By Gabby Neal
@gabbyneal__


This year AMFAM was present at the annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Australia and as such we had the opportunity to run around backstage, hang with the models and chat to the designers.

So naturally, we’re sharing and letting you in on all the hustle and bustle that was and a little insight to the world of Johnny Schembri and his collection to give you a little bit of an idea how he as a designer works with the models.
By Johnny MBFWA

Does fashion week have the same relevance it once did when you first showed here?

Over the years it’s definitely been a question of mine, you question all the time and effort you put into one day and one show. Especially as for us we don’t have a stand-alone store.

I Feel like for someone to experience a brand, fashion week is a great place to come and see what we’re doing. We don’t have somewhere where people can come or even the media to see and feel our vision and be in touch with us and know what we’re doing. So in that respect it’s amazing. With digital you can see images but to be here and actually experience everything first hand is truly amazing.

So as you mentioned, you don’t have any stand-alone stores, but you are stocked in major retailers – do you think that being online in the digital space has more of an effect for people experiencing your brand?

Definitely, I feel like it’s a very big part of the business, online, Instagram and the website – it’s huge and it’s important to have that presence. But in terms of someone experiencing the brand, it’s fashion week. This is where it’s at.

By Johnny MBFWA
By Johnny MBFWA

So in terms of the models here today – why’d you choose them? what was the brief, did you even have a brief?

It was all about picking great looking, healthy girls…

Do their looks correlate to the collection this season? Is there any connection between the the models and their looks?

Not really, with girls I always just see whose around and we sort of just pick from there – If they’ve got a cool attitude or walk really well; don’t really bother about their height.

Now in terms of Bella Hadid being here and the whole hype of using “name” or a “face” to gain publicity, what are your thoughts?

It’s all about attitude for us. A name is amazing, whatever, and if you’ve got the dollars that’s great. But I feel like it’s about the collection at the end of the day and you want the collection to speak for itself. You want great girls with great attitudes and will showcase the designs. Which is what we’re here for, I’m not here to fly someone to Australia…

Exactly, you don’t need to spend more money where you don’t need too.By Johnny MBFWA

Now with the models, what is involved in the process of getting the show from A to B? How long do you work with the girls before you get them walking down the runway?

So we do castings, that’s a big call of all the girls, basically call everyone from every agency, take photos, take a short list. Which starts all about 2 weeks beforehand. But the international girls that IMG fly out, you know to leave a few spaces for those girls.
Then there are fittings, full days which can run late sometimes, because girls are running from different designers etc.. Then from there we go into second fittings otherwise its show day and run throughs and hair and make-up. Oh and somewhere in there we manage to get hair and make-up trials done and then the last week is all super cramped. Final fittings, international girls coming in, finalising the set etc etc.

Yes, the set! You’ve decided not to go inside? Why’s that? Why outside?

It’s fresher, it’s cleaner…

And why the white sculptural entrance? What’s the meaning behind the concept?

I’m always very inspired by art, and I think when we were coming up with the set we wanted to learn how to work with the space as a warehouse space, and create something dynamic that went with the clothes. There’s a lot of embroidery, over-sized details, flounces and frills – it’s all very sculptural so just sort of fit.

By Johnny MBFWA
By Johnny MBFWA
By Johnny MBFWA

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By Johnny MBFWA

By Johnny MBFWA
By Johnny MBFWA
By Johnny MBFWA
By Johnny MBFWA
By Johnny MBFWA
By Johnny MBFWA
By Johnny MBFWA

By johnny MBFA

Feature Image: Myer Blog

Photographer: Brooke James@brooketjames