Virgin Australia is bringing romance back to the skies and streets. The full-service carrier has a three-year partnership with the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), a month-long parade of ideas, fashion and creative collaboration that kicks off March 17 at Central Pier, Docklands. But more than this, they are introducing travelers to an era when flights inspired Sunday best attire and were treated as a special occasion.
“Bringing back that sense of style and occasion through our uniforms is just one of the many ways that we’re adding some magic back,” says Michael Scott, VA’s GM of marketing/communications.
Swoony trench coats, soft purple scarves and Virgin Australia’s color-pop red. If the uniforms seem at all reminiscent of Pan-Am’s chic jet-set days that’s because fashion designer Juli Grbac drew inspiration from flight attendants of the 1960s.
“I loved the glamour of aviation in the ‘60s, and the way these women were so well put together,” Grbac says. “My goal was to create something that looked flattering and chic on all body types—from size 6 to size 26.”
VAMFF: Full Monty
VAMFF’s core program of runway, beauty and business events takes place in Melbourne March 17 to 23 with plenty of talks, workshops and cultural programs scattered throughout the month. In 2013, the festival attracted close to 400,000 attendees in 149 programmed events.
“We are delighted to partner with this iconic event,” Scott said in a recent chat with Prevue, “which shares our values of innovation, style and our committment to fostering emerging and established local Australian talent.”
This year, the five-event business series program is slated to attract over 2,500 delegates within creative, design and service oriented industries, with runway events luring designers from Australia’s tertiary institutions and established designers from around the globe. Australian designer Camilla Franks’ vibrant and playful ‘And God Created Woman’ collection, injected with the stylings of renowned Fashion Stylist Mark Vassalloa and a winter edge, is a sure highlight of the festival.
As if Franks’ designs didn’t have enough flair of their own, composer Jonathan Dreyfus’ brass and percussion arrangements, brought to life by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, will complete the sensory fusion.
Amidst all of this pomp and circumstance is a smorgasbord of free and ticketed cultural programs running throughout the month that are sure to keep the creative embers glowing. From narcissism and ‘selfies’ to workshops on boot making and 1920s and 30s fashion illustration to tools for aspiring fashionistas—this business meets fashion vibe makes for interesting collaboration and networking.
Scott believes Virgin Australia’s role in VAMFF will continue to evolve as the carrier discovers new ways to bring to life the VA brand. “It’s important for us to convey a sense of style and sophistication as we’ve transitioned to a full-service carrier. Our red dress has quickly become one of our most iconic assets.”