WE ARE VAMFFING – WITH ELLEN

Ellen Coyle Bio Photo

Meet Ellen Coyle, Voxfrock Rookie with a lyrical literary style. In her first report from VAMFF‘s front line, Ellen leads us through the teaming Plaza, into the thick of backstage and out the other end, to where the frocky stuff finally happens. In her  usual life, Ellen is the cheeky voice behind Post Bogan, Melbourne’s style, culture and nouveau` dag commentary site. She’s also an industry professional and RMIT alumni, trained in construction and pattern cutting techniques. Ellen tells us for Post Bogan, she dissects and discerns the why and how of the sartorial tribes of Melbourne. “An egalitarian approach and an awareness of our roots, our own attitude toward the class divide, and the fascinating way in which we define and redefine ourselves through fashion, is what keeps Post Bogan observing,” she says. “Fashion is a way of expressing ourselves, and if we bring out the inner mullet, so be it”. Ellen went VAMFFing for Voxfrock with Zhongda “Sam” Wang, rookie photographer on Monty Coles’ gifted RMIT crew. Click back tomorrow for their next collaboration.

Words: Ellen Coyle  Photos: Zhongda Wang.

The first sound you hear is the click, pop, click, pop… and the whrrrrrrrr of skateboard wheels over the surface of the forecourt of the VAMFF Plaza. Ollys, 180s and a sick front-side heel slip criss-cross, a ‘bride’ and her bridesmaids in Pantone green searching for the perfect position for her photographer. Meanwhile, the pop of heels on the granite and the click of street photographers continues at the entrance to the fairground – it’s VAMFF Premium Runway #4.

On the Plaza it’s all bright lights, cacophony, activity. The mood is carnivale; food trucks and fairy floss, fashion darlings swinging like serene angels on the Mercedes Benz photo booth. Happy noises; so very different to the activity behind the scenes.

_DSC7794

Backstage is a back street hawkers’ market; steamy, crowded, chaotic. Dressers are crouched, ready to press a dress here, arrange shoes there.  Conversation turns to the “See Now Buy Now” Shop The Runway model being used in all the VAMFF shows. The girls enthuse. The idea is a fantastic engagement for the audience; fashionistas in the seats at the shows, and those eagerly following online. But it also presents a significant supply challenge to fledgling businesses. Can the seven brands in Premium Runway 4 rise to the challenge?

Wild Horses. Photo: Zhongda Wang

Wild Horses. Photo: Zhongda Wang

The music starts and the vision is feminine florals, luxe fabrics and 1970s inspired French femininity a la` Betty Catroux, captured by emerging labels Finders Keepers, We Are Kindred, (Main picture, top.) Isabelle Quinn, Wild Horses, S. Wallis, Keepsake & Talulah. Trails of dark florals, ruffles and layers float down the runway, femininity permeating the slipstream left by Talulah and We Are Kindred. Sheer chiffons in Moroccan kaftans and pant suits with braiding trim at Finders Keepers. Empire maxis with fringing detail teasing vertically down the body in basic black at Wild Horses.

Isabelle Quinn. Photo: Zhongda Wang

Isabelle Quinn. Photo: Zhongda Wang

Keepsake impress with a black tailored suit dress, scalloped lace hinted at the hem. Blush, wine and forest green velvets by Isabelle Quinn slither across bodies in wraparound dresses and pyjama suits that test the ability to keep one’s hands to oneself.

Wild Horses. Photo: Zhongda Wang

Wild Horses. Photo: Zhongda Wang

Finally, La Isla Bonita inspired waisted dresses in graduated layers of contrasting lace from Byron Bay-based label Talulah close the show. A smattering of applause at the final walk, dulled by hands busily Instragramming the looks – a modern day tribute perhaps more valuable to the designers than any other.

Ellen Coyle, intern@voxfrock.com.au