Fashionably Numb – Changing the Way we Think About Fashion


  For most of us, clothes are fun. As well as protecting us from the elements, they offer a mechanism for self-expression, an opportunity to try on different personas. We enjoy the thrill of the chase, constantly seeking the buzz that finding the perfect hard to find item produces. And then, once that thrill wears off, we do it all again. We want more, more, more and more often. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Many of the people who work to produce the clothes we wear don’t earn a living wage and… Continue Reading

I’m human – not superhuman and not subhuman


  There are no airs and graces about Kristen Holzapfel. The author of Selfless: a social worker’s own story of trauma and recovery, and owner of Canberra’s Friendly Petsitter, is known for her openness and honesty about the messiness of life. In her role as a frontline social worker, Kristen experienced an extreme trauma reaction. She shared her story to bring perspective to a situation many people who work in ‘helping professions’ grapple to reconcile – that being superhuman is a sign of success. ‘By accepting that I’m human – not superhuman and not subhuman – made me realise I… Continue Reading

Does FASHFEST Still Pass the FASH-test?


  Note from the Author: When researching and writing this article I have found myself on a journey clouded by passionate opinions, varied perceptions and anonymous disclosures. I have questioned the ethics of speaking up versus staying quiet and what the role of a publication such as this is and should be within the Canberra fashion community. In publishing this story Leiden hopes to spark a conversation about fashion, design and creativity and what we all, from the people who sew each garment through to those sitting in the stands admiring them, want that to be celebrated in our home… Continue Reading

Soul Project Event SOAR – Align, Be Brave, Be Boundless


  Now that Night Fest is over and FashFest is done the next must-attend evening event in Canberra is brought to you by the amazing women of The Soul Project. Personal growth is so in right now as it should be and this event, themed SOAR – align, be brave, be boundless, with a stellar line up of presenters is sure to fill your soul and send you into the end of the week on a motivated high. Do you feel stuck? Not sure what direction to take next? Maybe you feel like you’ve been labelled and that holds you… Continue Reading

FASHFEST Runway Report – Show 6


    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.   Karen Lee     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… Continue Reading

FASHFEST Runway Report – Show 5


  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.   Charly Thorn     This young designer from Cooma has been garnering a lot of attention of late. We first came across her at a fashion event in Cooma and were blown away by her talent. Along with everyone else we marveled at her debut FASHFEST collection last year, the centerpiece of which was an origami like gown worn by Annaleise Suebert. Charly has since shown at Vancouver Fashion Week and will… Continue Reading

FASHFEST Runway Report – Show 4


  Welcome to the second night of FASHFEST. After getting in to the swing of things on the opening night (catch up on our runway reports here and here) we returned to the red carpet to document our outfits before heading in to take our seats for the shows.   Bianca Pavlic The Label     This eponymous local label made its FASHFEST debut this year. Designed and assembled by hand in her home studio, Bianca is also mindful of textile waste and sustainable practice. Undeniably one of the strongest collections from the festival so far, what appeared on the… Continue Reading

FASHFEST Runway Report – Show 3


  Welcome to the second night of FASHFEST. After getting in to the swing of things on the opening night (catch up on our runway reports here and here) we returned to the red carpet to document our outfits before heading in to take our seats for the shows. Show three shined a spotlight on New Zealand design with six collections presented featuring designers from across the sea.   Melanie Child     Melanie Child returns to the FASHFEST runway with her signature re-worked denim, sustainable ethos and intelligent, timeless design. Her latest collection featured lots of denim, cotton tees… Continue Reading