Hale 12 Week Masthead

FASHFEST 2016 Opening Night

Emma Macdonald and Helena Game

In its fourth year, FASHFEST drew a well-dressed crowd of fashion faithful to appraise a catwalk full of (mainly) local designs.

Held at the National Convention Centre in Civic – the polished polar opposite to the edgy, unfinished concrete shell of a vacant airport precinct building that featured in its first two years, the first of the three-night event drew a reasonable crowd. This is despite the crazy storms that closed Floriade for the day and threatened many a hairstyle and makeup job in transit.

As the music belted down the glossy white runway, and rain belted over the Convention Centre roof, fashion-followers prepared for a showcase featuring not only fashion, but short film, live music performances by Ta-Un-Da and Kirklandd and DJ sets by Ashlee McKenzie and Ave Nocturna.

SHOW ONE – REVERIE

BELEZA DESIGNS

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Designer Caitlin Jolly makes couture costumes for the Latin dance community. She specialises in Brazilian Samba costumes – think bright colours, sequins, feathers and wings! It’s not the kind of stuff you’d wear to dinner and a movie, but it did make for an impactful opening.

ELLEY LANE

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Emily Heath creates beautiful, luxury evening wear for women. Using quality fabrics and employing fine attention to detail, this designer knows how to dress a woman, roping and draping fabric in beautiful Grecian-style numbers that would translate well from a cocktail event to a red carpet.

CIT SHOWCASE

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CIT showed off its latest batch of future designers who had obviously been given a brief of designing in white. We loved the detailed stitching, clean lines and craftsmanship these young designers displayed.

REBEL MUSE PRESENTS ALICE McCALL and ASILIO

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Rebel Muse owner Alicia Xyrakis curates top Australian labels in her fashion space on Lonsdale Street in Braddon – so you don’t have to do all the work. For those familiar with these fab Aussie labels it was an opportune time to see how they looked in real life. Gorgeous playsuits reminded us that summer is just around the corner!

RED SEGMENT

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Supporting women with heart disease, ‘The Red Segment’ showcased all-red garments by various Australian designers in partnership with The Heart Foundation. Designers include Eder by Anna, Elle Hopwood, and SZN.

HUNTER THE LABEL

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Designer Hunter The Label creates modern, wearable, durable clothing for ‘hunter girls’. Hunter The Label is designed and produced locally, on a made-to-order basis. It presented wearable separates that could easily be mixed and matched in fabrics like denim and linen.

SOVATA

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Independent designer Jade Sargent produces vibrant clothing and hats for women aged between 25-65. Of all the night one collections, Sovata’s impact was full of colour and drama. Sargent focuses on the feminine form, celebrating all that is beautiful in a woman’s shape. Her headwear was spectacular. Note to self: Melbourne Cup will come sooner than you know it!

SHOW TWO – FURORE

MELANIE CHILD

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Focused on reducing textile waste and using sustainable materials, Melanie Childs’ pieces are designed to last, no matter the season. Lovers of denim will be in seventh heaven.

REBEL MUSE PRESENTS MLM AND HANSEN & GRETEL

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Rebel Muse showcased MLM and Hansen & Gretel in show two – both easy to wear, more casual clothes. From luxe silky fabrics to heavy linens, the cuts were interesting and the lines defined.

RED CORNER BOXING

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Based in Canberra since 2014, Red Corner Boxing designs workout wear to make women feel comfortable and capable – so capable that the catwalk models threw a few air punches at each other during the show. This label was the first to offer customised gender-specific gear in the ACT.

A’AU ELEI

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A’au Elei is a joint venture of two brothers, which showcase their Pacific Island heritage using contemporary colours for a modern streetwear feel.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA @ TAFE QUEENSLAND

Tinasha modelling on Night One of FASHFEST 2016

Tinasha modelling on Night One of FASHFEST 2016

With the theme ‘Design Activism’, second year Bachelor of Applied Fashion students created pieces that explore the challenges of ethical sourcing and sustainability.

CAMERON AND JAMES

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Melbourne-based label Cameron and James was started by designer Cameron Dixon, with an aim to create pieces that become wardrobe staples, while also being ethically produced from start to finish. The monochromatic and geometric designs packed a punch.

VFP

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Oh how we loved VFP – which is a collaboration between Pollah Howe and Vincent Nguyen. They produce experimental clothing that plays with texture and colour. But most of all their collection oozed glamour and beauty – from the geometric metallic folds to the floating chiffon trains. Somehow it all came together for a very exciting end to the first night.

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Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism – including a Walkley or two – along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials.

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Helena Game

Helena is a wannabe journalist studying Communications and Journalism at the University of Canberra. Canberra born and bred, she is hopelessly in love with writing, stories and travel. She recently wrote her way around Japan for a creative writing study tour, and spent another two weeks in the Middle East on a journalism exchange, both of which have left her with a proper case of the post-travel blues. While she plots her next adventure, Helena is hoping to gain as much industry experience as humanly possible, and somehow finish her degree at the same time.

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