While the weather outside was abysmal, Canberrans turned up in droves to support the opening night of Fashfest 2016.
Condensed to just three nights ths year, and with two shows a night, Fashfest 2016 kicked off with Reverie: A visual delight with images to relish. Reverie offered audiences an opportunity to explore fashion for its beauty, its brilliance, and its sensation. The show was for those who want to get lost in a dream, a fantastic reverie.
Overall it was an impressive collection of new and returning Fashfest designers which really set the tone for this year’s events.
I have to make a special mention of musician Kirklandd who performed alongside the talented Ave Nocturna and Mitcharelli. Kirklandd really surprised me by getting me to enjoy Australian Hiphop, and it is fairly obvious why he is described as an exciting member of Aussie hip-hop’s new generation.
For the final collection of Fashfest 2015, you really do have to have something up your sleeve which is guaranteed to wow the audience. Thankfully crowd-favourites Corr Blimey closed the show with a collection of men’s and women’s garments in their signature sculptural styles.
Propaganda Z is the second and final installment of Corr Blimey’s 2015 collection, the first part of which was shown in collaboration with Walter Knoll furniture and Designcraft Canberra earlier this year. Z rounded out the collection with more sculptural pieces, continuations of the collection’s themes, and exciting new accessories from Silver Atom. The colour pallet was predominantly achromatic, however there were pops of colour provided throughout, and texture in the form of industrial felt and a knit-print fabric in a gorgeous soft grey. It was obvious watching this collection that the Corr Blimey DNA is as strong as every, with a focus on delivering engaging shapes in the way of tailoring and execution. However, it was also evident that the collaboration with Walter Knoll has had a profound impact of Corr Blimey.
Key pieces from the Z collection for me were the stunning black overcoat worn by Face of Fashfest Ken Scruton, the sculptural black jacket worn by stellar model Ameena Payne, and the knit-print top worn by the male model. This piece in particular caught my eye, as Louisa included some very fancy stitch work and tucks which added to the illusion of this being a knit fabric by adding depth of field to the flat fabric. Silver Atom really surprised me this year, taking his stunning metalwork pieces in new directions and creating brilliant pieces which blended with the sculptural element of the Propaganda Z collection perfectly. I especially loved the lapel decorations, these are a fantastic idea and something that I am not too secretly coveting.
Corr Blimey closed the book on Fashfest 2015 and their Propaganda collections to riotous applause from the crowd, a fitting end to what has been a huge journey in every aspect. This collection showed exactly what designer Lousia de Smet is made of, and pushed the envelope of what we can expect from future collections. Believe the hype and the Propaganda: Corr Blimey fashion will kick your arse and then dress it to kill! (more…)
In the week of Fashfest 2015 designer Cameron Dixon expressed that he was a little nervous that he had not pushed enough with his debut collection for his label Cameron & James.
He really had no reason for concern.
The Cameron & James collection presented on the closing night of Fashfest was a fantastic achievement of achromatic, unisex pieces in draped forms and cool cuts. There was something for everyone in the line up, with dropped-crotch pants, oversized t-shirts with exaggerated necklines, flowing tank tops and much more. The use of only black and white, accentuated by the addition of incredibly realistic looking marble patterning, kept the focus on the unique designs and clever construction.
My favourite pieces of the collection were the white long-line tank top worn by face of Fashfest Ken Scruton, and the white marble-fronted t-shirt with the exaggerated neckline. However my favourite piece overall wasn’t even officially in the collection, but was actually worn by Cameron on the night: a sleeveless collared vest with studded details. I am desperate to add it to my wardrobe.
All in all the Cameron & James collection was a great introduction to Canberra for Dixon, and I cannot wait to see what we can expect to see from him in 2016. Not only has he reignited my love of white, but he has also proven to me once and for all that designers can be environmentally conscious without forsaking the aesthetic appeal of their garments; and I’ll be forever thankful for that. (more…)
With sports-luxe and normcore being recognised as legitimate contemporary fashion movements, there is an abundance of opportunities for someone lazy like myself to take the trends too literally and wear nothing but track pants for the rest of my life.
Thankfully, there is a slew of new designers offering collections of high-quality basics which translate perfectly into everyday wear. Charne Esterhuizen is one such designer, and through her label Maak she is set to change the way that Canberran men and women think about street wear. Maak’s collection for Fashfest 2015 was a celebration of a unisex, street and sports-inspired aesthetic is, and represents a perfect fit for those who want to freely express themselves. Maak’s debut collection at Fashfest 2015 was not necessarily made for sport, but it bore a strong sport aesthetic with a range of pieces reinterpreted in fashion forward and life-proof cuts and fabrics.
I loved the collection from Maak, it represented everything that my wardrobe is not and that I wish it was. Particular favourites of mine were a fitted sleeveless white shirt that was cut PERFECTLY, and a khaki jacket that I would love to own. The whole collection was brilliant, but these are the two pieces that really grabbed my attention.
All in all this was a really strong collection from a new Fashfest designer, and I cannot wait to see what Charne presents in years to come. (more…)
It’s no secret that I have something of a soft-spot for Braddon Tailors. Since meeting designer Pip Morgan in the lead-up to Fashfest 2014, I have come to know the man and his business as professional, intelligent and dedicated to providing his customers with the best possible product. In a landscape of off-the-rack and mass-produced menswear, Braddon Tailors offers the more discerning Canberran man an opportunity to have a hand in designing the clothes that he puts on his back.
This year Braddon Tailors‘ collection for Fashfest was a smörgasbord of tweeds. As we’re now moments away from winter, this collection could not have been more on-point. Showcasing a broad range of fabrics that are perfect of winter (wools, heavy tweeds, solid cottons) could have easily aged the collection, but as a testament to Morgan’s understanding of his business and clientele, the cuts of the garments were impeccably tailored and very young. The colour pallet perfectly complimented the season without being clichéd. A particular favourite of my own was the navy slacks with a natural ruby woolen tweed and a pink shirt, worn by the youngest looking model. This should have looked ridiculous, like a kid wearing his dad’s suit; but through the mastery of Braddon Tailors it looks perfectly dapper and age appropriate.
This year’s collection was collegiate chic through and through. Think The Graduate meets The Breakfast Club. Styling was well executed, with jewelry from Tanja von Behrens, and scarves, pocket squares and neckties provided by Casa Pavone. I especially liked the combination of suiting and sneakers.
All in all this was a very well put-together collection that perfectly exemplifies what Braddon Tailors can do for you and your wardrobe, and you haven’t already checked this Canberra menswear stalwart out, you will soon be able to when the Flagship store opens in Braddon early next month!
The Perpetually Five + Clare show was always going to be something of a show stopper, with The Haunted Mask collection being inspired by children’s nightmares, and a fusion of the theatricality and surrealism of designers Mitch Thompson and Clare Read’s personal styles. However audiences could not have anticipated the brilliant collection that Perpetually Five + Clare sent down the runway.
In my pre-Fashfest 2015 interview with the duo I guaranteed that it would be a fantastic fashion experience to behold; and I wasn’t wrong.
The Haunted Mask used the Houndstooth design as a key design element, and the collection was a twisted vision in black and white with jagged edges. This achromatic nightmarescape of unique tailoring and distorted proportions presented the audience with a collection of pieces that, together, told stories of monsters hiding under the bed. However, the genius of Perpetually Five + Clare is that when you pull the collection apart, each piece is distinctly wearable and fashion forward. Thompson and Read present a high-fashion experience that boils down into pieces that incorporate seamlessly into an existing wardrobe. You can wear the pieces all together (as Sydney Bloggers Warren and Cissy from Zhang Pasi did on Night Two), or you can pick and choose pieces that will complement and enhance your existing wardrobe. To have a collection that is ultimately wearable but that looks like couture on the runway is not easy to achieve, and it is something that Perpetually Five + Clare should be congratulated for. (more…)
I have been aware of Phoebe Mwanza’s label The Prodigal Daughter for a while now, after seeing her brightly coloured and patterned garments at Hustle & Scout and the likes. I’ve admired the craftsmanship from afar, and despite the fact that I am committed to this minimalist ‘shades of blue only’ wardrobe, I’ve often toyed with the idea of seeing some of her designs as menswear.
Naturally the womenswear that Phoebe showed for The Prodigal Daughter was a celebration of the bold prints that the designer is now know for, and a true testament to what the label is all about. The menswear, however, was a little on the darker side. Models walked in black slacks of jeans so that the emphasis was solely on the stunning blazers and vests that Mwanza produced in the signature fabrics that her label is known for. There were several crossovers with the fabrics being used for both men’s and women’s garments, which only goes to show just how versatile these designs are. The contrast between the women’s and men’s garments was a terrific way of showcasing that this is a new direction for The Prodigal Daughter, and plays on but inverts the animal kingdom, where males of species are more colourful than the females. It was especially wonderful that Mwanza didn’t just translate her collection into men’s looks, but took the menswear in its own direction.
I really enjoyed this collection from The Prodigal Daughter, and I look forward to seeing more stylish and bright menswear from Phoebe in years to come.