There is something slightly more exotic about trawling through vintage clothing and accessories under cover of darkness. The recent Mister Mode Fashion Night Market in Collingwood was no exception to this rule. Held on a wintry Melbourne night, outside the wind was howling, but inside was abuzz with the sound of enthusiastic shoppers, sipping beers and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere.
Previously featured on Couturing in December, the Mister Mode market is an event with a focus on fashion and technological innovation, relaunched by entrepreneur Tish Tambakau in 2011 after originally coming together as part of a uni project.
It is easy to make the connection between Tambakau and The Little Mermaid’s Ariel: with her flowing mane of ruby red hair and signature blue eye make-up, the digital advertising agent has “gizmos and gadgets aplenty”, but… she wants more!
Keen to incorporate her interest in technology with her sense of fashion and killer entrepreneurial skills, Tambakau seasonally co-ordinates the Mister Mode night market: a treasure trove of vintage fashion, niche stores, and live music acts.
“I love creativity and I also love technology and innovation, so it’s great to be able to combine them,” she explains.
Tambakau offers the Mister Mode events as a platform for emerging talent, with live music performances by local acts including Laura Loe and The Ugly Kings, saying she loves to be able to help out by giving artists more exposure.
Innovator Chris Vik entertained the crowds at the weekend’s night market with a mind-dazzling performance via Kinectar– a musical instrument made from the XBox 360 Kinect device which responds to arm movements in the way an orchestra responds to the composer, creating sound electronically through motion sensors.
“I find technology so inspiring in what it’s been able to do for creative and talented artists out there,” Tambakau says.
Nestled amongst the treasures at the most recent Mister Mode market, were some gems – just like those in Ariel’s grotto – that must be shared.
Two Trees x Vedruss put forth jewellery that would put Tim Burton to shame; savagely stunning rings and elaborate handpieces. Each piece was one of a kind: twisted steel with pearl and lapis lazuli, sculpted bronze with turquoise stone and wooden beads, and magnetic attachments alongside semi precious stones in beautiful contortions.
Way Cuter Than A Button lived up to its name, with an array of kitschy cute button headbands, rings and accessories, including unique button-filled resin rings. Aaron Simpson from Cut Throat on the Streets wore the most dashing crushed velvet flatforms, and charmed shoppers with his toothy necklaces… made from actual dentures.
There was quality vintage clothing on offer from Fat White Kid and Pretty Quirky Pants (alongside an array of vintage wear) as well as handmade, colourful resin pendants and funky wooden block architectural heels by Chiyo. Bow-tie specialist, The Charlie Tinker Collective, had a gorgeous selection of handmade ties and bowties in kitschy floral, plaid and vintage fabrics.
Charismatic crooner Russell Clark, who serenaded shoppers with his band The Ugly Kings, said he was impressed.
“It’s a fantastic night… Everyone has a really great attitude,” he added.
Having just moved from Brisbane, marketer Jay Heywood said the Mister Mode market typifies Melbourne.
“You wouldn’t get this in Brisbane… or if you did, no one would come!” he observed.
Tambakau says Mister Mode is about capturing everything that falls under the creative umbrella in a combined effort.
“Artists, talented musicians, budding entrepreneurs and people who just really want to pursue something they love – (the aim) is to bring all of these together in a social environment where people can mingle,” she says.
The secret to the Mister Mode fashion night market is obvious: Tambakau has the positive and creative energy to bring this network of talented people together, drawn by her own enthusiasm.
Look forward to the next Mister Mode event which is set to take place in August at a yet to be revealed location… Nothing like a bit of Mister-y to spice things up!
Images by Meagan Harding Photography