Going to your first fashion show can be a daunting experience but if you follow these tips, you'll look like a pro.
What's this "VAMFF" everyone is talking about?
That's the acronym for the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival. It runs from March 1-19 and its name is a mouthful, so it's easier to say "VAMFF". And it's much easier than when the main sponsor began with the letter 'L'.
Where are the shows?
Most of the premium runway shows are taking place from Tuesday to Sunday this week at the Melbourne Museum precinct, including the Royal Exhibition Buildings.
How do I get there?
Public transport is your friend. Trams that go from the city up Nicholson Street are your friends, as is any train that stops at Parliament Station. There is limited parking onsite but it pays to pre-book as it gets pretty busy in the evenings. The best time to arrive is about 6pm for the 7.30pm show to give you enough time to enjoy the free activities – and a drink or two – at The Plaza.
What should I wear?
The $64,000 question. Sarah Willcocks, of Style Melbourne, says it's all about showing off your personal style.
"When in doubt, go big. Crazy colours and prints ... wear that thing your friends say you look terrible in as long as you love it."
She also advises to leave the "flammable, little dresses" at home. It's a fashion festival, not a nightclub.
Stylist Lana Wilkinson says people wanting to stand out should wear a pop of colour, even if it's a shoe or a bag.
"Have fun with what you're wearing."
What if it's hot?
Last year, the temperature topped out at 42 degrees one show day, so take a hand fan if it's going to be steamy. The Royal Exhibition Buildings are heritage listed, meaning they cannot be cooled like an office tower. Add lights, 1500 people and a lot of catwalk energy and it gets pretty hot in the front row. Layering is a great way to dress for the shows and the time you'll spend outdoors in between.
How do I get my photo taken?
The trick is not to try. Street style photographers have a great eye and can always spot the peacocks who are trying too hard to be noticed. If you look comfortable and project an air of confidence, you won't need to stalk them. They will find you.
Any other rules?
Wilkinson says it's important to be on time, so shows can stick to their schedule, and sit where your ticket says. Sneaking into the front row isn't cool, unless you have paid for a seat or are invited to sit there by the organisers. Sometimes if people in the front row don't show up, ushers will offer the seats to people further back, so be patient and you may get a call up.