In its 10th year, the Bendigo Fashion Festival is getting theatrical.
There will be no catwalk at the annual runway show on Friday.
Models will strut across the stage of the Ulumbarra Theatre instead, for the first time in the festival’s history.
The one-hour show will be split into two distinct segments: one for ready-to-wear fashions, selected from the racks of retailers and boutiques; the other exhibiting the artistic and creative talents of designers and milliners.
More than 100 models will bring the garments to life, with the help of 10 staff.
Runway show creative director and festival committee member Penny Holloway anticipated about 500 guests would attend.
"We've come such a long way over the last decade, slowly growing the event from a tiny show with only a handful of retailers involved, to a small crowd,” she said.
“Ten years on it’s become so much more than just a fashion parade, it's an opportunity to present something that Bendigo does exceptionally well – showcasing style, proactive small businesses, and a community working together.”
More than 20 artists and emerging student designers from Bendigo Kangan Institute and the RMIT School of Fashion will have their work featured in the show.
Central Victorian talents include RMIT students Angus McCormack, Alysha Elliot and Madeleine Sinco and fashion designers Angela Morrissey and Heather Lyons, milliners Angie Jackman and Bronwyn Rivett, mask maker Brenda Davitidis and scarf and shawl maker Sharon Greenway.
Miss Holloway was hopeful the new format would inspire people to start curating their spring and summer wardrobes.
“The whole point of the festival and why it exists is to encourage people to shop locally,” she said.
“We have really awesome brands and designer here and things you can’t even get online.”
This will be her final year on the committee, after four years.
“I have provided everything I can provide to it,” Miss Holloway said.
“It has been an honour to do it, but it’s now time to pass the baton on to the next person.”
Chantell Rothwell, owner of the Bendigo boutique Soho, said the runway show highlighted the diversity and uniqueness of the city’s fashion scene.
“It also allows us to connect and work with other small retailers and businesses within our local community,” she said.
“There is a lot of work and effort that goes into the preparation of the runway show, but once the lights dim and the music starts, the feeling in the room is electric.”
City of Greater Bendigo Acting Major Events Manager Dawn Holland said it would be a show “not to be missed.”
“I encourage everyone who is interested in fashion and design to purchase their tickets now to avoid missing out,” she said.
Ulumbarra Theatre opens its doors for the Bendigo Marketplace Fashion Festival Annual Runway Show at 6.30pm on Friday, for a 7.30pm start.
Tickets are $25 and are available from the festival website or by phoning (03) 5434 6100.