Jess Alizzi and Maxine Wylde on why the future of Melbourne fashion is looking so good
by Platform One·
Last month, Melbourne put on its annual Fashion Festival (MFF) and attendees packed inner-city halls for commercial and independent runways, charged their social batteries and spilled onto the streets for late-night, post-show dinners.
Among them were two of Melbourne’s favourite digital content creators, Jess Alizzi and Maxine Wylde.
Jess met fellow fashion girl Maxine at a panel Jess was on about four years ago and since becoming friends, they’ve helped each other shoot and curate dreamy, online fashion worlds with their respective classic and vibrant styles.
When Platform One caught up with Jess and Maxine - now with almost one million Instagram followers between them - to ask for their MFF highlight reels, they agreed on the awe-inspiring effect of the National Graduate Showcase.
“…with Melbourne Fashion Festival, a lot of the clothes you can already see or they're already available to shop in store because it's an event that's supposed to be also for consumers to be able to ‘shop the runway’ and you know, experiences like that, whereas obviously the National Graduate Showcase has nothing to do with shopping the runway, it’s one-off pieces that you cannot own…” Jess said.
“It’s so inspiring; you can just see them really pushing the boundaries…”
The National Graduate Showcase brings together designers from Australia’s leading fashion institutions in a fierce display of emerging design and innovation.
“The future of Melbourne fashion, it seems very, very exciting,” Maxine said.
Asked what they wanted to see more of in Australian design, Jess and Maxine said from an organisational standpoint, they wanted to see more unique designers highlighted and more visibility around those who didn’t get that recognition.
And while Maxine said Graduate Showcases are always some of the best shows, other MFF highlights included latex gloves on the runway and the opportunity to shoot with Visit Melbourne.
Jess, meanwhile, worked with Oppo Phones for MFF, and the festival provided the opportunity to meet her industry partners when they flew in from interstate and overseas.
“On the Thursday I had a really great night – it was sort of the night we spent with them (Oppo Phones) and that was really fun… you know, getting to meet the international team… you feel more connected to the brand…” Jess said.
Indeed, dishing up their best tips for emerging brands in forming authentic connections with potential brand advocates, Jess and Maxine said trust was essential.
“Choose to work with people who are genuinely aligned with your brand and also trust them (the creator) with their own vision,” Maxine said.
“One of the biggest downfalls of working with brands or things that hinder relationships is not having the trust...”
Jess added brands could even look at working with brand advocates, influencers, creators in the field etc. that have shopped from the brand before or already engaged with the content, making them a genuine consumer.
Obsessed? Here’s where to find more:
IG: @jessalizzi, https://www.youtube.com/@JessAlizzi, TikTok: @jessalizzi
IG: @__mmaxinewylde, TikTok: @maxinewylde
See Maxine break down her favourite trends from FW/23 runways here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC9J9Mqccs4
Bonus content: How to style a trans-seasonal look according to Jess and Maxine
Maxine: I love a hat, I love a scarf, I love boots and a jacket. They’re pieces you can add or remove, and they can also create a very different vibe depending on what each piece is. So, I think that’s what I’ll be doing – keeping a scarf handy. And I’m always in coats, maybe it’s adding a coat under a coat – and cute socks! I just ordered a bunch of cute socks
Jess: So, I obviously have a much more minimal style in comparison to Maxine...
Maxine: Yeah – we we're not seeing Jess in colourful socks anytime soon! (laughs)
Jess: Trans-seasonal dressing is probably my favourite dressing because you can’t really get much out of an outfit in summer… it’s just t-shirt and shorts… come autumn and spring it’s my favourite time to get dressed.
And I love kind of playing with different proportions… I’ll do like a baggier trouser with a much tighter singlet – I’ll bring a belt in to break up the outfit there, I love a light linen shirt over that and then a trench coat or thicker felt coat or something like that will look really nice. And then, you know, coming into the colder weather I’ll usually change sandals and loafers to a chunkier boot or brogue.
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