Rosie Masthead
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FASHFEST 2015: The Cartographer

Beatrice Smith

It was the night of The Cartographer, showcasing the relationship between design and place.  Thursday night saw designs from Melanie Child, Bird Keepers, Red Corner, Maak, Miranda Sakhino, Sovata, Simone Perele, Illusory Cog, Braddon Tailors and Tanja von Behrens.

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Ex-Canberra girl Mel Jade opened the evening with a polished pop performance, complemented by the rich musical tapestry of Canberra’s turntable king, Jemist. Ben Bonny added masterful jazz elements on trumpet.

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Melanie Child

Melanie Child’s designs were presented in a muted palette, with an interesting mixture of different hemlines and tailored layers.

The colours mixed with the masculine footwear, textured denim, silver jewellery accents from Tanja von Behrens and intricately braided hair created an almost steam punk atmosphere that reminded the viewer that all Child’s designs are made from up-cycled clothing.

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The body and structure of Child’s designs paired with the live trumpet and upbeat soundtrack combined with the futuristic make up and hair to add yet another facet to the intriguing mixture of fabrics, highlighting that up-cycling clothing is a work of both the past, present and future in terms of origin and sustainability.

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Bird Keepers

Birdsnest’s Bird Keepers showcased their designs in a monochrome palette of black, white, grey and silver. Beautiful fabrics draped over each other, with chunky silver jewellery tying the looks together. Minimalist footwear and messy ponytails surrounded the designs, which showed that clean, classic cuts are always in demand.

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Red Corner

Red Corner’s patterned, bright leggings, boxing gloves and boxing pads were unique and surprising with the fitness models executing perfecting jab-and-punch combinations to demonstrate the durability of the designs.

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For someone who has spent a lot of time in a boxing gym, these colourful, unique designs would be a wonderful way to brighten up the sometimes dull, hyper masculine spaces they can become.

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The boxing robes presented in the second half of the show were a highlight, with exotic designs and silky materials used. My favourite pieces had to be the Tetris and galaxy inspired boxing gloves and matching pads.

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MAAK

MAAK’s minimalistic use of colour and clean, sharp hemlines were beautiful to watch the models move in, with simple pieces layered with boots that created a military feel. Vest cuts and minimal jewellery pulled the focus onto the fine material used in the pieces.

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Top knotted hair and loose tailoring made for a somewhat eretheral feel with was further reinforced when the last two looks came down the runway – two beautiful floating dresses. The green dress was a particular favourite of HerCanberra’s founder Amanda, while the black and gold dress that closed the show was fierce and unique.

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Miranda Sakhino

Miranda Sakhino’s designs were my personal favourite of the night with a somewhat Mad Men inspired take on resort wear.

A palette of golden sheens and pastels woven into tiger stripes, colour blocking and beautiful scarves paraded down the catwalk, with each model wearing a fabulous 60s style beehive.

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Costume jewellery paired with both elbow and wrist length gloves created a Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s-meets-Mad-Men aesthetic which I adored, with some models sporting ‘Bridget Jones mini-break’ style scarves over their beehives and retro sunglasses. Smoky gold and black eye made up polished off the look.

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The layered jumpsuits with jackets felt urban, yet most models would have looked at home in Tabitha Getty’s 1960s Marrakech with long trains, capes and kaftans with gold accents. The most fabulous look was most certainly the Saturn-esque finale look which showcased a gold two piece outfit which was remarkably structured.

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 Sovata

Colour blocking and neon were prevelant themes on Sovata’s show with the simply structured yet elegantly presented clothing complimenting Sovata’s signature headpieces, which would be best described as Birds of Paradise brought to life.

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Clean, simple chignons and graphic eye make up created an ideal base for Sovata’s daring designs. Strong green, bright orange and purple were edged with black and white piping, contrasting beautifully with the whimsical feathering adorning the headpieces. The headpieces, canes and capes combined to give the show an ‘proper’ ‘English’ sort of feel and the interplay of thin and thick lines in both the tailoring and structure of the clothing was very accomplished.

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Illusory Cog

Illusory Cog’s designs were all about contrast. The model’s faces were fully coloured, some with half black and half multicoloured illusions airbrushed across them. The brightness of the faces contrasted sharply with the black and white initial pieces, which were mostly structured dresses with sharp angles paired with simple black footwear.

The softness of the fabrics contrasted with the armoured look of the metallic shoulder pads and chain detail of the later pieces, with sleek topknots and a jazzy soundtrack creating a dreamscape for the audience.

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Braddon Tailors

Braddon Tailors’ designs were true to their label name – the most fascinating aspect of their show being the small details and impeccable fit of their clothes. Contemporary jewellery by Tanja von Behrens added interest with its intricate design.

Most garments were best described as muted, autumnal preppy with a wide array of coloured tweed and olive green, baby blue and chalky pink tones. Smaller buttons on the women’s clothing added a feminine touch, as did the long scarves, and bright pocket squares for the men added a touch of dandy flair.

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The contrast between the different shades of tweed, waistcoats, scarves and knitted ties was always well paired, although I’d love to see the outfits paired with something other than white Converse sneakers which seemed an odd choice at first; although altogether they accentuated the preppy aesthetic. The combination of the burnt orange tweed jacket matched with a soft lilac shirt showed that these pieces could be mixed and matched infinitely. My favourite piece, however, actually appeared on the tailor himself, Pip Morgan, who wore a soft white version of the aforementioned tweed jacket when he took the runway.

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Photography: Rebecca Doyle Photography

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Editorial Coordinator involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise you’ll find her at the movies, ordering a cheese board or ordering a cheese board at the movies. More about the Author