevski are just some of the previous recipients of the award who have reached international success within the industry.
This year’s National Designer Award finalists are Lois Hazel, EX INFINITAS, Anna Quan, Kloke, Kacey Devlin and Third Form. The six finalists will celebrate their success at David Jones, Bourke Street on Wednesday, March 1 to officially commence the festival.
Meet the Finalists:
Lois Hazel (VIC)
After interning with major icons like Marchesa and Iris Van Herpen, Lois Hazel returned to Melbourne to launch her self-titled fashion label. Her garments focus on sustainability, with a pledge of 100% transparency on where her garments are sourced. Using only the highest quality fabrics, Lois develops intricate designs using her vast international fashion knowledge.
EX INFINITAS (VIC)
Melbournian designer, Lukas Vincent, is rising up the ranks of the global menswear industry, with his ’70s surf aesthetic and modern punk vibes already making major waves (mind the pun) overseas. Despite his impressive portfolio, with experience working with industry experts in New York and Paris, Lukas hasn’t forgotten his suburban beachside roots, which are a major source of inspiration for the Melbourne local/
Anna Quan (NSW)
This self-titled label keeps things simple, focussing on superior quality, functional clothing without all of the extras. As a 2011 Sydney Institute of Technology graduate, Anna has a strong eye for structure and attention to detail. The label adopts a ‘less is more’ approach, thus ensuring your wardrobe consists of versatile ‘day to night’ pieces.
Simple streetwear. Based in Melbourne, Kloke develop edgy-yet-simple streetwear for both men and women. With a strong emphasis on quality construction and simple designs, these pieces are going to stay in your wardrobe for years to come.
Perhaps the most conceptually creative of the finalists, KACEY/DEVLIN questions everything we thought we knew about fashion. Beginning each collection with a short film consisting of blindfolded models attempting to get dressed, Kacey Devlin illustrates the exact stem of her inspiration. Think “backs to fronts, arms through legs [or] pants as jackets”.
Third Form (NSW)
Hailing from Sydney, Third Form’s urban aesthetic caught the eyes of the VAMFF judges. Since their launch in 2014, Third Form have developed the perfect balance between sophisticated minimalism and edgy street-style vibes.
The overall winner will be chosen by a panel of industry experts including Graeme Lewsey (CEO of VAMFF), Kellie Hush (Editor-in-Chief, Harper’s Bazaar) and a variety of other specialists and stakeholders in the Australian fashion industry. The enormous business development prize pack, valued in excess of $100,000, is designed to assist the designer in furthering their career with a range of flights, mentoring programs, publicity and $15,000 cash. The winning designer will also have their garments featured in the VAMFF Gala Runway (to which you can purchase tickets here).