Serious business – hopeful models strutting their stuff at the 2017 Fashfest model casting last Sunday.
On Sunday morning I was up early, dressed, showered and on the road by 10:00am. While I didn’t have far to go, I was nervous.
It was not the paralysing sort of nervous that usually has me curled up in a ball on my lounge watching re-runs on Netflix to distract myself. No, this was the frenetic sort of nervous. The type of nervous reserved for first dates, public speaking, or the dentist waiting room, manically searching for any task to try to wrangle my nerves under control.
Would you be interested in attending a showcase of local Canberra Fashion talent showcased in a gritty industrial space held for a fantastic cause? Well, you’re in luck! Local fashion collective CARDIF will be hosting an event on the evening of 8 April 2017 to support the Heart Foundation of Australiaboyandgirlco’s Lost and Found initiative, and I have two tickets to give away!
CARDIF Collective Fashion Alley is part fashion show, part art exhibition, part auction, and promises to be a whole lot of fun.
The event will be held in Highgate Lane, Green Square, Kingston. This is the first time that the service laneway will be used for a catwalk event, providing a fantastic juxtaposing of raw industrial service with the polished elegance of designer fashion.
To give you a taste of what the evening will include:
New label Thunder Thighs will be launched.
Hunter The Label will launch a new autumn/winter 2017 collection called ‘Norwegian Wood’.
Zilpah Tart will showcase their new autumn/winter 2017 collection, called Illuminate.
CARDIF Collective will present a segment featuring pieces from their in store designers.
An art exhibition with works by artists from M16 Gallery.
A live auction will be held with auctioneer Richard Luton, with all proceeds going to the Heart Foundation.
A silent auction will be held with all proceeds going to the Lost and Found initiative.
On Saturday morning I visited the Hyatt Hotel Canberra for morning tea with fellow blogger LFW Magazine. Not an uncommon activity, especially for Canberrans. As long as I have lived here (going on 13 years this year) if you mention morning tea or high tea someone will inevitably ask “At the Hyatt?”. It truly is Canberra’s favourite weekend get-away for high tea, and an institution in and of itself.
I had thought that I would simply wile away the morning sipping tea and stuffing my face with a delectable array of savoury and sweet delicacies from the buffet, but that wasn’t to be the case.
I mean, I still did that. I was delighted to find a whole host of dishes that I hadn’t tried before, including miniature chicken and leek pies, as well as old favourites like cucumber sandwiches. You can’t go to morning or afternoon tea at the Hyatt and not enjoy the amazing handiwork of the skilled chefs working behind the scenes.
However, we were in for a bit of a surprise, as there was a new fashionXhyatt event taking place.
Viktor & Rolf, the Dutch design duo behind some of the most elaborate and awe-inspiring couture pieces of our time, currently have a retrospective of their 25-year collaboration hosted at the National Gallery of Victoria. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? I mean, by now every Australian fashion blogger and their dog have commented or reported on the exhibition. Most of my go-to fashionistas had already been, seen and posted about the exhibition before I got the chance to go this weekend past, and so I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for.
What I didn’t anticipate, however, was just how much I wouldn’t enjoy the exhibition.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is no debating that the creations are breathtaking in their vision and construction. The genius of the design duo cannot be understated, and the way in which the garments are pieced together shows a real mastery of craftsmanship. I cracked a huge smile seeing the red carpet gown in person (a beautifully sculptural piece crafted from actual carpet), and I was honestly moved seeing pieces in person that I had viewed in magazines and being able to dissect them with my own eyes rather than through someone else’s lens.
However, as someone now in his thirty-first year on this planet, and as someone who is (reluctantly) being drawn into the minimalism movement, I had to stop and ask myself what the cost of these garments (and more over the cost of couture generally) actually is. (more…)
Fashion illustration is a tricky art form. Where we often think of illustration as capturing a likeness of an object or subject, fashion illustration requires a little more from the artist, especially with regard to capturing movement. A large part of the appeal of a runway show is seeing the garments in the flesh: how they sit on the model, how they move, and of course the feeling that they evoke in the audience.
For a fashion illustrator, these are all integral parts of their subjects that they need to convey through their medium in order to illicit a response from their audience. Reliving the swish of a dress through strokes of a pen, or the glint of light off sequins with shading, or the feeling you get from observing something truly beautiful with careful drops of colour.
With a background in Fine Arts, Printmaking studying at the Brighton Bay Art, Design & Photography Program before two years at the Victorian College of the Arts, and later completing a brief course in Fashion Drawing and Design at RMIT Johanna brings years of drawing experience and a love of creative fashion to her work.
With an impressive clientele including online journal This is Canberra and science/fashion blog Entropy of Style, Johanna is also a contributor to Leiden Magazine, and has held several exhibitions of her illustrations and prints over the years.
You can imagine just how delighted I was then to be offered to have one of my previous Fashfest outfits illustrated by Johanna for this year’s event.
The piece that Johanna illustrated was what I wore to the first night of Fashfest 2014, and it’s a sequined hoodie by Slick It Up. I’m so in love with this illustration, not only because I am insanely vain, but because of the way that Johanna has brought the texture of the piece to life.
Returning to the Fashfest in 2016 as the official illustrator, I was eager to get in touch with Johanna to find out what we can expect to be seeing from her this year, what she’s learned about fashion from her illustrations, and which designer’s collections she is most looking forward to this year. (more…)
One of the fantastic things about Fashfest is that it opens your eyes to a host of possibilities. For example, I have stated many times on this blog that I find a lot of ‘eco’ or sustainable designers to make really ugly clothing, and that I am someone who can’t see themselves wearing eco designs.
Enter Melanie Child, a boutique womenswear label from Dunedin, New Zealand, which focuses on upcycling and sustainable fabric choices.
In the lead up to Fashfest 2015 I can remember the head of Fashfest PR asking me if I would be interested in profiling Melanie’s label for my blog and thinking “Pshaw! Sustainable design! That’s all hemp fibers and tie-dye! No thanks!” and being, if I am honest, a bit of a tool about it all. It wasn’t until I was actually sitting there last year watching Melanie’s designs pass me on the runway that I realised just how wrong about sustainable design I was.
The aesthetic of Child’s label is thought provoking and sculptural with dark undertones, with a predominantly monotone colour palette. It is also insanely beautiful and in some ways fragile. The creative redesign of preloved denim is a Melanie Child signature.
The label’s underpinning philosophies are to reduce post-consumer textile waste into landfill and maintain a small environmental footprint by using sustainable virgin materials from ethical sources. Child creates beauty from the unwanted and wasted—timeless garments that transcend seasonal restraints. Limited edition and bespoke upcycled clothing which is thoughtfully and skilfully remade in New Zealand.
Returning to the Fashfest runways for 2016, I was eager to get in touch with Melanie to find out what she had been up to since we saw her in May last year and of course, what we can expect from her 2016 collection. (more…)
With the increase in size and scope of Fashfest as a celebration of fashion, design and creativity – it makes sense that it’s audience grows as well. Audience doesn’t refer to just those who attend Fashfest, but also to those who take part. With each year that passes we see the number of interstate (and international) designers, models and musicians increase.
One such interstate designer who is showing at Fashfest for the very first time in 2016 is Cadia Belante, a Melbourne based designer and eponymous fashion label with a focus on sustainable clothing production.
Belante created her label in response to her concerns with the increasing volume of materials that we create and the rate at which these materials become landfill.
As a label Cadia Belante proposes to develop ways to re-circulate these consumable items, and as a result reduce waste. The original catalyst of this undertaking was the discovery of large quantities of surplus sleeping bags in second hand stores, leading Belante to explore the possibilities of re-purposing within fashion design. Cadia began to collect interesting but obsolete items to experiment with, and she now uses items that would remain unused or otherwise be tossed away to create her signature garments.
Belante’s website and social media showcase an array of boldly colured and patterned fashions in mens, womens and unisex designs, which blur the lines between art and fashion. The label is inspired by Belante’s vision of the future possibilities of challenging boundaries within fashion design.
This is the first year that Cadia Belante will show at Fashfest, and I wanted to get an inside scoop on the label and the future-cool styling before the big night. Of course I have also sought a little bit of a sneak peek as to what we can expect from her 2016 collection. (more…)