Fashionation Cooma – Event Wrap Up

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On a cold Saturday night, fashion illustrator Judy Kuo, photographer Lauren Mackay, and myself headed to Cooma for the 2016 Fashionation event, presented by The Community Chest. Sponsored by Australian Wool Innovation, Fashionation showcased the work of local fashion designers who highlighted the region’s thriving wool industry in their clothes and accessories.

With a line out the door for entry and champagne on arrival there was an undeniable buzz of excitement in the air. In line with the woolen theme of the evening, the event was held in a wool-shearing shed (complete with piles of freshly shorn wool and a special guest appearance from Angus the merino ram). However the combination of glowing fairy-lights, bouquets of native Australian flowers, and rustic wine barrels being used as tables allowed the venue to strike the perfect balance between quaint Australian charm and glamour.



Angus the Ram


There were 400 attendees on the night, with an impressive mix of men and women of all ages. The authentic mix of people was further replicated in the models for the evening, who were all either members of the local community or friends of the designers. It was refreshing to see real women and men of different ages and sizes walk the catwalk, celebrating the diversity and inclusion that is so often neglected in the fashion industry. The inclusive community vibe was thoroughly entertaining throughout the show, with the audience enthusiastically clapping and cheering on their friends and colleagues who were modeling. Seeing the models smile, laugh, and dance their way down the catwalk was a welcome change from the usual stoic strut that has become synonymous with the runway.




The soundtrack of the evening was a tasteful compilation of Australian artists, ranging from John Farnham to Chet Faker. And with such great Aussie hits came equally great choreography on the runway, ensuring the audience and photographers saw each piece.

It was all of these elements that made the evening one of the best fashion events I have attended in 2016. Fashionation was the perfect blend of an inclusive, small town vibe, with the professionalism and execution of a large-scale fashion event. Whilst Cooma may not be in the same league as Milan or Paris, Fashionation was the perfect reminder of why I personally love fashion. It reminded me of the power this industry has to bring unique individuals together to celebrate the diverse talent of not just global designers, but also the local community.


Stay tuned for our full Runway Report. Check out our socials from the night here.


Photography: Lauren McKay

Illustration: Judy Kuo

Miriam Walsh

Miriam Walsh

When Miriam Walsh is not busy sipping gin & tonics with friends or watching Netflix, she's either finishing her final year studying Arts and Business Administration at ANU, or telling bad jokes. She is on the verge of being a crazy dog lady, as well as an eBay entrepreneur, a baking extraordinaire, and gin-rummy champion.

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