Friday, September 30, 2011

I ♥ Fashion Night

Written by Nhuy Nguyen

Monday night marked the launch of M-Squared’s and Gracious Magazine's very first I ♥ Fashion charity event.
M-Squared, a charity founded by Gracious Magazine creator Mayanthi Dharmabandu and fellow Adelaide University student Mary Liu is aimed at helping underprivileged children in their home countries of Sri Lanka and China.

MSquared – Mayanthi Dharmabandu and Mary Liu

Both fashion savvy with an attraction to unique personal style, it was only natural that they would incorporate these interests into their first fundraising event. Held at Adelaide University’s Rumours Café, I ♥ Fashion was a three hour shopping event, giving local and amateur businesses an opportunity to meet with vintage enthusiasts. For a small payment, each stallholder was assigned a table to lay out their goods while shoppers were charged a $2 admission fee.

Stall holders getting ready for the buyer’s rush

While the fundraiser started at 6pm, sellers came early to set up their stalls as curious onlookers lurked outside. Volunteers were also present to give them all a helping hand; not a big stretch for such a fun and original event.

Volunteers lending their support to I ♥ Fashion

Local businesses featured heavily amongst the eight stalls including chanya k. a Gilles Street Market regular and elin boo. who offered unique handmade clothing and jewellery.

Businesses on display

While the sellers were getting ready in the cafe, upstairs in the loft, designer Stacey Hendrickson was holding her own, organising models backstage for her casper&pearl catwalk show to be held later in the evening.

Backstage at casper&pearl

Stacey is a young designer featured prominently on Gracious. At only 19 years old, she has come far since launching her clothing and accessories label casper&pearl in March earlier this year. Slightly shy yet charmingly petite, she showed a calm and collected maturity that placed her beyond her age.

Stacey Hendrickson’s delightful designs

Stacey’s designs themselves reflect a calculated grasp of the modern fashionista. Her range of dresses, skirts and tops are a combination of the flirty and ingénue use of lace by Lover and the pastel palette often featured by Chloe. Yet, styled and accessorized with heavy jewelry, the collection was given an alternative edge that clearly stated that pretty can also be tough. The volunteer models were very excited to be featured in the show and showed full support for their designer friend.

Models getting catwalk ready

Rumours Hall

Back on the floor, I ♥ Fashion had opened its doors and attendees started filing in. One after the other, they came searching for a style steal and shopped while snacking on cupcakes and sandwiches provided by Mayanthi’s family. Raffle tickets were also being sold for a prize draw after the catwalk show. All proceeds going to M-Squared of course!

1.Themis and friends offering bargain finds
2.Donators were generous with used items

3. Gracious graphic designer Viray Thach
4. Chasing Grace – Holly(L) &Kim(R)
5. Stonyfell jewellery designer Melanie Steadman

At 8pm, the lights were dimmed to prepare for the casper&pearl catwalk show. In attendance were Adelaide Chinese News, Exclusive Flowers, The Urban Silhouette and jewellery designer Melanie Steadman who has been lending tremendous support to Gracious and M-Squared.

Mary and Mayanthi introduced the collection then, the lights turned off for the showcase. Set to a modern soundtrack, the models floated down the catwalk in whimsical designs while professional photographers frantically snapped pictures.

Stacey astounded everyone with her competitive work and it was refreshing to see that she had sourced a range of body types for her runway rather than the uniform coat-hanger-thin standard. Her choice in models also demonstrated the versatility of

M-Squared with Stacey Hendrickson & her models

Once the fashion show ended, it was time to announce the winners of the raffle prizes generously donated by the event sponsors: casper&pearl, Exclusive Flowers, Littlebluebird and Melanie Steadman.
M-Squared with casper&pearl designer Stacey Hendrickson

For a first time event, the night was deemed by most attendees as a definite success.
M-Squared pulled off the event without a glitch, the sellers offered pieces full of potential, guests were treated to an amazing catwalk show and most left with an exciting new addition to their wardrobes.

If you were unfortunate to have missed this year’s I ♥ Fashion, remember to mark your calendars for next year!


  1. Fantastic post! Gave us a complete overview of the event... it was a great night - you should be proud :o)

  2. Thanks so much for all your support Melanie!!! Hope you will be apart of our next event aswell :)