VAMFF Offsite Runway: HEW at Marfa Gallery, Abbotsford

It was a sultry Autumn evening in Abbotsford, with the mercury tipping at about 42 degrees while we assembled in full sun to view Collection Hybrid from Melbourne menswear brand Hew at Marfa Gallery.

The show ran extremely late, which led to all kinds of champagne fuelled selfies, crowd shots, and even a darling portrait of Ema Hewitt, the label’s founder – “oh look, another distraction!”

Like most runway shows, it was over within minutes. The new Hybrid collection showed a more disjointed array of playful prints than in previous seasons – it was done in collaboration with London-based textile designer Rachel Kelly, yet the enduring element of fun surrounding the brand remains. Ditsy print florals and tribal patterns walking alongside oversized prints in 70s interior colours (including a very cute dress worn by the designer herself). Though the event was overall a success, I can’t help but wonder whether Hewitt’s efforts would be better spent elsewhere. The designs speak for themselves, and I doubt whether a 3 hour runway event was the right kind of vehicle to showcase them. Head to the new HEW store on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, where a concise and immediately recognisable display of the brand’s spirit is on show every day of the week.

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