The FASHFEST folks have been quiet for a while but definitely not idle. It’s taken months of careful planning, but Canberra’s largest annual red-carpet event has just released its new style for 2018.
‘Change. It. Up.’ sums up what FASHFEST will roll out starting 19 October, with a prestigious launch show at the National Gallery of Australia. It’s a perfect fit. Beautiful fashion—gowns and glam cocktail attire to be precise—in a beautiful building surrounded by beautiful art. Does it get any better than that?
So what do the new ‘Change. It. Up.’ plans involve?
‘This year we’re hosting specialised shows in new venues, including iconic institutions and buildings of cultural and historic significance,’ says Clint Hutchinson, who co-founded FASHFEST with his wife Andrea, ‘These places are unique to Canberra and make the capital so special. We want guests to experience them in a new light.’
At the NGA, guests will view fashion never before seen in Canberra, by three designers selected for how their aesthetic fits with the NGA’s architecture. Models will grace the catwalk with bring to life collections by Hajar Gala Couture, Megan Cannings Designs and Charly Thorn Designs.
The same show will repeat twice at the NGA (same evening) and then the FASHFEST team will bunker down to finalise exciting plans for shows in December and February.
Hajar Gala, the principal designer behind Hajar Gala Couture, will present exquisitely detailed bridal and evening gowns, some of which she showed at Paris Fashion Week. Hajar trained formally in the French couture method at the International Fashion Academy. In addition to her Canberra atelier, she has recently opened in Melbourne.
Fashion designer Megan Cannings, who has just returned from New York Fashion Week, will present pieces she put on the runway in the US. This is Megan’s third year at FASHFEST. Official event photography pushed out through social media was spotted by those behind NYFW and other major shows, and Megan was subsequently invited to showcase nationally and internationally.
‘FASHFEST is my favorite fashion show to participate in,’ says Megan. ‘The models are on the catwalk longer and the team behind the event is so professional and easy to work with.’
The youngest designer to ever participate in FASHFEST is Charly Thorn from Cooma, who was just 17 when she presented her first collection at the event. The collection included a stunning piece worn by super model Anneliese Seubert. The audience stood and gave Charly a massive round of applause.
Last year, Charly focused on resort wear at FASHFEST and this year it’s cocktail glam. Charly has also showcased internationally since her initial involvement in FASHFEST.
‘FASHFEST’s model has always been to change things up periodically to keep fashion fans coming back for more,’ says Andrea. ‘We loved being at the Canberra Airport all rugged up in winter in a small industrial space and we loved the glamour and magic of being at the National Convention Centre Canberra. Now it’s time to change it up once more.’
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Credit top image: Co-founders of FASHFEST, Clint and Andrea Hutchinson.