M.J. Bale offers strong competition for local and international menswear labels on the Canberra scene, and as I have said before – I can not think of a better gauntlet to throw for Canberran consumers than the opening of the M.J. Bale store in the Canberra Centre, and showing on the Fashfest runway.
It is no secret that while I admire and respect the craftmanship of elegant, tailored pieces from bespoke designers who show at Pitti Uomo; I am vastly under-funded to be able to shop there. As such, I am excited for the change that M. J. Bale represents for menswear in Canberra, and to see what the 2017 Fashfest collection will showcase from the brand. (more…)
In the lead up to Fashfest 2016 I interviewed Dunedin based designer Melanie Child, and as I tend to do, I turned the discussion towards whether there was any chance of Melanie introducing menswear to her existing range of sublime denim recreations.
At the time Mel said that she didn’t have any in the 2016 show, but that menswear was on the cards for the future.
It shouldn’t have surprised me then to seem menswear pieces on the runway this year in the Melanie Child collection, which opened an entirely New Zealand made show this year, sponsored by the New Zealand High Commission. But to be perfectly honest, despite basically begging to see Mel’s recycled denim creations turned towards menswear, I wasn’t really expecting it.
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.
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 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.
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…)
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.