Monday, September 23, 2013

Screw the Usual Fashion Show [Hustle & Scout x Haus Models Parade 2013]

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For all those who’ve ever thought that fashion parades are all the same, consider the following as me saying my piece.

Saturday night’s inaugural Hustle & Scout Twilight Fashion Market at NewActon Nishi ended with a late night fashion show by Haus Models. Just like Hustle & Scout, and indeed Nishi itself, the show was youthful, self assured and ‘different’. It’s the kind of ‘different’ you get when you mix unlikely elements and get something refreshingly good, like peppermint oatmeal, train car hotels, and in this case, models in three dimensional animal masks.

On the night, models of Haus Models play acted their woodland animal alter egos. They not so much walked the ‘cat walk’ as prowled, appearing from backstage as if wondering right in from the woods. Read on for more photos!

As for the challenge the show posed to the models, Nick Ellis of Haus Models noted: ‘it’s the complete opposite of what they are taught to do.’ Models learn to walk with poise and grace, whereas in this case they were asked to forget all that and to act like animals, but fashionably, of course. How do you do that anyway? We saw one model in her tiger mask strutting around like the big cat of the jungle, at times turning menacingly towards the audience. Another model slash farm pig, recognizable as Asher Crawford, pranced along on her toes and was the perfect high fashion farm yard critter.

Clint Hutchinson of Zoo Advertising and founding partner of FashFest said that it was a fantastic start for Haus Models, being their first solo production. ‘It shows each models’ personality, and that really is what Haus is all about’. Haus Models aims to shift the paradigm of model management, including direct payment for models by the agency (regardless of whether payment is received from the client or not).

The star of the show was of course, the ‘indie’ fashion by Canberra’s world class collection of up and coming, and established fashion designers. The styling was pulled together on the day with pieces selected from each of the Hustle & Scout stall owners. My favourites were the cabbage print two piece dress by WND.LND (by Zoe Brown) and the spotted oversized tee and tights ensemble pulled from Andie Meredith’s collection.

On the one hand fashion shows are about showing the clothes in the best way possible. I mean, as long as it’s not held on a side walk (though this has clearly been proven to be an ideal venue as well), die hard fans of a label hang out for each new collection and are ‘the converted’. However, there is a need to draw in the uninitiated and to keep them coming (or guessing, as the case may be). So we see fashion shows held in increasingly unconventional locations, with tangential themes, the traditional up and down runway done away with – think Louis Vuitton models coming down escalators standing in pairs (is it legal for all the escalators to run downwards?) and Karl Lagerfeld’s grand artificial forest at Chanel.

With fashion shows being flavour of the month in Canberra this year, it’s understandable that everyone is trying to differentiate themselves. Along with the memorable Hipsley Lane spring launch, where models literally got down on the floor and did pushup (full pushups, impressively), unique events like Hustle & Scout and the Haus fashion show remind that the Canberran fashion community is an incredibly innovative one that is apt at forging its own opportunities and creative outlets.

Check out the NewActon Nishi website to check out what unique events are planned for the near future!

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