A New Direction for Fashfest founder



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…)

Sumptuous Silks – A New Season Feast from Casa Pavone


Mid-way as we are now through Spring, it probably seems a little late to the party to be discussing the new spring/summer offerings from Canberra-based accessories label Casa Pavone. But with Fashfest over for another year, and the men of Canberra and the surrounding area faced with a whole slew of new seasonal occasions to dress for (Spring races, Spring weddings, Christmas and New Years…) I cannot think of a better time to talk through some of the stunning new pieces on offer to get us looking our best.

Created as a complimentary label to the designs they were creating with Braddon Tailors. Pip Morgan and Johnathon McFeat identified that there was a hole in the Australian market for men’s accessories of a really high quality; and knew that they were the ones to offer a solution with Casa Pavone.

Offering a well designed, high quality product is the key to the label, which prides itself on sourcing only the best English and Italian silks, searching through merchants pattern archives – in some cases back over 200 years, to source the materials used in their collections.

Quality is ensured in the final product through a partnership with a small family owned manufacturing company in Italy who create all the pieces for Casa Pavone by hand. With each piece being lovingly created by artisans, in very small quantities, we’re talking about bespoke menswear accessories which are filling a needy niche in the menswear marketplace. (more…)

Fashfest 2016 Designer Profile – Braddon Tailors



Menswear at Fashfest, and for Canberra in general, has benefitted greatly from the introduction of Braddon Tailors to the local scene. Since their first show for Fashfest 2014, the boys behind Braddon Tailors have continued to develop and grow the business. Launching a gorgeous retail space in the heart of Braddon was just the tip of the iceberg; with the establishment of permanent locations in Adelaide and Sydney, and the development of a unique offering for corporate or large groups where the gents come out to your office and discuss all things style with you and your colleagues. Braddon Tailors have also just launched their exciting new website, where you are able to book an appointment with them directly. Whether you are in Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney or elsewhere in Australia, you should book your appointment now!

I’ve talked about Braddon Tailors a lot here on the Blog, and while it might seem a little biased, my previous experiences with “tailors” have left me with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, and less than exceptional garments for my wardrobe. I’ve been over-charged, misrepresented and told that I could absolutely pull of a style which frankly I am just too fat for. So meeting CEO and Creative Director Pip Morgan and his team and being walked through the process, my options and given frank advice has been nothing short of a revelation.

Braddon Tailors’ was one of my favourite collections from Fashfest 2015. The selection of fabrics for the show was sublime, and the men’s and women’s tailoring was perfectly matched to each look and model. There was collegiate cool vibe running through the collection that was perfect for the autumn/winter season, showing  an eye for detail that simply cannot be taught.

While Braddon Tailors runway collections are impressive, it is the one-on-one interactions that you have as a customer that truly make this team so remarkable. In preparation for Fashfest 2016 I have been on a brilliant adventure with Canberra store manager Aidan, selecting fabrics, learning about the construction of the garments and a bit about the history of tailoring, and laughing the whole time. I cannot wait to share my new purchases with you, and I will have a full write-up on the blog when they are completed.

Naturally, in 2016 I am expecting big things from Braddon Tailors, and so I thought it best to check in with Pip to get the lowdown on what is new with the Braddon Tailors, and just what we are in for with their third Fashfest collection at this year’s show. (more…)

Military Coat – 90s Grunge or Japanese Cool?


Spring always means rain here in Canberra, and I’m counting my lucky stars I’ve found the perfect jacket to see me through the wet weeks ahead. Today I’m wearing: khaki hooded canvas jacket – German army surplus | white cotton v-neck t-shirt – H&M | obsidian magnatama necklace – Narita, Japan | brown leather belt – Sportscraft | moto embroidered skinny jeans – Loyalty & Faith | tobacco brown suede boots – The Ball & Chain, Catch of the Day


While it might technically be Spring here in Canberra, we’re currently living through a last hurrah for the Winter season that was. The air is still freezing, and rains have set in for the time being, which is doing wonders for my whole “let’s get fit and healthy in time for summer (for the 900th time)” thing. Spring in Canberra always means rain, and two weekends ago while the skies opened up, my parents and I set about rearranging my garage and conducting a bit of Spring-cleaning around my place. The main goal was to neatly pack-up and store the remnant’s of my ex’s belongings wile he’s living abroad. In the process of this, I found a coat.

I had never seen the coat before, but I knew that it belonged to my ex. It’s a khaki or olive-drab military coat with a huge hood and a detachable faux-fur lining. The tags inside the jacket are in German, so I can only assume that this is a surplus German military piece that he collected from somewhere, and which has been sitting in the garage unloved for the past five years. Obviously, waiting for me to discover it and to fall in love with it. (more…)

Fashfest 2016 Designer Profile – Cadia Belante



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…)

Fashfest 2016 Designer Profile – SZN

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SZN Fashfest 2014 collection – photo credit: Martin Ollman


Suzan Dlouhy is a name known to many in the Canberra fashion scene. Founding her label SZN in 2012, Suzan quickly created a name for herself with her avant garde styling and her dedication to creating a label founded on principals of sustainable design. With a focus on simplicity and craftsmanship, SZN produces beautiful, intelligent pieces for a contemporary audience.

As a label SZN is Fashfest alumni and has showed collections twice previously, before Suzan moved the label to Melbourne. Since leaving Canberra Suzan has not only expanded into the Melbourne market, now stocked at Milly Sleeping and The Social Studio in Melbourne (as well as Canberra’s own Assemblage project); but has also been active in  designing for many art projects, including music videos and short films. Most recently SZN showed as a part of the FreekA runway at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

The last SZN collection for Fashfest 2014 was a revelation for me. I’d previously thought of recycled and environmentally conscious design as clunky, poorly made and ugly. If you’d ever seen the garments showcased on Regretsy you would know exactly what I am talking about. However what Suzan presented was a beautiful collection of striking silhouettes and stunningly crafted denim pieces that leapt off the runway and into my imagination.

I’m still dreaming about the striped denim t-shirt from this collection, and cursing myself for not ordering one right away.

As you can imagine I am very excited to see SZN return to the Fashfest runways for 2016, and I wanted to catch up with Suzan to see what she has been up to since we saw her last, and to see what insight I can get to her 2016 collection. (more…)

Winter Favourites Video – Menswear, Home wares and Media

I have been away for from my Youtube channel for quite a while, and I thought that I would get myself back into the habit of making content for Youtube with a Monthly Favourites video!

However, seeing as I haven’t made a video in the three-months of Australian winter, I figured I would make this one a Winter Favourites Video!

I have been a big fan of Monthly Favourites videos for a while now, and I follow a lot of great Youtubers who produce this video every month. I think that they are a really great way to learn more about your favourite Youtubers; but also to discover new products/gadgets/brands to try, or to confirm your thoughts about something you have been thinking of trying for a while.

So for Winter 2016 I have seven products that I wanted to share with you that I have purchased and been loving. There’s a couple of housewears, fashion, footwear and tech/media items