The setting: the incredible Royal Botanic Gardens, at the colourful fusion of plants that makes up Guilfoyle's Volcano. The occasion: a runway show with some of Australia's best designers - Martin Grant (now based in Paris), Aurelio Costarella, Akira Isogawa, Collette Dinnigan - for The Royal Botanic Runway. The purpose: to raise funds for the final stage of the gardens' Melbourne Water Strategy Project. The result: an utterly breathtaking burst of fabrics, colours, talent and an enthusiastic audience, some of whom had paid more than the $28 entry ticket - a premium donor box was $1000 per person, which included Champagne Pommery on arrival, premium seating at the Volcano and a black tie dinner at the Terrace Restaurant with Shannon Bennett. There to watch, in an array of seats, were Natalie Bloom, designer Yeojin Bae and Real Housewives of Melbourne Andrea Moss and Gina Liano, who seemed to have buried the hatchet - if the smiling photos at The Botanical's after party were any indication.
Aurelio Costarella, Jamie Durie, Collette Dinnigan, Akira Isogawa
Photo: Lucas Dawson
A view of the premium seats (thank goodness for those umbrellas!) from below.
Pic: Lucas Dawson
A mix of all the designers' offerings. Photo: Lucas Dawson
Martin Grant leads the parade's finale. Photo: Lucas Dawson
Dress by Akira Isogawa
Aurelio Costarella's gown
Martin Grant does monochrome
Alice Burdeu in Collette Dinnigan
Jean-Francois Ponthieux and Yeojin Bae
Everyone made an effort - and this girl designed her own outfit