Fashion authorities don’t tend to measure catwalk shows in terms of altitude but, if they did, the opening night of Melbourne Fashion Week may have been one for the record books.
On Wednesday night, three runways held on the 85th floor of Eureka Tower – more than 200 metres above street level – opened the week-long event.
The feature show, by internationally-acclaimed Melbourne duo Strateas Carlucci, championed age diversity, with designer Mario-Luca Carlucci’s 85-year-old grandfather, Benito Capasso, and his 10-year-old son, Ryder, both part of the model line-up.
Mario-Luca Carlucci said the brand has always championed a genderless aesthetic, so diversity of all kinds is part of its DNA.
“Our clothes are driven by a concept not just the perfect model wearing it,” he said. “We find perfection in imperfection.”
Since launching in 2013, Straeas Carlucci has achieved worldwide success, including winning the 2014 National Designer Award, as well as becoming the first Australian brand to show at Paris Men’s Fashion Week in 2015.
Although they have shown in many of the world’s great fashion cities, Peter Strateas said staging a show 85 floors above Melbourne was too good an opportunity “to show people something new in the city”.
Carlucci added: “It’s really important for us to show, it’s a bit of a homecoming [parade].”
Melbourne Fashion Week, which is organised by the City of Melbourne, will include several runways at iconic, and unusual, spots around the city, including the Melbourne City Baths and the tarmac at Melbourne Airport.
“We’re trying to unlock some of these spaces,” said Melbourne Fashion Week’s Fiona Twist, who stumbled on the Eureka Tower space, which has 360-degree views of the city and surrounds, through the Open House program.
Also walking on Wednesday night was Fashion Week ambassador Adut Akech, who arrived on Monday into a media storm surrounding a WHO magazine article that used a photo of another black model, Flavia Lazarus.
Akech, who was born in South Sudan and raised in Kenya and Adelaide before moving to New York, has used the incident to highlight the ongoing issues surrounding racism and diversity in the fashion industry. Her younger brother, Bior, was also on the catwalk.