Fashion / Style

What did @thekimbino think of her second Australian Fashion Week? ‘RUSSH’s’ guest editor shares her editor’s diary

Another year I (some know me as @thekimbino) get ready to leave for Australian Fashion Week and it falls on Mother’s Day (once again). It’s a bitter sweet and twisted feeling for the last two years because of my mother's passing in 2022 and also becoming a mother myself in 2020. There’s so many feelings I have, which include guilt and sadness for leaving my own son behind for work but also intense irritation and envy at those celebrating their mother’s with gifts and cards and lunches – things I don’t get to do anymore. Lucky for me I’m surrounded by a team of people who understand those feelings.

This year I get to cover Australian Fashion Week with RUSSH Magazine again which is such a privilege and a platform that exposes me to a larger Australian audience. I’m still finding my feet in this industry but have been welcomed by so many. I’ve been named a Changemaker for 2024 alongside the legend Elaine George, so I’m basically pinching myself in disbelief that I have this title at 28.



A chilly Monday morning is met with Jess Blanch and DMX playing on her Apple CarPlay, it couldn’t be more appropriate. My first day saw my nerves and jitters steadied by the beautiful welcome to country smoking ceremony by Uncle Raymond. It’s one of those things I’ll always do given the chance, it energises me and holds me over so that I’m ready for the week that’s so wonderfully blissful and overwhelming at the same time. Albus Lumen set a dramatic scene with Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake swelling as people poured into the gallery. The space was filled with scaffolding and shredded materials adrift from them. The clothes were sexy and neutral, some dazzling embroidery kept it fresh and inspired. It wasn’t long until we were in the gallery next door watching the Next Gen show which featured designers House of Campbell, Amy Lawrence, Potirakis and Emily Watson. As a judge on the Next Gen panel it was amazing to see everything come to life in front of me, I have such high hopes for all designers and their futures. Emily Watson really stood out with her fresh take on mid 2000s to early 10s, pop cultural references. It still felt quite relevant to 2024.

My food tour started right after this show with Brickfields Bakery where I devoured a bowl of fruit on a bed of Greek yoghurt and honey which was just what I needed. I also unashamedly polished off a croissant because when the opportunity presents itself…how could I turn away.

I don’t just indulge in fashion so of course the next stop on my tour was a fabulous boozy dinner at Poly with my friends Shay, Kurt, Roj, Selene and Kelsey. Normally I don't do a red wine, but I was roped into trying a special Chilean red that changed my view completely. Between that red wine and the crispy potato I don’t know who shook me harder.



By Tuesday I was truly ready to rumble. I was approached by the fabulous Ferragamo team to pull a few pieces for my time in Sydney which I happily obliged. My selects included two pairs of heels I could hardly stand in and the cutest teeniest tiniest clutch bag I’ve ever encountered.

My sister and I then went searching for the perfect matcha and Parami came highly recommended by Jordan Turner. It was incredibly earthy and delicious, closer to a traditional matcha!

Gallery two was warm, spicy and smoky as we all filled in to watch the Mastani show. A parade of grown and sexy looks came floating down the runway which felt like a step in a direction we haven’t been before this AFW. The show had a clear identity without trying to conform or be something it wasn’t. It was a beautiful viewing.

Ny next destination between shows was the Creed bar to test out their aromatic cocktail… yes that’s right one singular cocktail was on the menu. My palette is yet to become refined enough to enjoy whatever was in that purple potion. But it was just cheeky enough to get me ready for Em on Holiday. With all the seriousness of fashion week, Em on Holiday felt like a breath of fresh air, it was easy to digest and the set list had me ready to be on a beach somewhere slathered in zinc and baking. It simply doesn’t get more Resort than that.

From Carriageworks to the Ace Hotel to the Clam Bar we headed for a delicious dinner, cute waiters and a martini with editor in chief Jess Blanch and the rest of the RUSSH team. If I was a food writer maybe I’d have the words to describe how badly you should check it out but I don’t so: PLEASE TRY CLAM BAR. There’s a burger not listed on the menu but ask and you shall hopefully receive.



We’re finally at the hump. The place when you make it or break it but what better to condition you than an Alix Higgins show? The buzz was palpable at Carriageworks with all the hottest weirdos in their AH clothing being papped by photographers and TikToker's alike. There was so much love for this show and support that you couldn’t help but join in on the celebration. This year, Higgins styled the show himself and took the front seat on what his vision for this season would be. It was evident the amount of love and intention in this collection, a step up in the future of this brand. I feel like some pieces are already on their way to Troye Sivan for tour. If that comes true just call me The Oracle.

I then scaled the A.P Bakery building because it was one of the highest recommended spots to eat in Sydney. By the time I’d sweated all my makeup off at the top of the stairs I read a sign saying there was an elevator. The matcha and baked goodies were worth the pinched feet in my Dior’s.

Back at the hotel I had a sliver of time to scroll through TikTok and watch an unfortunate video relating to Tabi’s and how much people hate them. When you say these things please remember there’s a long history of culture behind these shoes. You’re not just dunking on Margiela nerds when you say this.

A Zoom fitting and car ride back to Carriageworks I had no idea what was about to come my way. The Nicol & Ford team delivered physical invitations to all attendees, a single card and oyster shell inside I didn’t think much of it…

My mind was totally blown when the first model Janet came sauntering down the runway in essentially cling wrap and a horned metal head piece. It’s one of those shows you’ll always remember the feeling you got when you watched it. A standing ovation was given as soon as Jamaica Moana made her way down the runway in an oyster dress… made of oyster shells. With each look it just got better and better and more cohesive, there was no famine of beauty on this night.

I somehow found myself at Alix Higgins' after party which if you know me, I notoriously skip out of after affairs. When Alix Higgins has a party however you go! The beautiful Barbie Hari Nef was also at said party and something about her is just so inviting and familiar. A cherry on top of my delicious night.



Thursday I woke up to pictures of Cannes and my client Sabrina Elba in the Fendi couture look we chose together for her red carpet. Mornings kind of can’t get better than that.

I had a bit on my mind on Thursday morning and as usual, sounded it off on my socials. I’m tired of having to fight the world for diversity in so many areas of work life. It feels small but ALWAYS effects the bigger picture and as a Changemaker, I felt I had to say something. As scary as it is, it’s always worth it to know you were part of positive change and using your voice for good.

As much as I’ve done in my in my eight year adventure, I still feel as if I’m not good enough or that I’m an imposter in this Australian industry. I had moments this week with a PR agency that left me a little confused and purposeless in many ways. Your achievements could be stacked as high as the Empire State Building but if you’re not what they want you could be less than nothing. It’s time we stopped putting energy into these cliquey groups, there are people who love us.

With all these feelings swirling in my gut I had to push it to the side to get ready for Changemaker's panel (ironic). I want to use bitter feelings for the good of the people that come after me, and so I took all of myself that night and left it on the stage. I was proud to be sat next to Elaine George and James Bartle and speak my truth to the audience alongside them.

At this point I was ready to eat and drink and be merry at the Creed dinner which was the most extravagant affair. In celebration of Michael Lo Sordo, a beautiful deep purple silk dress was shown from the latest runway which was inspired by Creed’s latest fragrance.



An obligatory meet up with my second husband Kurt Johnson was much needed at A.P Bakery to unload and breakdown the events of this week. Savoury goods and sweet treats washed down with vibrant oat matcha's,  we headed for the Michael Lo Sordo studio so I could have a private run through of the collection. The studio itself smells like a field of orchards with bright open airy space and sky lights – you can’t get a better space. Upstairs in the atelier last minute touches were being put on Hari Nef’s Pandora closing night look.

At the tail end of fashion week, I didn’t think much else could happen that would shake me up. That was until I saw Wackie Ju and the brilliantly moving finale look that would make a grown man cry. I had instant goosebumps and my mouth fell agape for a long time until I was able to pick myself up and give the standing ovation Jackie rightfully earned.

Feeling electrified, I went to my last show All Is A Gentle Spring which threw it all the way back in the traditional sense. No photography was allowed at this show, however there were pencils and a descriptive list of each look. We were encouraged to make our own notes and observations in this way which felt like a welcome change. To be able to solely focus on the clothes wasn’t a bad thing.

I’m now rotting in bed recovering from whatever cold is going around Sydney. It was totally worth it.


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