Friday, 3 May 2013

Fashfest Night 2- Highlights

I was hugely lucky this week to be invited to report on Canberra's answer to fashion week, Fashfest. It was an amazing display of local designers. We have so much talent here and Canberra welcomed a fashion production of this scale and caliber to showcase all the creatives that live here. It certainly lived up to expectations and attracted national media coverage, as it should have.



I was given media passes for Night 2 and Night 3 and got to see the back-stage area and hit up the VIP. This was my coverage of Thursday night for HerCanberra.com.

Night number two of FASHFEST sure did have a tough act to follow after the rave reviews from last night’s inaugural opening but despite the high expectations, it did not disappoint.

Night one of Fashfest had created a media frenzy and I was keen to find out what all the fuss was about. Sure enough, upon entering the large industrial space at the airport and taking in every detail, I knew Fashfest was out to impress.

There was an air of anticipation from Canberra’s fashion pack, assembled on the chilly night to support local talent. The champagne and canap├ęs flowed and the music created an upbeat ambience.




People-watching was a dream, and the crowd seemed to vary from hip creatives to the more conservative and everyone in between, chatting about the space, the vibe and of course, what the designers were going to produce in their shows.
The smooth electronica sounds of local band Safia were the perfect backdrop and it wasn’t until I actually noticed the band itself that I realised it was live music. They were impressive and another indication of Fashfest’s commitment to showcasing local talent.

With the scene set, it was time to begin the show! Nestled between three Canberra bloggers, I was in prime viewing position. Here is what I – and my photographer, Joel Cope – saw:

 

Jenifer Aniela

 

Jenifer Aniela’s designs were first off the rank, and the models glided down the runway in ethereal creations that were conjured up images of mermaids on land. Gowns and mini-dresses with sequin detail and floating trains caught the breeze as the model’s walked. The standout piece was a rainbow-coloured gowned that was ruched at the front with fabric that floated out the back like the wings of a butterfly.

Sovata



Next up was a very feminine collection from Sovata. Jewel tones like emerald, cobalt and orange punctuated outfits that had a 1930’s/ 1940’s feel. The outfits were styled to perfection, with impressive matching headpieces and gloves. My favourite outfit was a black cowl-neck top and incredibly high waisted emerald pants, belted with two leather straps at the waist, short leather gloves and a contrasting architectural headpiece. An unexpected combination but executed with perfection.

Purepod

The third designer was Purepod who produced a pretty, wearable collection reminiscent of the 1950’s. The pieces were flattering and I feel any woman could wear them and feel comfortable. Floral headpieces and girly headbands complimented belted a-line dresses and shirtdresses that were paired with tights in contrasting colours. My pick of the bunch was a pale blue printed a-line dress complimented with a floral headpiece- such an elegant pairing that any woman would feel pretty in.

Andie Meredith

As Andie Meredith’s show began, the pace of the music picked up and the model’s strode to the beat. This collection was polished and I could see myself in many of the pieces. The collection was made up of a lot of separates, and it seemed as though the whole collection could be mixed and matched making it very wearable. Shift dresses, maxi’s and vests were the staples and glittery scarves and leggings were in the mix to add razzle-dazzle to the neutral pieces. My fave was a Lurex midi-dress with handless gloves. Perfection.

Gabrielle Everitt

 

Gabrielle Everitt was next and her collection evoked the feel of a garden party in country England- incredibly feminine. The models held pretty lace umbrellas; lace being a common element of the garments. Pretty dresses, suits, blazers and vests in off-white and neutrals. The models played up to the audience, smiling and curtseying with an elegant air. My pick of the ensembles was a pale blue, floaty maxi dress with a rope belt that made me long for spring.

Sofia Polak

Sofia Polak’s collection was next and models came out in rows of 3 in elegant yet eddy designs that could easily be worn to the races or weddings. Each model wore a lace eye-mask creating a darkly romantic vibe. Sofia creates evening and bridal pieces that are very wearable but have surprising elements. Dresses with peplum and leather detail added an element of surprise. The standout piece was a bridal gown with a peplum frill and leather belt. Now that’s my kind of wedding dress!

Baku

 

The swimwear designs of Baku were out next in their collaboration with Mont. Bikini’s and one pieces were paired with puffer jackets, beanies and heels that brought swimwear into a chillier format. The swimwear pieces were bright and cheerful and looked easy to wear. The models were cheeky and fun and strutted their incredible bodies down the runway in such a natural way, I forgot it was almost winter!

Sarah Joseph Couture

 

The final collection of the night was by Sarah Joseph Couture and boy was it couture! Sublimely executed designs wowed the audience; the attention to detail was phenomenal. There was a bit of everything in this collection- Aztec beading, jewel-encrusted bodices, lace, flapper and animal print. I had a hard time choosing the standout piece- it was a toss-up between the first piece and the last. The first gown made from exquisite black lace with a plunging neckline and striking red underlay. The last piece and an absolute showstopper for the entire show was a black cutout, bondage-meets-couture piece with a tulle skirt. The model pulled the daring look off with aplomb and the audience reacted with gasps and wide eyes.

Photos by Joel Cope

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