Tuesday, 22 August 2017


Image: Anthony Caffery

Look out Canberra here I come! With great honour I have been invited to attend FASHFEST in Canberra this year and it thrills me that fashion, design and creativity in many forms will be on display in our nation’s capital.

I have been reading many an article online about FASHFEST and have been impressed by the effort, hours and commitment that has been poured into the program. From watching the models being selected, updates on Instagram or reading articles from Ink & Leathers (who I have come to rely on to be my Canberra survival guide) I am really impressed by what I have seen from our “Bush Capital” that is only an hour from Melbourne on plane.

In the lead up to FASHFEST, I have asked many people if they have been to Canberra and what they know about our country’s capital. Basically the answers are the same; War Memorial, Parliament House and a lake. On further prompting I ask if they knew about the 3-day fashion event that showcases the work of more than 40 designers. Insert blank faces here. They then want to know more about Canberra’s annual red-carpet event and what I am looking forward to as a Canberra virgin.

Besides the above mentioned, I am looking forward to visiting the National Gallery of Australia which has over 160,000 pieces of art as well as wondering around the old parliament buildings. I have a thing for architecture and exploring a city on foot. But let’s get serious, Parliament House is similar to a day care centre, so let’s move on to what is really important…………..fashion!
Image: Jack Mohr

I feel so inspired at a fashion show, from seeing someone’s creativity come to life, if it be hair and make-up, styling, modelling and or of course the clothes. The runway is electric with energy, the synergy of all the creative teams coming together in such a dynamic way, and I binge feed on it as it ignites desires and lust for what I see on the runway. 

The 3 fabulous days of fashion, music and entertainment that are planned will be hosted at National Convention Centre Canberra. I have googled this venue and it looks amazing! What a stage for a runway! Glamorous parties will be will be hosted at QT Canberra where the style elite can be found mingling and partying after the runway lights dim for the evening.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for live updates on instagram and future articles covering the 3-day festivities but for now onto the highlights from the released program http://fashfest.com.au/:

I do adore a good Haute Couture design after styling many a bride over the years. Like myself, this is the first time De Challie Haute Couture has been involved in FASHFEST and by looking at their website and social media, De Challie Haute Couture promises some spectacular visuals with their voluminous and detailed designs.
Haute Couture Canberra
Image: De Challie Haute Couture

BT (Braddon Tailors) is an Australian design house that uses some of the best fabrics from around the world for their made to measure garments. The silhouettes on their website look very classic and will be a welcomed feast for my eyes leading into summer.  
Braddon Tailors on the runway
Image: Samantha Taylor

Ethical and sustainability is definitely covered in the program with a line-up of designers including Melanie Child who has a focus on upcycling and sustainable fabric choices. This is her third year which indicates to me that she is clearly a force that can create superb garments out of waste or unwanted materials.

The Salvos Stores will also be on display offering their take on upcycling and recycling. I used to work for the Salvos Stores many years ago and will be interested to see how far they have come.
Image: Michael Greves

The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation and Magpie Goose will display Indigenous textiles and design, Magpie Goose prints are designed and printed in four remote Aboriginal communities across the Top End.

Obviously some big names in Australian fashion are also involved including Alex Perry, Camilla and Misha Collection to name a few, presented by Momento Dezigns, a stunning shop with amazing labels that has been operating in Canberra for decades. It will be exciting to see what they present so soon after Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

It goes without saying that one of my highlights is always seeing the next generation of designers. The students from the Canberra Institute of Technology will be showcasing two collections this year. I am always excited to see the talent on display with students, their wild creativity with a side of edginess is so refreshing and I cannot wait to see what the students have been creating in Canberra.

Out of the 3 days on offer it is hard to say which night I am looking forward to the most. Honestly, I think all 3 nights and 6 shows offer the crowd so much variety and diversity. Tickets start from $49 which is quite reasonable and there are VIP and Platinum ‘experiences’ which include guided backstage tours. 

First impressions are always an opportunity to shine bright and I think this will be Canberra’s way of blinding me! It maybe best to pack some new sunnies!

Tickets are on sale now at:  http://fashfest.com.au/:

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