Friday, May 3, 2013

FASHFEST Canberra - Day 1: The Rundown

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The scene: Canberra. A not so big, not so small city with a rich (but often hidden) subculture of talented creatives. A city that, despite having launched many big names in fashion, has been without its own consolidated fashion festival for its centenery. 
Enter: FASHFEST. The event that dared to go big. With about 30 of Canberra's best and up and coming fashion desginers showing their collections from 1 - 4 May 2013, a 80 people team and 25 organisations, FASHFEST is said to be one of the biggest joint business ventures in Canberra fashion.
Yours truely, and 400 other Canberrans lucky enough to nab themselves a ticket, attended FASHFEST's opening night on 1 May 2013. From the elegant location, at 3 Molonglo Drive, Brindabella Business Park, and the spectatular runway show that wow'd the audience, to the small details like the beautifully outfitted reception area and a press wall (presenting hours of fun for all), we witnessed a seriously ambitious undertaking come together in the true sense of the term.
That all said, this is a fashion blog, so lets talk clothes. Parading on 1 May 2013 were swimwear label Baku, Hunter, Lisa T, Perpetually Five, WND.LND and wedding couture label Rockstars & Royalty. Read on for the rundown and photos, photos, photos!


Hunter, a label by designer Sara Wurcker, embodies youthfulness and femininity. Hunter's collection for FASHFEST is gounded on clean and simple sillhouettes and a warm pallette. The designs bordered on being structured, but were distincly organic and round edged. The pieces, through their specific construction and fabrics used, kept their shapes faithfully and seemed to float around the body. I especially loved the exaggerated sleves. It's never lost on me that Sara has a keen eye for minimalism, and an ability to express herself so clearly through simplicity.

We saw Perpetually Five enchant audiences at last year's CIT Kinetic Parade, with its prints derived from children's drawings. True to the label's name, the concept behind designer Mitch Thompson's collection is a celebration of the inner child. For its collection for FASHFEST, Perpetually five explored accessories, utilising its trademark prints, transparent pvc, and quite seriously speaking, ball pit balls. The duck print drawsting bag with transparent flap is one of my favourite pieces of the night. My only regret, however, is that the bag may never be complete without those ball pit balls showing under the close. I continue to be floored by the way Mitch is able to expertly navigate the line between conceptual and wearable fashion.
Lisa T is an inegmatic label that is known for producing extremely limited pieces because of the amount of meticulous work that goes into each. The talent behind the label, Lisa Tea, is a multi-talented artist also well known for her mural work (for example, her recent mural for the newly fitted out Pink Inc shop in Braddon). Lisa works in intricate details, encorporating both paint media, faux fur, and appliqué, and each piece is unique and a work of art. Lisa T's collection for FASHFEST included a number of highly embellished jackets and capes. The painted cape completely took my breath away. If you are not brave enough to wear it, it would be an incredible piece for display.

With each new collection, we have seen Zoe Brown explore a new, unconventional idea that captures the imagination. Her collection for Avant-Garden represented women as flowers, and made extensive use of artificial roses. Zoe's first collection under her label WND.LND was on the darker side, with black being the unifying colour for the collection. While we still saw her signature feminine fit and flare sillhouettes (and I personally appreciated the return of the fluted full length skirt), this collection embraced sports luxe. There were lace embellished cropped sweat shirts and tailored jogging shorts, and I loved seeing a pant from Zoe, which was wonderfully constructed in perfect midrise.

Rockstars & Royalty has a reputation of high drama on the runway. When I interviewed designer Vicky Kidd-Gallichan last month, she had hinted that this collection would be big on colour. I was completely blown away when face of FASHFEST Anneliese Seubert walked out in this gold and teal gown. It was disney romance with a hard edge. That amazingly detailed gold corset was set off beautifully against the soft vividly coloured tulle skirt.

Which look was your favourite?

FASHFEST seated tickets are all sold out, but standing tickets are still available for the final two nights. Get yours here!

See other coverage of FASHFEST here.

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