Fashfest 2016

Millennial Watches – elegant, affordable design

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The gorgeous design of Millennial Watches is a balance of pared back aesthetics and functionality. Pictured left to right: Midnight, Maple and Venus. Photo credit – Millennial Watches

 

What do you look for when you shop for a watch?

For myself, I don’t. I have something of a phobia of clocks and watches, and anything that reminds me that time is ticking by. It drives me insane, like Captain Hook (or was he more afraid of the crocodile?).

In any event, while I don’t wear a watch, I have shopped for plenty of watches in my time for friends and family, and I’m often struck by how inordinately expensive they can be, especially when you consider that your phone will happily tell you the time for no cost at all (and without that awful ticking sound). There seems to be a disconnect between quality, price and design where watches are concerned, with consumers rarely able to find a watch that ticks all three boxes.

Canberra Grammar student Riley Tanton clearly thought so himself when he established his company Millennial Watches. At just 17 years of age, Tanton has not only built his business from the ground up, but he has done so by creating a line of beautifully styled high-quality watches which he sells for just $59.70 AUD. What’s more,Tanton donates a percentage from the sale of every watch to charity. (more…)

Nomi Kids – A heart warming surprise close to Fashfest 2016

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Nomi Kids stole the evening and the hearts of the audience with a surprise showing of their debut collection on closing night of Fashfest 2016. Photo Credit – wearefoundau

 

Nomi Kids (pronounced know-me) was a surprise to round-out to the final show of Fashfest 2016. It was not billed in any of the Fashfest media, it was completely unannounced, and the first audiences at the National Convention Centre knew of the collection was a cryptic note in the programme announcing that the final designer would be replaced with a heart warming surprise.

And heart warming it was.

I mean, how could your heart not melt at the sight of first-time models being escorted down the runway by Fashfest models to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk? The kids walked in a collection of incredibly modern pieces in a very unexpected colour palette of grey, beige, black and white. There were asymmetrical cuts, perfectly matched accessories and a distinct lack of cutesy characters or messaging. All in all, this was a collection that I would happily peruse for my own wardrobe, just much, much smaller. (more…)

A New Direction for Fashfest founder

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It’s no secret that Canberra’s fashion scene has been changed for the better with the influence of power couple Clint and Andrea Hutchinson. It would be hard to argue that there was much of a visible fashion scene at all before Fashfest, and as someone who remembers attending thrown-together independent shows in creepy warehouse spaces or soulless corporate events in malls, I’m personally very thankful for what this has meant for Canberra.

It is tremendously exciting then to be able to announce that Clint Hutchinson will be leaving his full-time position as Managing Director of ZOO Group to kick start a new chapter in his life, which will include dedicating more time to building Fashfest as Canberra’s pre-eminent red-carpet fashion event.

After co-founding Fashfest four years ago with his wife Andrea, now Managing Director, the couple has decided it’s time to devote more energy to the event, as well as a range of other exciting initiatives they’re developing in the fashion and broader creative space in Canberra. (more…)

Fashfest 2016 Designer Review – Braddon Tailors

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A show that I have looked forward to every year that I have attended Fashfest is Braddon Tailors. Theirs was one of my favourite collections from Fashfest 2015, and knowing how strong a focus designer and CEO Pip Morgan places on the little details such as the selection of fabrics and the emphasis on perfect tailoring I was eager to see what the 2016 show would have for us.

This year Braddon Tailors showed looks in a wash of black and blue. Honestly, for someone who tries to wear 90% blue at any given moment it was sartorial heaven, and very difficult to pick which shade or pattern of blue that I liked best.

Hint: It was all of them. (more…)

Fashfest 2016 Designer Profile – SZN

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I was incredibly excited to see that Suzan Dlouhy would be returning her label SZN to the Fashfest runway this year. As a label SZN is known to many as avant garde styling and a foundation of sustainable design principals, with a focus on simplicity and craftsmanship. SZN produces beautiful, intelligent pieces for a contemporary audience.

Closing out the first show of Saturday night, Spectra, SZN showed a concise collection of unisex looks for Spring/Summer.

The collection utilised almost origami-like construction, with each garment made from a 150cm square piece of fabric. This obviously poses the designer with a variety of challenges, and as a result stimulates the creation of new and interesting tailoring and draping. Constraint has often been utilised by designers in order to stimulate inspiration, and it was clearly successful in this collection. (more…)

Fashfest 2016 Designer Review – The Canberra Centre

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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.

It makes sense then that the Canberra Centre would take a partnership with Fashfest in 2016, and showcase the current collections of their retailers on the runway. (more…)

Fashfest 2016 Designer Profile – Cadia Belante

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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…)