The closing night of FASHFEST rolled around too soon. We walked the red carpet, ate some doughnuts and took our seats, ready for the final shows.
Canberra based designer Karen Lee’s eponymous label specialises in slow fashion for the every day woman. Her work is designed for comfort, to transcend trends and to be worn again and again. This year’s FASHFEST collection was no exception as the designer sent out an array of versatile dresses, pinafores, trousers and shirts. Nothing was figure hugging; clothing was designed to skim over the body’s curves. Hemlines were asymmetric, and many pieces included intelligent pleating and tucking of the fabric.
Beauty Note: Makeup was minimalist with a hint of cheek colour and winged liner. Hair was styled in loose bunched knots at the nape of the head.
The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) has partnered with remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres and fashion designers to present a collection of fashionable garments using indigenous textile art. This collection was certainly all about the textiles with the bold and vibrant prints taking centre stage. Floaty dresses in earthy tones gave way to graphic shapes on brightly coloured fabric. The closing look, a blue gown featuring a full skirt covered in drawings of Australian flora and fauna.
Beauty Note: The models natural hair was celebrated with indivudalised styles including bantu knots, natural afros and braids. The makeup look featured pops of colour on the lids and lips and a bare natural glowy base.
Perhaps one of Canberra’s most successful commercial labels, Zilpah Tart, designed by Yumi Morrisey, returned to the FASHFEST runway with a new collection that both embraced her signature digital prints and pushed the boundaries of her design practice. Her previous collections have primarily consisted of a number of core design styles that receive a seasonal update via her signature prints, adapted from photographs the designer has taken around Canberra.
This year, however, Yumi’s signature fit and flare dresses had ruffles at the sleeves, sexy splits, trailing chiffon adornments and splices of metallic or solid coloured fabric. As well as dresses, the designer also presented skirts, culottes and a playsuit as well as garments that featured no print at all.
While watching the collection go down the runway, we were reminded of the way pioneer and queen of digital print, Mary Katrantzou transitioned her own label as digital printing became ubiquitous. As Zilpah Tart the label expands and mutates, we are excited to see what unfolds.
Beauty Note: Models sported hair pulled back into large, low textured buns with volume at the top and flower accents. The makeup look included a minimalist base with a subtle azure shimmer highlight and soft sky blue or green eyeliner. A small flower featured at the corner of one eye and lips that were dusty rose.
Manuka boutique Department of the Exterior presented a collection from New Zealand label NYNE. Founded in 2004, the label is designed by Tina Patrick, Miranda Dawson and Jacob Scott-Simmonds. Simple tops, pleated skirts, structured trousers, cardigans and t-shirt dresses were sent down the runway in a colour palette of black, white, kahki and a hint of blue.
Beauty Look: Models wore individualised braids with safety pin accents and bronzed minimalist dewy makeup with brown and nude lips.
Australian tailor Braddon Tailors has had a name update and is now going by the shorter and sharper moniker of BT. With permanent locations in Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide, this purveyor of quality suiting has garnered a strong following nationally and internationally. The collection presented at FASHFEST this year was strong, sexy and bold featuring figure hugging pant and short suits in bold colours and rich fabrics for both men and women.
Beauty Note: Models wore shimmery azure shadow with blended out eyeliner and nude lips. Hair was sleek and slicked back with a side part with dead straight ends. We also clocked two man buns.
Megan Canning is a self-taught designer based in Sydney. She has previously shown at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Brisbane and specialises in feminine designs that flatter the body. This year marked a return to the FASHFEST runway for the designer who presented a collection of gowns made up in a dichotomous colour palette of black and purple. Each dress, a subtle variation of the last, floated around the body as the models walked. The drama of the collection continued to build as dresses moved from something to be worn during the day with sandals, to a sensual black lace sheath, to an opulent ball gown with countless ripples of fabric.
Beauty Note: The makup look for this collection featured strong blush that traced up and under the eyes, pinky purple smoky shadow that made the models eyes appear bruised, and pinky toned lips. Hair was tousled and gathered into top knots with a flower accent.
Team Leiden on the night consisted of Emma Batchelor, Jesse Petrie, Lexi Keelan, Sheree Yap and Johanna Dziadkiewicz who is also the offical FASHFEST illustrator.