Choosing an Outfit for Fashfest



Planning what I am going to wear is one of my favourite parts of attending an event. It’s my favourite part of doing anything really.

When I was younger I enjoyed getting ready to go out more than I ever enjoyed the actual ‘going out’ part. In my first grown-up job as manager of a theatre, I developed a particular flair for theming my outfit to whatever show happened to be on. My least favourite thing about studying immunology was wearing a lab coat all day. As you have probably gathered, I particularly enjoy being creative with how I dress.

In my capacity as editor of Leiden I am lucky enough to attend my fair share of events which creates plenty of opportunities to dress up. I live in Canberra and with our annual fashion festival Fashfest fast approaching, I must confess that my mind has strayed more than once from whatever task it was currently grappling with to fantasise about outfits.



What I wore to Fashfest last year: Alexander McQueen blazer, Country Road bustier and trousers, Mimco heels and Mulberry bag.


Typically when I attend an event I like to dress to theme, I like to express myself and I like to break out some of my more special pieces like my McQueen blazer above. This year, however, I have the privilege of being dressed by two designers, which is a first for me, and I must say I am quite excited. What better way to dress to theme than to wear something made by a designer taking part in the festival?

On the opening night of Fashfest I have the pleasure of wearing a piece designed by Melanie Child. Melanie creates sculptural designs from up-cycled fabrics, placing a strong emphasis on sustainability in her design process. Last year I tried on an incredible pleated denim dress of hers and if I hadn’t been so dreadfully poor at the time I would have bought it in a heartbeat. Perhaps the dress and I will be reunited this year.




On the third evening I will be wearing something designed by Fashfest veteran Karen Lee. Fast fashion this is not, Karen Lee designs quality, contemporary pieces designed to be cherished for many years. I am not usually a conservative dresser (I like lots of print and colour) but the Karen Lee piece I have chosen to wear is simple, elegant, and refined and I am excited to explore this side of myself with this look.



A look from Karen Lee’s shown at Fashfest in 2015


As for the second night, I shall be dressing myself and I have planned something very special indeed. Stay tuned for our series of outfit posts as we share what myself and our Leiden contributors will be wearing to Fashfest and the stories behind each outfit.


See Melanie Child during ‘Furore’, opening night, Thursday 29 September, 8.30 pm.

See Karen Lee during ‘Spectra‘, closing night, Saturday 1 October, 6.30 pm

Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.

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