Celebrating fashion, art, and new ideas, the annual event spans around 20 days and has a vast program comprising beauty workshops, fashion parades and talks.
This year’s edition kicked off on March 1 and came to an end on Sunday.
One of the highlights of the final day was the RUN: Kids Fashion Runway at the Melbourne Pavilion in Kensington, a fashion parade starring children aged four to 16.
A group of young and gorgeous models showcased pieces by international fashion houses including Gucci, Stella McCartney Kids, Disney and Hootkid.
One of the dazzling models was JJ Pantano, a five-year-old boy with tonnes of natural talent and a very bright future.
He is the son of singer Mary-Anne Mercuri and presenter Philip Pantano, and grandson of the legendary Tony Pantano, an artist celebrated within the Italian community in Australia.
JJ has certainly inherited this artistic talent and puts it to use in various ways: every Saturday, he participates in a theatre course at The Acting Performance Studio; plays the piano; and, obviously, is an aspiring model.
In December he lent his voice as the Myer Elf in the company’s Christmas ad, but his TV career had already begun with a few appearances in ‘Neighbours’ and the ABC’s ‘Mad as Hell’ program.
The talented youngster is also passionate about singing, soccer and swimming.
Alongside all of his hobbies, little JJ is also learning Italian from his grandparents – originally form Calabria, Sicily and Abruzzo – and with the help of his parents.
He already knows a few words and, who knows, as he continues to learn, we may see him on the runway at Milan Fashion Week one day.
JJ’s parents want him to have a smattering of all disciplines so that he can then decide what he would like to dedicate his time to and pursue as a career.
While show business can seem a bit obscure to those outside the industry, JJ’s mother explains that things have changed a lot over the years.
“Nobody is forced to do anything they don’t want to anymore,” she says.
The industry seems a little more relaxed and the psychological pressure that once existed seems to have faded.
What’s more, JJ was born and raised in an artistic environment, and jumping on a stage or speaking on a microphone is second nature to him.
For JJ’s mum, morality and education are essential, and his parents hope to instil those values in him whether he decides to move forward in the entertainment industry or not.
One final curiosity: how does JJ learn lines and scripts without being able to read and write?
He learns it all by heart.
In saying that, the young performer loves to improvise and engage with his audience, something which comes all too naturally for him.
One thing seems certain: we’ll be hearing the name JJ Pantano in the future, regardless of which path he chooses to follow.