Fashfest – Thursday Night Show One ‘Reverie’

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‘A visual delight with images to relish. Explore fashion for its beauty, its brilliance, its sensation. This show is for those who want to get lost in a dream, a fantastic reverie.’

– Fashfest show notes

 

After prepping and preening and taking a good hundred snaps in front of the photo wall; after a trip backstage, and a handful of M&Ms that we smuggled in our handbag, followed by a healthy half hour delay, Fashfest 2016 was off and running.

This year the festival followed a new format of six distinct shows over three days. Show one, ‘Reverie,’ showcased the work of six designers and one local fashion boutique, three musicians, and countless makeup artists, hair stylists, and crew members, all responsible for working together to create magic on the runway. It was also refreshing to enjoy increased diversity on the runway with models of different ethnicities, sizes, ages, and levels of experience making their mark.

Here is our break down of show one.

 

 

Beleza Designs


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This Canberra based label designed by Caitlin Jolly specialises in couture costumes for the Latin dance community and fitness industry. The debut collection from Beleza was modeled on dancers who strutted their way down the runway to music with a strong beat. Models wore white bodysuits scattered with glitter and crystals which provided the perfect base for the colourful headdresses that adorned their heads. Made up in bold colours, these headdresses were sculptural and eye-catching; some looked like a cinched corset, others like a glittery insect, while the final piece appeared like a sparkling bird. The collection closed with a Dolce & Gabbana-esque model army dancing their way down the runway in unison with an aura of feminine power.

 


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Sketched during the show by Lexi Keelan

 

Elley Lane


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Designed by Emily Heath and established only this year, Elley Lane, creates luxurious handmade pieces for an unusually specific age bracket of women (those aged between 17 and 30 according to the program notes). The collection featured gowns, each made up in a single hue; navy, white, cream, black, and oxblood all featured. Each dress was sensual and sexy, revealing little hits of skin, a décolletage here, the space between the breasts there. Some gowns featured cutaway backs with rope like straps, or a thigh high split. Hair was sleek and elegant, drawn back in a chignon at the base of the head.

 

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Sketched during the show by Lexi Keelan

 

CIT Showcase


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A stand out collection from this first show was a showcase of designers studying at the Canberra Institute of Technology. Presented all in white, these pieces appeared to be influenced by some of the Parisianl designers of the moment (Jacquemus, Off white, and Vetements), not to mention the legendary Japanese designer Rei Kuwakabo of Commes des Garcons. Designers experimented with cut and proportion to create intellectual pieces that invited the viewer to look closer. Outsize shirting, cascading sleeves, cut out details, pleating, and tucking all featured in this collection which had an overarching feel of an insane asylum; models looked wild and slightly bedraggled with one jacket in particular reminiscent of a straight jacket.

 

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Sketched during the show by Lexi Keelan

 

Rebel Muse presents Alice McCall and Asilio

 

Local fashion boutique Rebel Muse presented a selection of pieces from two labels in its stable, Alice McCall and Asilio.

 

Alice McCall


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Summery, girly pieces made their way down the runway on models with beehive hair and feline eyes, perfect 60s bombshells. While some looks were loose and floaty, others were more sexy and slinky, made up in peek a boo fabrics. Lace up details, fringing, and a spot of print rounded out the offering.

 

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Sketched during the show by Lexi Keelan

 

Asilio


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Pieces from Asilio were ladylike and refined while maintaining a youthful summer spirit. We saw ruffled layers, long hemlines, and a soft colour palette.

 

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Sketched during the show by Lexi Keelan

 

Red Segment

 
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In this section, Fashfest used its platform to draw attention to heart disease, the number one killer of Australian women. In presenting the Red segment, they called for a number of designers launching collections at this years festival to create a look made up in the colour red. Designers featured included A’au Elei, Eder by Anna, Edition, Elle Hopwood, Karen Lee, Red Corner Boxing, SZN, VFP, and Zilpah Tart, with shoes by fletcherLovell and accessories by Rasa Mauragis.

 

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Sketched during the show by Lexi Keelan

 

Hunter the Label


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The 90s were back in a big way on the Hunter runway. Spaghetti straps, chokers, and pool slides featured heavily alongside tops with flared Ellery-esque sleeves and feminine skirts with ruffled, flippy bottoms. Designer Sarah Wurcker presented cuts that were relaxed and effortless, polished yet pared back. What was in fact a pair of trousers and a top had the air of a very appealing boiler suit.

 

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Sketched during the show by Lexi Keelan

 

 

Sovata


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This very strong collection was the perfect end to Fashfest’s first show. Designed by Jade Sargent, Sovata presents unique hats and ready to wear garments. Hats and headpieces were sculptural and made up in jewel tones featuring feathers, floral shapes, folds of material, and ruffle shapes. Clothes were clean and tailored, colour blocked and lady-like, with more than one look channeling My Fair Lady. Models carried a rose in one hand which was folded behind their backs.

 

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Sketched during the show by Lexi Keelan

 

Red our full report on Show Two ‘Furore’

 

Words: Emma Batchelor

Photos: Jesse Petrie

Illustrations: Lexi Keelan

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