Ink & Leathers

Fashfest 2016 Designer Review – Braddon Tailors




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



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


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


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…)

Fashfest 2016 Runway Review – Cameron & James



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…)

Fashfest 2016 Show 6 – Singularity


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.

The film for this evening was provided by Michael Kosmider.

Fashfest 2016 ran from 29 September to 1 October at the award winning National Convention Centre. More information on current and future events is available through the Fashfest website. (more…)

Fashfest 2016 Show 5 – Spectra


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.

The seven collections were set to a soundtrack of local Canberran musicians tonight, with  Simon Anau, Degg and Benjamin Reeve providing a mix of sounds as diverse as the collections. Tonight’s film was provided by Stephan and Andrew Robinson.

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.

Fashfest 2016 ran from 29 September to 1 October at the award winning National Convention Centre. More information on current and future events is available through the Fashfest website. (more…)