The Posh Opp Shoppes’ fashion parade was held last week, and has been heralded as a celebration of inclusion and sustainability.
The evening was held to celebrate the achievements of the Jewish Children’s Aid Society (JCAS), which began in 1882.
In its modern incarnation, its aim is to ensure that children of all abilities are included into mainstream education. JCAS runs the Posh Opp Shoppes in order to raise money for this cause, reselling high quality and pre-loved merchandise.
The event was held in the Block Arcade, an iconic Melbourne location which was completed in 1893, and catering was provided by All Things Equal.
Guests at the fashion parade included Member For Caulfield David Southwick, Lord Mayor Sally Capp, the Deputy Mayor of the City of Glen Eira Li Zhang, and Councillor Sam Parasol of the City of Glen Eira.
The event focused on the importance of upcycling – which is when something is re-imagined and re-used to give it a new purpose. It featured the work of three young designers from RMIT who worked with mentors to create the outfits that then became available for sale through the Posh Opp Shoppes.
The parade was the result of hundreds of hours of work over the past 12 months, all by volunteers.
It featured clothes made from tablecloths, doilies, bedsheets and blankets among other things. The outfits on show were created by designers Lily Edney, Laura Geng and Sunjin Kim. Their mentors throughout the process were Debbie Cohen, Jeanette Damen and Carmella Rauchberger.
MC at the evening was fashion journalist Rachelle Unreich, who said, “Having written about some of the inherent problems in the fashion industry, I know how devastating the impacts of fashion can be if approached without a view towards sustainability.”
Board member of JCAS and Melbourne GP Melody Curtis shared that she is “no fashionista”, but where she is an expert is on the topic of inclusion. Having counselled so many of her patients, she has a deep understanding of how belonging, and inclusion, is so vital to one’s mental health.
“In kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, every person and every thing has beauty, value and potential. This is at the core of what we do at JCAS, and our Posh Opp Shoppes. We believe that every child should be nurtured and encouraged to be the best that they can be. We assist children with disabilities in mainstream schools largely by subsidising integration aides. By including these children, we are not only assisting them but we are educating an entire generation on the importance of embracing difference. To date, we have assisted well over 1000 children,” Curtis told The AJN.
Business development and experiences consultant at Melbourne Fashion Festival Shiva Singam was present at the event and said, “What a wonderful way to discover the Posh Opp Shoppes and the incredible work they do for JCAS,” adding, “Magical night showcasing emerging designers, inclusivity, upcycling, sustainability and hearing of the incredible courage of their newly appointed JCAS ambassador, Donna Cohen.”