We Went to AFW and This Is Where We Stayed and Played

Eat, sleep, fashion, repeat

By Tracy Sinclair | 23rd May 2024

Australian Fashion Week is a literal whirl and twirl of excitement and choosing a chic hotel amplifies the thrill. Right in the heart of Sydney, we discovered an unexpectedly stylish gem that became our sanctuary amid the fashion frenzy.

First Night Fever

I arrived at InterContinental Sydney late, planning to wash my hair and call a quiet night. But my daughter Kiri texted me, ‘Ged and I are at Aster on the rooftop. It’s amazing. Come up”. Clean hair be damned. I tossed my bags aside like an outdated trend and headed for level 32.

As Store Trainer and Client Advisor at Fendi Flagship Sydney, our divine friend Ged is the epitome of style and cites Aster as his favourite place for an after-work drink. He calls it a Sydney secret. We get it – Aster’s sophisticated decor and elegantly hushed ambience are only surpassed by the incredible view of Sydney Harbour at night. The Opera House and Harbour Bridge dazzled like a diamond – the perfect entree to three days of fashion and glamour.

Drinks at Aster

After soaking in the views (and two bottles of champagne, eek), we headed to the lobby for ‘one more’ at the Treasury Bar before bidding Ged goodnight.

Good Morning Sydney

We awoke to soft melodious tones drifting from the television, easily the kindest wake-up call I’ve ever experienced. Electric blinds opened to reveal another beautiful aspect of Sydney, the Royal Botanic Parklands. Now Sydney was simply showing off. 

View from InterContinental Sydney

Breakfast Bliss

The Conservatory Restaurant offers a truly delightful breakfast experience, bathed in natural light and featuring high ceilings. The walk-in pantry, meticulously curated, presents a refined take on the traditional buffet setup. My husband judges hotels by their buffet (bless him). He would have given a big tick I’m sure.

Breakfast at The Conservatory Restaurant

What also captivated me was the remarkable artwork adorning the main dining area, created by Sydney artist Joanna Kitas. Dramatic, these oversized pieces added a touch of sophistication and elevated the dining experience to new heights. I found it hard to take my eyes off them (albeit I did … for the tastiest steamed dim sims).

Artwork by Joanna Kitas at The Conservatory Restaurant

Fashion Frenzy

Carriageworks, the main AFW venue, was abuzz with photographers, fashionistas, models, and media. Our first show, (and my favourite), was Albus Lumen, followed by New Zealand designer Rory William Docherty’s debut at AFW. After the shows, the real action began outside with cameras whirring, 10/10 poses, and air kisses. The street fashion was diverse and fun, from bold colours to femme tailoring, avant-garde darkwear, and next-level styling (we’re looking at you Charlene Davies). I was struck by how friendly the crowd was, and even the coolest-looking cats were up for a chat and a photo, including Kiri’s all-time fave Mimi Elashiry. We love her!


Fit checks at AFW day one #stylemagazines #ausfashionweek #AFW #fashionweek #fitcheck #streetstyle

♬ original sound – Style Magazines

The New Trend

Post-interviews, we headed to The New Trend in Paddington to select items to wear. Kiri chose a Sir blue vest suit topped with a gorgeous Ducie coat and Anna Rossi choker, while I opted for The Attico shirt and pant set, paired with my own Bottega heel. We returned to the hotel to regroup for the evening show, Carla Zampatti. The show did not disappoint and the FROW was as impressive as you would expect for Carla.

Mimi Elashiry and Kiri Johnston at Carriage Works

To Bed, Byredo, To Bed

After a big first day, we decided to keep it low-key. We luxuriated in Byredo everything in the bathroom, ordered room service, and curated content from the comfort of our heavenly beds. After party? Meh. 

Back To Fashion Week

Refueled and good to go, we again headed to Carriageworks for the much-anticipated PE Nation show. Again, this was a stunning show and I felt a little emotional as we applauded Pip Edwards. I adore Pip and love everything about her style.

P.E Nation show (photo by Isabella Grant)

Post-show, I headed off to meet a client while Kiri took herself and her laptop to InterContinental’s Treasury Bar to work and enjoy a tasty veggie burger for lunch (yep, it does exist).

InterContinental Sydney Treasury Bar

Sydney Sparkles

The excitement continued to build for the Bec and Bridge evening show at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay, just a short stroll from our hotel. Seated with a view of the Sydney Opera House and ferries shuttling to and fro, I couldn’t help but think, “How much more quintessentially Sydney can you get?” Sitting across from glams like Tammy, Shani, and others was a little thrill, and the stunning dusk hues turned it on for post-show photos.


Bec and Bridge guests popped off in Sydney tonight. We love to see a bubble skirt moment 🫧 #stylemagazines #AFW #ausfashionweek #sydney #becandbridge @Tammy Hembrow @Dominiquelissa @shanigrimmond @Bec + Bridge


Afterward, back at our InterContinental oasis, we couldn’t resist a cocktail at Aster to again soak in the sensational view (I mean, why would you go anywhere else?).

The 411 On The ICS

Staying at InterContinental Sydney is a truly luxurious experience. The hotel exudes quality, set within the beautifully restored 1851 Treasury building and enhanced by a $120 million renovation by architects Woods Bagot. Every inch of the property has been thoughtfully considered, blending modern design with heritage elegance. The impeccably styled guest rooms, and stunning bar and dining options, create an unforgettable stay. With its breathtaking vista, Aster is the crown jewel that seals the deal.

With unparalleled 5-star service from driveway to rooftop, and elegance oozing from every pore, the InterContinental Sydney understands the fashion-luxe assignment.

View from the InterContinental Sydney

Vivid Sydney

24 May to 15 June

InterContinental Sydney is the ideal place to stay during Vivid Sydney and Aster is the perfect place to see Sydney in all her Vivid glory.

Vivid Sydney Staycation Offering
Available 24 May – 15 June, 2024 | $469 per room p/n | Book Here
Immerse yourself in all the charm that Vivid Sydney has to offer with a stay at InterContinental Sydney, perfectly positioned in the heart of Circular Quay. Relax in style and enjoy a nourishing breakfast in The Conservatory. As the day transitions into night, and the lights of Vivid Sydney sparkle, sip and savour Vivid Sydney-inspired welcome drink in The Treasury to navigate the city with an interactive Vivid Sydney map alongside a bespoke goodie bag to explore the festival. 

$169pp | Monday – Sundays: two sittings available; 6pm – 7:30pm & 8pm – 9:30pm | Book Here
Sip, savour and ascend to Aster Rooftop Bar at InterContinental Sydney, with unparalleled and breath-taking 270-degree views of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Guests are invited to experience the sparkling lights of Vivid Sydney 32 levels high in the sky. Begin with a Japanese Fuji Single Grain Whisky palate cleanser, then enjoy two cocktails set to light up the night, themed around sustainability and human endeavour. Each cocktail is paired with a seasonal two-course meal. 


@intercontinentalsydney #intercontinentalsydney @astersydney @treasurysydney @pontdiningroom 

By Tracy Sinclair Powered by tea and hot chips, the Kiwi-born livewire is at the helm of Style killing the game, always dressed in fashion-forward ‘fits.




You want it, we got it! 

Everything you need to know about fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle, and travel straight to your inbox.