Celeste Barber to hit the runway at Melbourne Fashion Festival

Comedian Celeste Barber has “pashed” designer Tom Ford and recently became the unofficial Australian of the Year for launching a bushfire fundraiser that has raised more than $50 million.

In March, Barber will make her debut appearance as a catwalk model at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), where she will also speak at a day-long industry summit.

Special guest … comedian Celeste Barber will walk the runway at VAMFF.Credit:Hugh Stewart

Barber will walk in a group runway on the Thursday night sponsored by Harper's Bazaar magazine that will include winter fashions by Aje, Ginger & Smart and Jason Grech, among other well-known Australian labels.

VAMFF general manager Yolanda Finch said event organisers had been in talks with Barber since October, long before her bushfire fundraising juggernaut took off.  "We are always wanting to work with strong role models, and in an industry that can sometimes take itself too seriously, Celeste
certainly throws a mirror to fashion and the industry has embraced her endearingly delivered irreverence," she said.

Barber's brush with fashion includes her comedic spoofs on Instagram in which she lampoons unrealistic campaigns and photo shoots by famous-name brands. It was one of her #celestechallengeaccepted posts that brought her to the attention of Ford's team, which led to Barber being involved in the brand's 2018 show at New York Fashion Week.

Tickets to the show featuring Barber have been on sale for several weeks, starting at $59. As of Wednesday night, there were still more than 100 seats remaining.

The event is sure to draw even more international attention to VAMFF, which is already the world's largest consumer-facing fashion event. Other guests at the Australian Fashion Summit include the Australian-born editor of US InStyle, Laura Brown.

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