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VAMFF's runway nod to same-sex marriage

It was subtle – but it was there. On Wednesday night, the Melbourne Fashion Festival gave a sartorial nod to same-sex marriage in its bridal parade.

The show, which returned to the schedule after a two-year hiatus, featured two male models dressed as grooms holding hands, and a bride in a tailored suit, invoking the spirit of marriage equality.

But it wasn't the first time the festival had worn its support for marriage equality on its trumpet sleeves.

Three years ago, the bridal runway featured a "moment" at the end of the show to mark the festival's support for the same-sex marriage.

This year's show, the support was more integrated, allowing the focus to be on the designs, said festival chief Graeme Lewsey.

"This is not a protest, this is not a movement, anything other than this is now, forever in this country, normal. We wanted the bridal show to demonstrate our normal society."


As for the clothes, they ran the gamut from traditional to more daring. Opening designer Toni Maticevski included pants in his collection, as did Jason Grech, while Richard Nylon created delicate face nets and headpieces as an alternative to a veil.

Grech, a celebrity favourite for red carpet events such as the Brownlow, said one of his gowns included 60,000 hand-sewn Swarovski pearls and crystals.

Other highlights of the show included a feathered gown by Sydney designer Rachel Gilbert and Steven Khalil's bigger-than-Ben-Hur strapless ballgowns.

In another sign that bridal fashions are moving with trends, Grech created a crystal-encrusted bomber jacket, which answers the question of, "Can I wear it again?" The answer: most definitely.

The show ended with 21 flower girls and page boys flooding the runway in an edit of looks by David Jones.

The same-sex marriage element of the bridal runway followed Tuesday night's nod to the Time's Up movement against sexual harassment and abuse. The runway, which featured Camilla and Marc and Dion Lee, ended with a parade of the models all wearing black, echoing the dress code implemented at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs.

The Melbourne Fashion Festival runs until March 18. vamff.com.au