As one of the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival’s most anticipated events, Penthouse Mouse takes the high-end fashion world in its stride. Alice Blackwood visits the 2011 instalment of this pop-up retail/art space
While sleek models take sultry strides down the catwalk, flouncing their sleeves and skirts into a storm of flashing cameras, Penthouse Mouse (PHM) is busy exploring the darker side of fashion.
In past years PHM has targeted near-demolished buildings and desolate spaces around Collingwood, South Yarra and Melbourne city, filling them with temporary life, in the form of local fashion designers, artists and Fashion Festival punters.
This year PHM turned its discerning eye away from the traditional Melbourne grid, to the swish shores of the Docklands.
Has the Dockland’s been around long enough to have a deserted space to spare? You may well ask. Well PHM managed to find it, in the form of Shed 4.
The beauty of this wide and open, yet slightly dark and dank space, perched at the end of a rather windy pier-side walk, is the boundless array of space – both on a lateral and longitudinal plane.
Where, in past years, art installations and unconventional visual merchandising has taken over broom closets, lonely store rooms and glassed in squash courts, this year saw local artists and designers play with height, installing streaming lengths of curtain, as well as circus tents (which on closer inspection turned out to be dressing rooms), falling from the warehouse ceilings, down, down, down to the raw concrete flooring.
Every year sees an exciting line-up of local emerging designers, some of which are launching their first ever collections with Penthouse Mouse.
This year was no exception, with Western Australian designers taking part, through the From Here To There initiative.
However the aptly named False Economy store, through which you can buy up every last item, stayed open until Sunday evening last week, before it closed down to make way for a full week of Fashion Festival events.
It’s still possible to investigate the work of all those fabulous fashion designers here.
It will definitely be worth booking tickets to the Offsite runway shows this Saturday.
L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival