Sunday, April 30, 2006

Where are the celebs?

Last night Sonny and I climbed aboard HMAS MAFW - at least that's what I'm calling the Azimut yacht which has been moored outside the Park Hyatt for the duration of the event. And which has been talked up all week as the place where VVIPs are due to cluster each evening at sunset, like some exotic breed of game park bird.

We're hoping for a few sightings. Better still, some badly-behaved VVIPs - especially after Will & Toby's.

It's a sad state of affairs when the biggest names aboard a $4 million luxury cruiser are B-list ingenue Alyssa McClelland, Tara Moss castoff Peter Mochrie and The Minister for Sport, Tourism and Superyachts, Sandra Nori.

But there you have it folks - for last night at least.

Not having had a spare nanosecond throughout the week, it was the first chance I'd had to check out the boat. Apparently the upwardly mobile and pregnant fashion star Kit Willow Podgornik had taken the top tier tinny out for a private harbour cruise on the previous evening, but last night it was groaning with Fashion Week hangers-on.

Oh and a couple of pirates - not fashion plagiarists, for a change, just models dressed as same. They were the last vestiges of the Friday group show featuring Ed + Bek who are, yes you may have guessed it, sponsored by Azimut. I'm curious whether they came up with the nautical-inspired collection idea before they scored the Azimut sponsorship, or after. Let's hope Podgornik doesn't name her baby Estee Lauder.

So the Sunster and I scoured the vessel from top to bottom, including two luxury suites where you'd figure some shenanigans might be taking place. But not even a rumpled bedspread.

The only person with anything remotely resembling a major celeb connection was Dave Evans - he of Hugo's, who is helming the week's catering aboard this floating photoop, which is crawling with photographers.

Evans was of course recently linked with Elle Macpherson. The Evans camp has flatly denied that any romance is taking place.

As we swung through into the supersuite - which is equipped with a plasma screen and what at first appeared to be a pair of bedside microphones, but which I was subsequently informed were funky Italian lights - we discovered Evans alone in there, having a chat on the phone.

"Where's Elle?" I asked, unable to help myself.

"In Moscow" replied Evans, who didn't know me from a bar of soap.

I guess everyone is privvy to The Body's travel itinerary.

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bec & Bridge and serious race wear

Cute collection by bec & bridge. In a week groaning with playsuits, they sent out some of the best. Shorts with a pinafore front and fat ribbon lacing down the back.

By far the most interesting outfit in the auditorium however is being worn by a woman in the opposite front row, the fourth seat closest to the end of the runway. Huge pink cartwheel hat decorated with feathers and silk flowers. And matching suit.

I tell my colleague at The Melbourne Age, Jan Breen Burns, who is sitting next to me, that the woman looks like she is going to the races.

"About ten years ago," counters Burns. They take their racewear very seriously down in Melbourne.

Doing a group show means having to share the same models, hair and makeup, as everybody else. So the challenge is to find a styling point of difference that can be popped on and off in between sections as the models are changing.

In the case of Preacher, that happens to be a wrist cast on the right hands of all models. Perhaps It's a nod to David Jones' fashion buying head Colette Garnsey, who has been sporting a similar cast on one wrist for some time.

The Pani label from Sydney stands out from this pack. Great colours and really cute mini boardshort-look shorts. It would have been colourful enough without the emergence of two clowns on stilts and three contortionists. Take it from me, what this event doesn't need is more clowns.

The contortionists proceeded to roll down the catwalk doing one-handed somersaults, before regrouping at the end of the runway to create a human pyramid. At least they didn't look like they were about to pop out a ping-pong ball - which is what many of us were thinking about the hula hoop artiste at Allannah Hill on Wednesday night.

The clowns then started dancing down the runway towards the contortionists. It must a challenge negotiating a catwalk, while dancing, on stilts.

If they'd gone any harder I reckon they might have had needed something a little bigger than a wrist cast.

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Questions for the blog

While we're waiting for the next show - Joveeba at 3.00pm - a few fashionistas/os wanted to pass on a few questions for the blog.

Lily Cole - the world's number 28 supermodel (source:, backstage at Alice McCall

"Why is there not much food backstage at shows here?"

Who said supermodels don't eat?

Hiro Suzuki - H30 fashion/PR agency, Tokyo. Standing outside the Cargo Hall

"Why don't some Australian models shave properly?"

Hiro reports having spotted a number of models sporting a five o'clock shadow under their arms. This is precisely the kind of thing that a Japanese fashionisto would notice of course. In Japan, pubic hair is famously airbrushed out of photographs and under-arm laser epilation is, I hear, the go. I can't think of anything more painful..

Me - My BlackBerry

Finally I would like to know why male models aren't made to wear G-strings under their swimsuits, as applies to their female counterparts?

I was somewhat taken aback yesterday, in the swimwear group show, to spot far too much wedding tackle detail in the swim shorts of all those aspiring Chippendales who were modelling for the Serjeant brand. I don't want to have to think about circumcision at a fashion show.

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Cash for comment on the catwalk

And so to Tight Knickers. Having told me one week ago that they were planning a "world fashion week first" stunt for their debut Fashion Week show, Jonathan Pease and Jesse Margolis had a lot to live up to last night.

Pease described the planned stunt as a "social experiment" and when I told him that I hoped it didn't involve any rats a la Tsubi, he said there weren't any - adding, "But this is one time when you really want to be in the front row".

I reminded him that Tsubi's famous rodent installation of 2001 - when they released 169 rats onto the runway - was one time when you actually didn't want to be in the front row. In fact, having been pre-warned about that stunt, a couple of British buyers actually refused to attend.

So there we were, sitting waiting. Starving in fact due to the inevitable dearth of edible substances that is inherent in every Fashion Week. Many of us had not eaten all day - and if we had eaten anything at all, it was the size of a postage stamp. And so thoughtful of the Tight Knickers crew to place a plastic takeaway container with Vietnamese spring rolls on seats in the first few rows. Fearing they may be part of the social experiment, I didn't dare take a nibble.

So the show starts with a Miss Tight Knickers - a caricature of a beauty queen in bikini top, tiny skirt and TK sash, walking to a microphone at the end of the runway and promising to use her title to do good, something along those lines. She runs off, a couple of dancers come on, one of whom starts breakdancing and then TK bestie Erica Baxter strides onto the runway to begin the fashion show.

Baxter looked ashen-faced and now we know why.

A fairly humdrum collection of jeans, T-shirts and singlet dresses then emerged. That said, there was one nifty cartoon head print in grey and white used in a shirt, skirt, combats and jeans, as well as the brand's signature slogan T's, the most amusing of which ws emblazoned with the words, "How can I miss you if you won't go away?" No word if the T-shirt was a dedication from Baxter to Packer, but we'll keep you posted.

The show finishes and I'm sitting there, thinking to myself, how could that possibly be described as a social experiment, let alone a stunt? What a bunch of twats.

Then the proscenium at the end of the runway lights up with a video of Pease and Margolis wearing what look like black beanies and T-shirts which read, in the first shot, "We are the creators behind Tight Knickers". And then in the second, "We had to rob a bank to pay for this show".

The video continues: they then proceed to pull balaclavas over their faces, run into the bank-like building on the corner behind them and a few seconds later, run out of the building clutching bulging bags.

A few chuckles. The lights come up. And then a half dozen balaclava-hatted guys scramble onto the runway holding bags and start throwing money into the audience. Real money. Apparently $15,000 of it, as I am told later, in $5 bills.

The reaction is amusing. Some are so gobsmacked they're not sure what to do and just sit there laughing. Others rush forward to grab handfuls. One heavily-accented urban style photographer who declined to be named, who is sitting to my right, holds up a handful and squeals, "That's $50!!!". In the madness that ensues, he starts insisting that I and another journo to his right, take some cash. We decline. The other party adamant that she doesn't wany any of it. "Get it away from me - it's cash for comment!"

I reply, "It's cash for comment whether you take it or not!".

For the record, neither journo took a cent.

And just as well. Unbeknownst to anyone, Pease claims that cameras were rolling on the audience and they plan to later release a film of the mad cash grab.

The real question is which bank? Apparently the 15K was provided by a sponsor - a bank, which didn't want their name mentioned. I'm wondering if that might be some kind of sponsorship first?

Hilarious. Baxter may have dipped out on the billionaire, but at least some folk walked away last night with a Tight wad.

Maybe they should have handed it over to all those volunteers....

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Friday, April 28, 2006

VIPs, VVIPs and blogtwists

Standing inside the Fashion Week VIP bar - in fact the VVIP version that is operated after five by Sydney hipsters Will and Toby Osmond.

And here's a bit of a blogtwist for you. Right next to me is another Australian blogger, expat northern beaches surfie Sonny Vandevelde who lives in Antwerp where there is no surfing but instead lots of avant-garde fashion.

Sonny is a fashion photographer who in addition to his editorial work, for publications such as Grazia and L'Officiel in Dubai, Biba in Paris and Hintmag in New York, has a particular interest in behind-the-scenes runway reportage and travels the world in search of same.

Sonny has been doing a blog for the past nine months and is also an intimate of Diane "Queen of fashion bloggers" Pernet. Diane does a great Woman In Black impersonation. Except in Diane's case, she lives it 24/7.

Sonny has just blogged this moment as well.

We're here waiting for the 6pm show of Nicola Finetti - who, like Alex Perry, did one show off-schedule last week, and one on-schedule this week. They must be rolling in it.

Other than that, not much else to report. It's totally boring here at the moment... Unlike at the defunct Darlo bar Will & Toby's, which witnessed table dancing and three-way pashes with Megan Gale, there are no shenanigans. They must be dud VIPs.

We'll check back in later when they've wheeled in some better ones.

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One Teaspoon, Leo Sayer and pole dancers

Sitting at One Teaspoon, which is not quite as tarty as White Suede but comes a close second. This gear is drab on a runway - even if it's rocking at General Pants. And the show was opened by Tanya G, who suddenly seems to be getting star billing.

All the models have afros and now they are playing I Feel Like Dancing which leads me to assume that Leo Sayer is about to get up on the runway next.

And... there he is! Flanked by two pole dancers no less, which is I'm sure exactly how Sayer has always fantasised himself performing.

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Josh Goot, Lover and male genitalia

Just seen Josh Goot at the old Qantas building at Chifley Square. They used the front foyer area which is apparently being converted into a bank but which for the moment is just an empty shell, with a bare concrete floor. Brilliant backdrop to Goot's space age tracky couture.

With the Lover show in the last spot last night, overnight internationals have been treated to two of Australia's best new designer names.

Given the floor-to-ceiling glass window at the Chifley Square venue, passersby also had a peep at Goot's collection. Quite a crowd gathered. Not sure just what many punters would make of his silver tracksuit pants and trench coats but they're flying off the shelves where he's stocked in Australia - and more and more stores overseas.

Lover meanwhile was shown in a tiny grungy warehouse space in Surry Hills. It had an edgy vibe, also a great canvas on which to paint the Lover show.

Designed by Susien Chong and Nic Briand, this label is going off overseas. Their sweet, Victorian-look smock dresses and highwaisted chambray and khaki microshorts are sure to prove yet more hits.

Bumped into Tsubi's Dan Single again outside that show. Twice in the one day - but no evils this time.

Tsubi were supposed to be doing a photo exhibition tonight but have apparently canned it. The wide-sweeping buzz had it that they photographed their new sunglasses range on male genitalia.

Makes a change from those pictures of bare-bottomed women in ungainly poses draped over motorbikes and cars.

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Alex Perry and Kate Fischer's decolletage

When a spot opened up on the schedule last week and Alex Perry stepped in - after already showing off-schedule because he couldn't get the opening spot, yada yada yada - he confessed he had a few butterflies.

"It's the Harbour Room - I've only ever shown in the Cargo Hall," he told me, referring to the medium-sized Fashion Week venue. Striding into the show yesterday however, it was a different story.

How was Perry feeling about the show?

"Piece of piss," he noted - adding that he didn't mind being blogged on the comment.

Fill the Harbour Room he did - notably with a bevvie televisual blondes. I was sandwiched in between Erika Heynatz and Holly Brisley - directly across the runway from Annalise Braakensiek and Catriona Rowntree. The biggest news of the night could be summed up into four points:

1/ No KAK. See my first blog entry for a rundown on Perry's KAK live cross obsession. KAK missed out on her first opportunity to see a Perry show in the flesh, in being AWOL in QLD.

2/ Kate Fischer's absurd decolletage. I did a double-take while walking past La Fischer, who was sporting a ludicrously lowcut black sweater, which appeared slashed almost to her naval. It would have been a brave enough look on a woman slightly less well-endowed.

"Kate has always been a big girl but as she's gotten older they have travelled south," noted one fashionisto.

3/ Perry's blonde standing ovation. Clearly overwhelmed by the glamour of Perry's big frocks, the TV blondes stood in unison at the end to cheer him on.

4/Big occasion dresses look much better on a full-scale runway - than the cramped photographic studio where Perry showed the same collection off-schedule last week under mostly natural light.

But apparently KAK wasn't the only one to miss out on her big Perry moment.

Before the show Perry also confessed to having been to Greek orthodox church last weekend for easter - without his signature sunglasses glued to his head.

"And Woman's Day wasn't there to capture it!" he noted.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Peter Morrissey’s Bingle bungle

Late last night Peter Morrissey had his own "So where the bloody are you?" moment outside the show of his mate (and former bf) Jayson Brunsdon. Lara Bingle, the star of that overhyped Oz tourism campaign, was Morrissey's date - and she was late.

Morrissey has never been one to miss a photo op - well, except for those two years now that's he declined to show on Fashion Week's runways. But he told me that after Lara's bloody brouhaha hit the headlines, he realised they were both from Yowie Bay and looked her up.

So what of the magic moments from yesterday? Problem was, they were thin on the ground - certainly none had popped by my deadline last night.

Gail Sorronda really stood out in the group shows but she should do a solo show next time around if she can manage it. You can have an endless series of pretty frocks and snappy tailoring, but Fashion Weeks are all about what us fashion folk commonly refer to as "fashion moments".

The dresses in Aurelio Costarella's show, which unfortunately I missed while writing today's story, did look absolutely beautiful in the photos - I saw the entire collection once I finally arrived home, at about 10.30pm.

So yes, I stand corrected on the show timing front. Although things weren't auguring well after the Akira show delay, somehow Fashion Week got back on time. I must say it's the first time in 11 years that shows have started so close to the advertised times.

I was running to one show as the doors were about to close - and it was 10 minutes past schedule. Maybe they took a few leaves out of the Kiwis' show books. Their shows run like clockwork. The head of NZ Fashion Week, Pieter Stewart, is one very chic sargeant major.

This morning I'll be at Icebergs down in Bondi for the Kirrily Johnston show at 9am. Great location for a show, especially for any internationals who are new to this town. Like Costarella, Johnston also just keeps getting better, so looking forward to it.

Just to answer a couple of blog questions. Sorry for the delay. Someone asked if Milich & Morton are showing. Not this year. They have however just opened their first boutique at 12 Glenmore Road, Paddington. Just at the Glenmore Road/Oxford Street intersection there. For anyone unfamiliar with Sydney's retail hangs, this area has become a hip new hotspot. Lots of boutiques (from Sass & Bide's first freestanding store to Kiwi label World to Scanlan & Theodore and Tsubi).

Someone also asked about Tight Knickers. It's a brand, dude ( But I'm sure that wasn't the answer you were hoping for.

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White Suede, skinny jeans and soft porn

White Suede certainly lived up to it's porno-esque name. If those jeans had been any tighter they would have had to have been scraped off. But here's the thing with skinny jeans: they can look tarty or sharp. White Suede's fell into the former camp.

Helping them along was one Sydney model who's not afraid of camping it up on the runway. In fact Tanya G has made a soft porn art form out of her end-of-runway photo op, her signature, arched-back, raised elbows pose earning her the nickname of "S-Bend Girl" in some quarters.

"I love her," gushed one publicist. "She's like a sexy Kate Moss."

Bettina Liano's skinny legged denims, on the other hand, rocked. But Liano has never shied away from the tart look.

In fact she embraced it so much today that a number of her models fell out of their low-cut petticoat tops and corsets, leaving Hollywood Tape glistening on their skin under the unforgiving runway lights.

Obviously there's only so much Hollywood Tape can do.

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Kirrily Johnston, Alannah Hill and Tsubi's evil eye

After berating Pete Stevanovski for being a luvvie yesterday and holding up the Akira show, I became one myself this morning. After booking a cab and then the cab disappearing when I didn't turn up at the designated time, I spent 15-20 minutes trying to find another. Managed to catch most of the Kirrily Johnston show. Fresh and fluid, her full-length, draped grey marle jersey gown and bright orange bubble dresses were a very good start to Day Two.

Icebergs was a great backdrop for the last show - but getting there and then getting back to the main venue (Overseas Passenger Terminal) can create delays.

The offsite thing has always been problematic. Many designers want to show in their own venues for ambience and that's fair enough. But not all of us luvvies have a private car and driver.

Finally flagged down a cab outside Icebergs and en route to White Suede at the OPT. It sounds like a brand of condoms, but in fact it's a newish resort brand that's rising quickly. Solo show - and big spot at David Jones.

Came face to face with Tsubi's Dan Single out the front of Icebergs and he seemed to be giving me evils. The Tsubi boys may have to change their brand name as the result of a trademark dispute with a Californian footwear brand, Tsubo.

Don't shoot me guys. It can't all be free frocks, handbags, jeans - and good press.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Michelle Leslie off the catwalk

Bumped into Michelle Leslie and Michael Azzollini outside the Akira show this morning. Here she is at the show, snapped by Herald photographer Steven Siewert.Leslie says she's not doing any shows at all this week - so much for all that speculation yesterday.But then perhaps her plans have changed...

One designer told me last night that Leslie had called his office on several occasions hoping to get into the brand's show, but that as much as the designer would have loved to have used her again - "She looks great, she's a great walker and she sells the clothes" - he already had a deal with Leslie's old agency to exclusively use their models. That's the agency which severed ties with Leslie after the Bali drama).

You gotta feel sorry for Leslie. Kate Moss was photographed - allegedly snorting cocaine - and her career has never looked back.

We're now at the first of the group events. These are called the Ready to Wear shows - a bunch of up-and-comers, many of whom are new to Fashion Week. It's a great entry level parade for MAFW - but some young labels think they're above them unfortunately.

Organisers claim Romance Was Born was offered a group show but they decided to stage a separate off-schedule event last night - and missed a lot of buyers and press, most of whom are here now.

Natasha Gan just sent out some ruffled teadresses. But Kate Hurst and Cybele are the biggest buzz new names of this show. Hurst included some black spray-on look skinny jeans - are they ever going away? - and pretty sundresses.

Hot new Sydney swim label Nookie is on now. Yes cute name. Lots of cutout swim shapes, searingly bright colours and yet more dresses.

The dress is still definitely having a moment. Michelle Leslie was in this show last year - I remember seeing the shots of her in Nookie.

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Gorman and Richard Carlton's tie

I'm now parked at the Gorman show - opposite another Nine fashionista, Richard Carlton. Great colours - and that's just Carlton's tie.

Carlton is also sporting oxblood brogues, navy blazer, ecru trousers - and seems to be paying quite a lot of attention to the models' shoes.

Other than that he's looking po-faced and dead bored.

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Akira, Nick Cave's son and more Michelle Leslie

MAFW swings into action at 9am this morning with Akira's show down at a martial arts studio in Surry Hills called the Kung Fu Headquarters. Last year, Akira previewed his new spring collection on members of the Sydney Dance Company. Will he do it today on Jet Li, Sonny Chiba and Jackie Chan? Now there's an idea for a fashion show...

Actually Jethro "son of Nick Cave" Lazenby is probably the closest Akira is ever going to get to a celeb module.

As of last week, The Good Son - or Bad Seed, take your pick - was due to make his Sydney modelling debut in today's Akira's show, after first popping up on the fashion radar earlier this year down at the Melbourne Fashion Festival.

For those who are clearly obsessed with Michelle Leslie, you'll be thrilled to hear she is due to make four catwalk appearances this week.

Heard that last night at the little do at the State Theatre to welcome the four Kiwis who are showing: World, Zambesi, Keucke and Cybele.

This time last year of course Leslie was the model-who-was-everywhere-but-who-noone-knew, except for the designers who employed her to walk for their shows.

After the Bali brouhaha, all these Fashion Week photos suddenly started appearing and you realised just what a volume of runway work she had. People now seem quite nervous about using her.

Someone said last night that she may be doing Zimmermann. If that's the case, it will be interesting, Zimmermann being yet another swimwear brand like Azzollini. She could of course just model the ready-to-wear - and avoid the inevitable burka-to-bikini comments which she copped last week. With Zimmermann also slated to have Fashion Week ringin Lily Cole, the photographers could be very busy at that show.

What else did I hear last night? Oh yes, that David Jones is corralling designers together today for its biannual DJs family happy snaps. And that one DJs designer has had a word to management about how "matronly" her clothes look hanging on the racks there.

FYI David Jones goes quite hard during MAFW, completely taking over the Cruise restaurant down at the Overseas Passenger Terminal as its buying office by day and schmoozing saloon by night.

David Jones has also apparently stocked the Fashion Week/Azimut superyacht that is being moored nearby with cashmere blankies and toiletries.

The yacht is being used to ferry 25 "VVIPs" around for an hour at sunset each night. I'm calling it HMAS MAFW and hope that someone does a Tsubi at some stage over the course of the next five days and makes the VVIPs walk the plank into Sydney Harbour.

I'll be reporting in this blog from various shows using my Blackberry, so check back later today.

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Akira, door bitches and pregnant women

I'm at the Akira show and inevitably, it's late! It doesn't matter whether runway shows are on-site, or off, they invariably run past schedule... especially when the TV crews haven't arrived.

The issue with off-site shows is of course that there's usually no excuse, because there wasn't any show in the same venue beforehand.

Models can be an issue - if some haven't arrived from the previous show. But the first show of the week?

According to Akira's PA Penny Culliton, Channel Nine is the culprit.

Nine news reporter and aspiring fashionista Pete Stefanovic - who says he is Karl's little bro - has been calling Culliton every five minutes to say the crew is caught in traffic on the harbour bridge and begging her not to start without them.

Pete, don't be a luvvie. Get with the program - and out of bed a bit earlier tomorrow.

There are 11 shows today, we're going to be here until the wee hours I fear.

The usual outside schmozzle while we waited to get in.

So far I have spotted two well-pregnant women. Can pose problems if there's a squash at show venues.

I asked the door bitch outside Akira whether he would let one in who was being squashed against the wall. He said, "Sorry, she's GA". I responded, "Yes but she's also P.R.E.G.N.A.NT.".

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Tight Knickers and tanties: it's Fashion Week again

Well here we go again. Mercedes Australian Fashion Week starts officially on Wednesday but in case you've been living on another planet for the past week, the fashion buzz around Sydney is already in full swing.

There have been off-schedule shows almost every day, the most high profile of which being last Tuesday's Azzollini show. Really cute idea for a swimwear show: make a catwalk out of a cutting table in a Lycra warehouse. Scathingly brilliant publicity idea: get your mate Michelle Leslie back up on the catwalk for the first time after three months in a Bali prison cell.

Anyone who might still be wondering why the event is running Wednesday through Sunday this year, instead of its regular Monday-Friday timetable (well, as of last year it has been Monday-Friday; it was stretched to five days for the first time in 2005), there are two answers. The official version is that the industry has been begging for the event to move earlier, to be better in synch with the selling period and that once the event was moved forward by one week, it clashed with Anzac Day. The conspiracy theory, which seems to have gained some currency in Sydney, is that organisers forgot to book the venue.

The move has caused no end of dramas, with some designers nervous about missing out on week day media, which is fair enough I suppose because let's face it, that's why they do it - for the coverage. But apparently even numerous attendees have expressed a reluctance to attend on the weekend. The latter should try covering the international Fashion Weeks, several of which have 10-day schedules.

But the dramas have provided a fascinating insight into the client base of Alex Perry for one. Apparently a lot of Perry's customers are home in the mornings to watch Kerrie-Anne Kennerly. When Perry threw a tantie after being refused the opening spot and then refused the closing spot, he told me the fact that KAK doesn't have a show on the weekend really influenced the latter decision because it meant he wouldn't have been able to do a live cross to her.

Perry says he couldn't have done a live cross on the Friday, ie before the weekend time slot that the organisers were offering, because KAK's Thursday and Friday shows arenĂ¢€™t live. Hello? Pre-record?

Now Perry is back on the schedule - in a space vacated by Alex Zabotto-Bentley at the last-minute - but Perry still won't be able to do a live cross to KAK because his show is on the Thursday night. It's the first time apparently that KAK has ever been able to actually attend an Alex Perry show in the flesh, Perry says, because she has spent the past ten years talking to him backstage down the barrel of a camera. Noted Perry: "Kerrie-Anne is over the moon."

So beyond Alex Perry's big fat Greek drama, what's on the schedule?

You can go to the official website to see the detailed breakdown but I'm tipping that a few highlights will be some of the debut solo shows.

They include hot new swimwear label Anna & Boy on Saturday night, from ex-Voguettes Anna Hewett and Lill Boyd. That's Vogue the magazine, as opposed to forum users (you know who you are).

Ex pro surfer Mic Eaton first appeared in a group New Generation show at MAFW's autumn/winter event down in Melbourne last October, but he's making a solo debut with his Material Boy show on Sunday.

Lingerie queen Fleur Wood is also popping up solo. As are Tight Knickers.

There are lots of new names in the group shows as well: great to see Kate Hurst on the schedule for the first time, as well as Cybele from New Zealand and all the 2005 Startup winners such as Out With Demons, Shilo and Keucke.

Established names include Akira - who beat Perry to the opener, but apparently doesn't have a live cross booked with KAK - and less established names include the hot new posse which has emerged over the past couple of years, from Alice McCall to Camilla and Marc to Lover, Gail Sorronda, Marnie Skillings, Cohen et Sabine, Tina Kalivas and Josh Goot.

Some keep rattling on about Collette Dinnigan, sass & bide and co not being on the schedule. But they are so preoccupied with running international businesses that they can't afford the time and really, who cares? Dinnigan was already showing in Paris by the time MAFW started, so she never needed the event. But where did we discover sass & bide for the first time? That's right, MAFW. The strength of this event is its ability to springboard new talent and it continues to deliver on that front.

There is also a heap of off-runway action, from showrooms to exhibitions to The Source trade fair, to the VIP bars, to the inevitable off-schedule, off-site shows which pop up each year during the week to the parties. Here's a list of some of the latter just FYI, although as a general rule obviously you will need an invite to get in:-

• MAFW Opening Party: Monday 24th April, 7pm. Trades Hall, 4-10 Goulburn Street.
• New Zealand Black 06: (cocktail party for the four on-schedule Kiwis - World, Zambesi, Cybele and Keucke), Tuesday 25th April, 6.30pm, State Theatre, 49 Market Street.
• Wayne Cooper: Wednesday 26th April, 9.00pm. Ruby Rabbit, 251 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.
• Lover afterparty/Lover Loves Levi's launch party: Friday 28th April, 9.30pm. 34B Darlinghurst.
• Tight Knickers: Friday 28th April, 8pm. Lipstick @ Melt, 12 Kellett Street, Kings Cross.
• Leona Edmiston: Saturday 29th April, 8pm. Imperial Peking, 15 Circular Quay West, The Rocks.

Some may throw a few more tanties that I've divulged this but realistically, if this was New York, Paris or Milan, this info would already be out there.

Here's a golden opportunity for some enterprising soul: corrall all the Fashion Week information into some semblance of a guide or Fashion Week Calendar.

People stand outside the overseas shows handing them out to you as you walk in. And fashion addicts of course stand outside overseas show venues and parties desperately trying to get in. What we need in this town are a few more fashion enthusiasts and a few less luvvies who can't be bothered getting out of bed for Fashion Week if it's not during their clockon-clockoff hours. Guys, it's your job. It can't all be free frocks and handbags.

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