Sleek styling from Saba during the Praxis showcase on Friday night
The Canberra Centre is arguably the biggest and best retail space in Canberra, and at the forefront of contemporary fashion, dinging and lifestyle. Since it’s refurbishment in 2006 it has become the premier destination for Canberran’s to indulge in a bit of retail therapy, sporting a number of stores not seen in any other malls across Canberra.
In recent years it has also lead a change in how customers interact with and experience it’s retailers. The Canberra Centre hosts seasonal events based around the Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections of its retailers, and has brought a host of talented individuals like Maragret Zhang, Luc Wiseman, and Elle Ferguson and Tash Sefton to present talks to eager patrons. There’s also been a number of local interstate artists who have been invited to produce installations for the space.
Cadia Belante is a Melbourne based designer and eponymous fashion label with a focus on sustainable clothing production who showed at Fashfest for the very first time this year.
As a label Cadia Belante proposes to develop ways to re-circulate those consumable items that can be re-worked into textiles and garments, and as a result reduce waste. A quick trip through Belante’s website and social media showcase an array of boldly colured and patterned fashions in unisex designs, which blur the lines between art and fashion and ask us to question what makes a garment?
This year’s Fashfest collection was an interesting mix of pieces with a very sporty feel to them. As a big fan of quilting generally, I was delighted to see the ways in which Belante applied this technique to her garments. It moved between being functional and decorative seamlessly while never seeming over-used. Using contrasting stitching for some of the quilted garments was a very nice touch too. (more…)
Going into Fashfest there were already a few designers who’s collections I was particularly excited about, and one of these was the latest offerings from Melbourne based Cameron Dixon and his label Cameron & James.
After the success of his collection for Fashfest 2015 I’m not embarrassed to say that I have become something of a fan-boy of Cameron’s work, and I had fairly high expectations for what I was looking to see from him this year. My mind had painted a picture of the same strong understanding of the importance of a garment’s cut, paired with his unwavering dedication to black and white.
And on the first night of Fashfest 2016, during the second show for the evening Furore, what we got from Cameron & James this year was beautifully aligned with the label’s history, but a clear and determined step forward. (more…)
The closing show for Fashfest 2016 was always going to be a big deal, but between last minute changes to the set list, my struggling not to wail like a banshee when Mondecreen took the stage, and more surprises than I was prepared for – it truly was an immersive experience.
Singularity opened strongly with a few new designers to the Fashfest alumni, before diving into collection after collection of impeccably strong garments. Singularity asked us to explore the here and now of fashion with big ideas. Raw, bold and one-of-a-kind, this show was for those who want a singular experience – and a unique ending.
I need to take a moment to fan-boy out over the amazing Mondecreen, who rocked the evening with three performances along with Soul Sisters and Josh Beck. I’ve been a fan since Mondecreen played Fashfest last year, and I was thrilled to see them return to the runway this year.
Kicking off the last night of Fashfest 2016, the first show was a tour-de-force of designers who are established and comfortable in their style. This collection was polished – every little detail had been thought through carefully by the designers, and the presentation showcased their individual talents perfectly.
But what was Spectra all about? Well, Spectra is a band of colour, or a visual display. This Fashfest show invited the audience to explore where they sit on the fashion spectrum. It was a show for people looking to make a statement and express themselves in true colour, and showing the tools necessary to craft your own fashion identity.
The theme of the show was Limina – a celebration of the moments that change our lives. The audience was invited to explore how we cross thresholds with unique garments. This show was a chance for us all to reflect on those special moments in life, and how what we wear contributes to and builds upon those moments.
I was very impressed by the film featurette by Sebastian Chan. It was bold, relevant and most of all fun. It was like a sparkly Hunger Games of fashion!
Since it very first graced our fair city with its presence, Fashfest has grown in leaps and bounds. This year the event has partnered with the Canberra Centre, the destination for style in the capital. I will have another post in coming weeks about why I think that this is such a brilliant and important partnership, but for tonight I want to focus on the event itself.
Praxis asked us to engage with and explore fashion in an accessible way. It was a demonstration of how the fashion we wear intertwines with what we do, and how it helps us to take on the day. This was a show for those who use fashion as a way to reflect their life.