Frockwriter is not known for sitting back and waiting for the press release. For two years now, we have naughtily preempted IMG Fashion Asia Pacific's release of the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week schedule with our own running draft schedule and this year will be no exception. Herewith, the bare bones of the Spring/Summer 2010/2011 edition, which will take place from May 3-7 at Sydney's Overseas Passenger Terminal. This information, which will be updated, comes direct from the designers and/or their reps, who have, they claim, locked in times. An early adopter in social media stakes (in 2008 RAFW welcomed Bryanboy to what was in fact his first international fashion week, before he headed to the main circuit), IMG has already confirmed that Jak + Jil's Tommy Ton and Susie Bubble's Susie Lau will be attending this year. But they are not, we hear, the only blog stars who are heading downunder. (Garance Doré and Scott Schuman are also expected). (UPDATE 23/04/10: OFFICIAL SCHEDULE NOW ONLINE - WITH FROCKWRITER'S UPDATED DRAFT BELOW).
As for venues, RAFW-goers will recall that last year, the event was downsized from its traditional three venues to two, which was understandable in light of the GFC.
In November, IMG Fashion Asia Pacific's general manager Daniel Hill told WWD:
“Early inquiries about show options also lead us to believe there is a demand for three collection showroom options. Having said that, we are crucially mindful that these are still uncertain times for many businesses, especially those exporting abroad, so we have every intention to offer a range of economical participation solutions".
The schedule is still filling up and there is some indication that the adjacent Museum of Contemporary Art will include an additional venue on top of the regular MCA Showrooms. However frockwriter understands that for the second year in a row, RAFW's former Harbour Pavilion tent, which was traditionally the event's biggest venue, will not be on offer.
There have obviously been a few other developments since November.
In December, the second edition of the company's new Swim Fashion Week showcase was axed (sources say we are similarly unlikely to see a third edition of the company's Hong Kong Luxury Week this year).
Beyond Zimmermann and Seventh Wonderland, which say they are already on schedule, a number of other swimwear brands that were due to participate in Swim Fashion Week are expected to be incorporated into this SS1011 showcase.
Then in February, came the shock announcement, from IMG, that RAFW founder Simon Lock would not be renewing his contract - five years after he sold the event to IMG. The announcement came, curiously, a full eight months ahead of the expiry of said contract.
In a statement, Lock was quoted as saying:
"I look forward to celebrating the 15th year anniversary in May with my IMG and industry colleagues".
The statement continued on to say:
"IMG Fashion’s team structure in the Asia Pacific region will remain the same. Simon Lock, Peter Levy and Martin Jolly will all attend RAFW this season".
On Saturday, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Lock may be persona non grata at the event, which is even more curious. And quite disappointing.
Any Americans unfamiliar with Lock's name just need to imagine 7th on Sixth, or as it is known today, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, without its founder Fern Mallis - who, like Lock, transferred over with the event when it was sold to IMG.
There will undoubtedly be some who will be overjoyed at the news of Lock's departure from RAFW.
From its launch in May 1996, the event was frequently mired in controversy. Lock's intensely competitive nature, moreover, found him at loggerheads with more than one party.
It should be remembered, however, that after several attempts by various parties at launching an internationally-focussed fashion trade showcase in this country, Australian Fashion Week finally put Australian fashion on the map.
It took an aggressive marketer to muster enthusiasm, dazzle sponsors and leverage media coverage.
Equally important: it took a branding professional to bypass the dull, commercial names that could easily have bankrolled the event in its early days, to focus instead on the new emerging designers who would give the event an exciting edge, some of whom were also financially assisted by Lock.
The industry owes him a huge debt of gratitude.
THURSDAY 15TH APRIL
12.30 Leona Edmiston, Quay, Overseas Passenger Terminal
WEDNESDAY 28TH APRIL
11.00 Carla Zampatti, by invitation
12.30 Marnie Skillings, Royal Botanic Gardens
THURSDAY 29TH APRIL
TBC The Birthday Suit
THURSDAY 6TH MAY
21.00 Antipodium (cocktail party), venue TBC
bold = name not originally on draft schedule (last updated 18/04)
MONDAY 3RD MAY
09.00 Lisa Ho, off-site
10.00 Ginger & Smart, the OPT
11.00 Seventh Wonderland, Cargo Theatre
12.00 Camilla, the OPT
13.00 Lucette, Cargo Theatre
14.00 RTW #1 group show (Carly Hunter, Guanabana, Story by Tang, Uscari)
15.00 Zambesi, Cargo Theatre
16.00 Rachel Gilbert, the OPT
16.45-17.15 The MCA Group Collection and Art Installation Show (Francis Leon, IRO, Kylie Hawkes, Twenty8Twelve by S. Miller)
17.30 Bassike, Cargo Theatre
18.30 Aurelio Costarella, on-site
19.30 Bec + Bridge, Cargo Theatre
20.30 Christopher Esber, the OPT
21.30 Stolen Girlfriends Club, off-site
TUESDAY 4TH MAY
09.00 camilla + marc, off-site
10.00 Zimmermann, the OPT
12.00 Little Joe, the OPT
13.00 Sabatini White, Cargo Theatre
15.00 Magdalena Velevska, Cargo Theatre
16.00 RTW #2 group show (Breathless, Gary Yang, Leigh Schubert, Sally Koeswanto)
16.45-17.15 The MCA Group Collection and Art Installation Show (Elissa Coleman, Kirstie Morris, O’Hara Designs, Thulie)
17.30 Flannel, Cargo Theatre
18.30 Nicola Finetti, the OPT
19.30 Friedrich Gray, Cargo Theatre
20.30 Alex Perry, sound stage 7, Fox Studios
21.30 Ellery, off-site
WEDNESDAY 5TH MAY
09.00 Therese Rawsthorne, off-site
10.00 Kate Sylvester, the OPT
11.00 Alice McCall, Cargo Theatre
12.00 Manning Cartell, the OPT
13.00 Bianca Spender, Cargo Theatre
14.00 RTW #3 group show (Mawlai,
15.00 Phos Phoro, Cargo Theatre
16.00 Nookie, the OPT
16.45-17.15 The MCA Group Collection and Art Installation Show (Beau Coops, Del Playa Drive, Song for the Mute, TOS)
17.30 Jayson Brundson, Cargo Theatre
18.30 Anna & Boy, the OPT
19.30 Karla Spetic, Cargo Theatre
20.30 Konstantina Mittas, the OPT
21.30 Romance Was Born, off-site
THURSDAY 6TH MAY
09.00 Dion Lee, off-site
10.00 Kirrily Johnston, the OPT
12.00 The Innovators/TAFE NSW (Elliot Ward-Fear,
13.00 Gary Bigeni, Cargo Theatre
14.00 Lui Hon, the OPT
15.00 Dhini, the OPT
16.45-17.15 The MCA Group Collection and Art Installation Show (Cilla & Pepe, Efigy49, Kushushu, Penniem)
17.30 Saint Augustine Academy, Cargo Theatre
18.30 Michael Lo Sordo, the OPT
19.30 Fernando Frisoni, Cargo Theatre
20.30 Ruby Smallbone, the OPT
21.30 Gail Sorronda, Cargo Theatre
FRIDAY 7TH MAY
09.00 Arnsdorf, off-site
10.00 Ms Couture, the OPT
11.00 Miss Unkon, Cargo Theatre
12.00 Swim Fashion Week @ RAFW (Agua Bendita, Blackbox Apparel, Karen Neilson Collection, Lisa Blue, Lisa Maree, Rebecca Manning Swim, Roopa Pemmaraju)
13.00 White Sands, Cargo Theatre
14.00 New Generation group show (Louisa Fredrica, Nathan Paul Swimwear, Plasidapparel, By Johnny, Emma Veall, Flowers for a Vagabond, Garth Cook,
15.00 Annah Stretton, Cargo Theatre
20.00 Ksubi, Royal Hall of Industries, Fox Studios