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Video: Life of style – Vydia Rishie

Writer and stylist Vydia Rishie, of fashion blog the VR Verdict, arrived in style at this year's Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), cruising between runway shows in a Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class 250d. We ask her what looks impressed her most, her favourite way to get from A to B and what's coming up next in the world of fashion.

How would you describe your style?
My style is always evolving and dependent on my mood and where I’m going. In saying that, my style has always been about creating a complete look – I’m always thinking about accessories, bags, shoes and all the details in between. I like things to be put together and polished, but still effortless.  

What were the key trends at VAMFF in 2017? 
Two trends that really stood out were power suits and anything in the colour red! [Labels] Romance was Born and Bianca Spender were the front runners for channeling this vibe and it was something to be seen not just on the runway, but out on the streets too.  

What most excites you about the world of fashion and design?
The people! I’m a bit of a social butterfly and love meeting new people. Hearing their stories and being around a creative vibe in general is always inspiring.  

Do you have a favourite Mercedes-Benz model?
It would have to be the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63. That AMG badge is just too cool not to love.

What has been the highlight of collaborating with Mercedes-Benz?
I’m actually a huge fan of cars, so having that crossover between fashion and cars has always been relevant to me. As a stylist, my car is basically my office, wardrobe, and desk for being on location, so of course I love driving a luxe, comfortable car with all the performance features.

What are your plans for the next few months of the year?
Lots more styling and a bit more travel, I’m super excited to be heading to Europe very soon.  

Interview by Nola James

See all the highlights from Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF)

A celebration of iconic Australian design

A highly awarded designer, world-famous model and acclaimed photographer, all hailing from Australia, came together to set the scene for an unforgettable Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2017 brought together icons of the Australian fashion and design industries – highlighted by an exclusive photoshoot with acclaimed photographer Georges Antoni and Australian model Montana Cox.

Antoni and Cox collaborated on the shoot at the visually stunning Carriage Works in Sydney, featuring the all-new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé.

Wearing a special creation by Mercedes-Benz Presents designer for 2017, Dion Lee, Cox dazzled alongside the brand-new, technically advanced vehicle. Lee’s garments feature structural design and stunning shapes, which perfectly complement the new E-Class Coupé.

The shoot set the scene for the week-long celebration of fashion and design, which kicked off at Australia’s most iconic building, the Sydney Opera House, where Lee presented his Resort Collection, sending models down the runway sporting another Australian icon – red Akubra hats.

 Find out more about Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia

Mercedes-Benz Ladies’ Day turns it on again

The hottest ticket in town, on a Formula 1 weekend jam-packed with exclusive opportunities, was the opportunity to attend Mercedes-Benz Ladies’ Day.

Around 300 ladies attended the stunning Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge at Melbourne’s Albert Park Golf Club, which has undergone recent refurbishment but still sits absolutely trackside with unfettered access to all the on-track action across the Grand Prix weekend.

In the ninth annual edition of the by-now famous event, guests sipped champagne and cocktails, grazed from a menu specially prepared by well-known chef and Mercedes-Benz Friend of the Brand Shane Delia, and had front-row seats to a spectacular runway show. Recently anointed Friend of the Brand, fashion designer Dion Lee, presented a stunning collection of spring garments that drew the collective admiration of an immaculately attired audience.

With another Friend of the Brand, television personality Brodie Harper, guiding proceedings, the ladies-who-lunched also had the opportunity to meet – and pat - the day’s other special guests, two Labrador guide dogs-in-training who represented the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix’s official charity, Guide Dogs Australia. That organisation’s marketing manager Charlie Spendlove, told guests about the vital work that guide dogs perform for their vision-impaired clients.

However, it was the appearance of so-hot-right-now designer Dion Lee that had the fashion-savvy crowd buzzing. Dion was recently announced as the coveted “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer for the upcoming Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, an honour that places his brand at the forefront of Australian fashion.

Vogue Australia Editor Edwina McCann interviewed Dion before the appreciative crowd and said it was an “absolute coup” for Dion to lead off the annual MBFWA shows.

“It’s the biggest show of Fashion Week and launches a whole resort season with a new, unique collection, so it’s an absolute coup for the Australian industry,” she told the audience.

Dion described receiving the position as the “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer as a “huge honour”. “I’ve been showing in Australia for many years now and more recently in New York, so to come back here and be the opening show is amazing,” he said.

Dion paid tribute to MBFWA as a huge influence on his career. “It was really the introduction to fashion for me, it’s something you would really look to as a young designer, as the platform that really did elevate our industry internationally.”

Guests were also offered 20 per cent off the Dion Lee instore range as thanks for their attendance. They snacked and sipped well into the afternoon on nibbles supplied by a pop-up version of Delia’s Middle Eastern-inspired Maha restaurant and a specially conceived cocktail menu. Racing cars roared by within mere metres of the delightful Star Lounge, a fitting prelude to one of the most action-packed events on the Australian sporting and social calendars.

Words Steve Colquhoun

Blogger Dalton Graham talks fashion as lifestyle

A decade ago, you would have had trouble finding many Australian or New Zealand men who took pride in the way they dress – let alone cared. But, with the advent of digital media, a perceptible shift has occurred that has seen men grow into well-informed, stylish shoppers. As street style websites, such as The Sartorialist, grew and offered a porthole into how those in Milan or Paris wore their suits, e-commerce platforms, such as Mr Porter and MatchesFashion.com, made those wares accessible for the first time.

Dalton Graham, also a talented AFL player for the VFL's Port Melbourne team, observed this shift, and having grown up surrounded by fashion (his father having worked in retail and manufacturing for nearly half a century), saw an opportunity to help fill a gap in the market.

“So many friends of mine didn’t have any idea of how to dress for certain occasions, or would ask me about great places to eat, or didn’t know how to pack for business trips, and so what started as a hobby became a business,” he explains of The Tailored Man, his menswear and lifestyle website that launched in January 2015. The focus, explains Graham, is to “offer honest, up-front, authentic information without too much fluff, to shape a lifestyle that’s achievable to the everyday guy, whether in food, design, fashion or whatever it might be.”

The key to the success of the website, which employs a team of seven, is, according to its founder, its accessibility. “Good style isn’t necessarily about spending a lot of money. It could be about an outfit from [high street retailer] Uniqlo, or spending $150 but getting value for money for that amount.”

With thanks to the content he produces, which features practical guides, news and reviews, as well as his innate understanding of the Australian male, Graham has been called on by various brands to assist in their marketing efforts, and hints at the possibility of expanding the business into an online store. This, he says, would be a natural extension of the aspirational imagery featured online, bridging the gap between information and transaction.

“I think as men when we trust the source, then we feel comfortable in investing, and so we want to take our readers’ trust and help them in their journey to living a stylish life.”

Words Mitchel Oakley Smith