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Illuminating Canberra fashion

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When designer Yumi Morrissey looks at a national institution, she doesn’t just get excited about amazing architecture.

She gets excited about fashion. Yes, fashion.

Zilpah tarts new autumn/winter collection features stunning patterns Yumi created from photos she took of three of our famous institutions—the National Museum of Australia, National Film and Sound Archives and the Torsional Wave at Questacon.

Yumi has also introduced a line of skirts, tops and a jacket with the ‘Illuminate’ collection and created her versatile loop scarves in each pattern.


Illuminate celebrates the beauty of Canberra once the sun has set.

“I loved the idea of creating prints with a strong contrast between the dark of the night and the bright glow of the city lights,” says Yumi. “It’s a way to show Canberra in a different light and how our landmarks completely transform at night.”

The image of the Torsional Wave Yumi captured at Enlighten a couple of years ago kick-started the collection. When Yumi saw the electric blue coloured light projected on the sculpture, she immediately imagined a pattern using strong diagonal lines.


Yumi has always been a fan of the way the National Museum of Australia transforms in the dark.

“The front entry lights highlighted the bright orange entry wall, while the other surfaces remained cast in dark shadow,” says Yumi. “This lighting and shadow created some really beautiful shapes and contrast. As soon as I saw the image I captured, I knew it would be perfect for the collection.”

The National Film and Sound Archives was also a winner with the light projections on the building in rainbow colours perfect for Yumi’s colour palette.


Zilpah tart has always been a crowd pleaser at FASHFEST, and Yumi has presented new collections on the catwalk three years running. She’s already applying for FASHFEST 2017 event and her mind is already in overdrive on the spring/summer collection she’ll showcase at the event.

In the meantime, you can see Illuminate on the catwalk at the upcoming CARDIF Collective Fashion Alley show, 8 April, Highgate Lane, Kingston.

This charity event will showcase new collections by five designers all up, including Hunter the Label, Fujinella, Hoon and Thunder Thighs.

It will also host an art exhibition and a live and silent auction, with proceeds going to the Heart Foundation and the Lost and Found initiative by boyandgirlco. Tickets: www.cardifcollective.com.au.

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