Friday, 20 October 2017


This year is flying by, it seemed like only yesterday I booked tickets to Adelaide Fashion Festival but the calendar has quickly ticked over, the warmer weather is in full swing across the country and Adelaide Fashion Festival 2017 arrived. 

I was not entirely sure what to expect of Adelaide Fashion Festival to be honest as Adelaide is known for being rather conservative. Upon turning the corner at the parade grounds my eyes were lit with excitement to see a giant marquee and pink everywhere. A colourful explosion set against an enchanting white building from decades past. The organisers should be proud of both the schedule and the venue at Torres Parade Grounds. It was an excellent choice of venue with its outdoor area and set up from White Marquee. So great to see the mix of old and new to come together to create something of beauty and provide purpose and new life to an old building.

You may notice from the photos within that Champagne was a constant theme over my stay in Adelaide. South Australia is wine country after all! So I did indulge. So what did I see besides the bottom of a champagne bottle and Myer pin up girl Jennifer Hawkins pushing the latest in spring racing carnival attire?

Image: Broadsheet Adelaide - Meaghan Coles

Runway 1 - Contemporary vs Street 

Whilst the fashion left me semi underwhelmed (as did the horrendous goodie bag-a luggage tag really?), there were moments of brilliance and creative direction that should be applauded for their individuality and non mass marketing appeal. It is fashion, and as much as fashion is commercial, you should also be blown at a runway and have a desire and a reaction to the clothes. I had a bad reaction to the denim cut off shorts, polo shirts, nightie slips and sports bras that were on display. My personal opinion is that when I am at a catwalk, I want to be wowed and see the best of the best. There were moments of splashy wonderful coloured prints and bright accessories where I thought this show could be rescued, unfortunately for me, it was not to be.

Runway 2 - Couture Culture

Understated elegance was on display at this show with some scrumptious evening gowns on display. Simple and elegant, timeless designs with plenty of Angelina leg splits sashaying down the runway with flattering lines and chic details. Exquisite pattern drafting skills and the concept of the show including accessories and props was well executed. There were feathers, piping, sequins, lace, extravagance, it had it all. Bravo.


Runway 3 - BNKR

After visiting the store and seeing some of the amazing pieces they had I was excited to see how all this would be pieced together and was expecting a masterpiece. There is runway shows with dark undertones all the time with a strike of artistic genius that makes the experience of sitting on the sideline a mad visual experience for the eyes. However I would sum it up - Emo Chic with a lean towards a box of depression with occasional glimpses of hope. Perfect for Brunswick Street types in Melbourne.

Runway 5 - Next Gen TAFE SA

The student runway by TAFE SA was the highlight of the 3 days I was in attendance. The pure creativity of the students and their willingness to express themselves in such a way with quality unique stylised garments was outstanding. 

The whole show was put together by students and it was executed to perfection. The music, lighting, video graphics that introduced each section, the models, and don't get me started on that hair and make up! Delicious. A round of applause needs to be provided to this show, it was highly competitive against the more established brands that were showing throughout the festival and this showcase stood on its own merits. 

The Premier challenge/award is a fantastic initiative that displayed a high degree of creativity and all who entered should be proud of producing original designs that kept with the brief. I would love to see other festivals adopt such an initiative or competition.

I hope next year this festival provides the opportunity for them to have a night time show to present their work.  The 10.30am time slot they were allotted did not do this show justice. 

Image: Gfashcollective

East End Social Vogue Festival Wrap Party

It was the first time Vogue joined this festival which I think boosted attendance and shopping at in Rundall Mall and at the festival.

When I think of Vogue I think of opulence, style, charisma, desire and creativity. I mean it is Vogue. There was lovely food, a nice looking crowd and amazing tunes, The Vogue Festival Wrap Party at East End Social was in a dead end street left me with mixed feelings. Vibes somewhere between a 18th birthday bash in a country shed and a runway show at your local Westfield. I do have to say I was expecting something a little more "Vogue". Not sure what was exclusive about the event considering people were accessing the party via the lane ways and the pink "exclusive" band provided you with not much at all. Thankfully I was in good company and enjoyed myself anyhows like I was at a 21st. 


Clique X AFF Party Presented by Spring Carnival

Whilst it was great to say goodbye to the new friends I met over the past few days, I have to admit I left the party early. Billed as "A fashion party to end all parties" I was underwhelmed when there seemed to be no atmosphere or energy at the party to end all parties. When Absolutely Fabulous impersonators arrived and not much else, I grabbed my Gucci and walked back to the hotel. Maybe it was because all the people were inside the charming building for an exclusive dinner and not under the marquee providing energy and life, or maybe I didn't have enough champagne.

The People

I'm always delighted to meet new people at fashion events. Meeting people at these type of events provides me with so much life, from hearing peoples stories, background, what they do for a living, I find it intriguing how fashion brings people together. I spoke with so many wonderful creative people that are amazing for the future of creativity in this country and in general. The Adelaide style elite were very kind to this Melbournian, friendly, happy and helpful to point things out and it was great to meet so many of them.

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with many talented photographers, hair and make up artists, designers as well as a few creative types over the course of the 3 days. Each one had such a story to tell and its great to see these people living the dream and doing what they love. I'd like to take the opportunity to praise all of these people for sharing your great stories, introducing yourself, or taking the time to speak to me when I approached you. You know who you are. 

There is some amazing coverage of the street style from the festival, covered by the awesome crew at Cocktail Revolution. They have a great eye for details and captured the stylish buzzing around the streets. 


In summary

AFF sits somewhere between the big budget VAMFF and MFW. It has the best intentions at heart to showcase what Adelaide has to offer although I feel like it is under some restrictions of large sponsorships. Adelaide Fashion Festival has the potential to push its boundaries further which I think would really put it on the map. With a bit of tweaking it has potential to seriously rival VAMFF. The impression from many was that the festival was relying heavily on the Paolo Sebastian's shows (which looked amazing and I unfortunately did not attend, luckily I saw the exhibition)to bring the crowds and wow factor to the festival. Overall the festival was well planned and executed professionally. Content on the runway was hit and miss, the people were friendly and stylish, the champagne was flowing freely. Overall a lovely experience. 

After attending numerous fashion festivals this year, FASHFEST has stood out as the festival that I will compare others against. The festival had so many creative types come together for a common goal, the love of what they do and what they believe in. That passion resonated both on and off the runway. The larger festivals with seriously large sponsors and financial backing could learn a thing or two from Canberra about how to put on a showcase to wow the fashionistas and showcase the best of homegrown talent.  

Next fashion stop.... Milan and Paris fashion weeks 2018

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