The Directors of MFWPlus come from a variety of backgrounds and are united by the prospect of delivering a first class fashion festival like nothing the Australian plus size fashion industry has seen before. Inspired by the wealth of plus size fashion available and their participation in previous plus size events, they are committed to creating an event in line with other Spring Fashion Festivals that not only broadens the content to include International designers but provides plus size women with their own festival and puts Melbourne on the map as one of the hubs of plus size fashion and body positivity in Australia.

Jessica West

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Jessica comes to the Melbourne Fashion Week Plus team from a background of event management and clothing design. Fresh from two years as an executive organising committee member of one of Australia’s largest plus size fashion events (the Curvy Couture Roadshow), she is determined to continue to bring plus size fashion to an audience that craves exciting and inspiring design.

With a wealth of knowledge from her previous events, coupled with her personal passion for body positivity, Jessica has developed a keen sense of what is important for plus size fashion, both on and off the runway. A firm believer in representation as a source of inspiration and power, one of Jessica’s foci for this new event is to further push the idea that not only is size representation on the catwalk important, it is vital to the changing nature of fashion and design.

A fashion experimenter since early childhood (and no stranger to breaking the rules), Jessica has combined her love of clothing and her drive for equality through self-expression into events that encompass all sizes and shapes of women’s bodies. Through researching for her own bespoke dressmaking business, she has cultivated her knowledge of fashion design, both historical and contemporary, and takes great pleasure in finding out the anthropological meaning of clothing and its link to societal changes.

With the new challenges of Melbourne Fashion Week Plus, Jessica aims to bring the feel and excitement of plus size fashion events in New York and London, to cosmopolitan Melbourne and continue the history-making momentum of plus size design as a foreground expression in fashion.

 

Karyn Cloonan

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Coming from a background in the corporate world, Karyn brings a business mind to MFW+ with experience in finance, corporate event management and project work. Her passion for producing exceptional and professional events along with her desire to create a feast for the senses has led to the commitment to creating the best Fashion event the Plus size fashion industry has seen, both in Australia and Internationally.

Having worked on Curvy Couture from 2013 onwards and being part of the Executive Committee for the 2015 event, Karyn has experience with putting on a sold out high level Fashion Event. One of her strengths is the ability to build strong relationships with all stakeholders involved in the event production process while ensuring the event still holds true to the over-arching vision. Multitasking is something that Karyn is highly skilled in, as demonstrated by the fact that during previous fashion event production she has worked full time while also studying business at University.

Originally from Adelaide, Karyn moved to Melbourne in 2011 after having lived in England and Canada during her 20s. Throughout this time overseas it opened her eyes to the limited fashion that is available to the plus size community when compared to the straight size community, particularly in Australia, and is a constant source of frustration for Karyn. One of her aims for MFW+ is to close this gap and give the plus size community a multitude of options to appeal to the fashionable woman.

 

Caitlin Byrne

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Caitlin is thrilled to be a part of Melbourne Fashion Week Plus. Originally from country NSW, Caitlin graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Arts (Communication and Theatre/Media). Caitlin moved to Melbourne to begin a career in theatre and spent six years working as a freelance Stage Manager. Things started to change for Caitlin in 2014, when she developed a keen passion for fashion and style, which lead her to audition to model for the Curvy Couture Runway in 2015.

Helping others, teaching people new skills and sharing her expertise bring Caitlin great joy and has ultimately lead to the development of her business Blanc Productions, creating unique pop-up fashion events. Caitlin also works part time for Box Hill Institute, teaching Live Production and Technical Services and Musical Theatre.

Caitlin strongly believes that fashion is for everyone. She is passionate about promoting body positivity, self-acceptance and bridging the gap between straight size and plus size fashion. Caitlin is driven to contribute to a fashion industry in Australia that is creative, diverse and inclusive. In her spare time Caitlin is developing a swimwear and cover-ups fashion label FlatNoir.