Tag Archives: Assemblage Project

FASHFEST 2017—a sneak peek at what’s new!

In a blink of an eye, FASHFEST will roll out the red carpet and present new fashion, new music and new film for its 2017 show, with tickets on sale now. What’s hot for the runaway this year? Where do we begin …

thumbnail_Gehrich_Christopher Thomas (7)

Gehrich – photo by Christopher Thomas

Let’s start with the ‘firsts’. New labels include luxury label Gehrich, from Melbourne, which favours quality and sustainability over quantity. Queensland’s Naudic, a bold, brave and playful label, will showcase colourful day, evening and loungewear for women of all ages. From Canberra, and making debut appearances at FASHFEST, are designers such as De Challie Haute Couture, presenting elegant gowns made from the finest materials and Bianca Pavlic The Label, presenting feminine garments embellished with embroidery and beading.

thumbnail_5_Bianca Pavlic The Lablel_Tina Nikolvski

Bianca Pavlic The Label – photo by Tina Nikolvski

For the first time, the New Zealand High Commission is sponsoring seven labels, showcasing the incredibly diverse fashion coming out of New Zealand, including Nyne (presented by Department of the Exterior), Sabatini, Trelise Cooper, Curate, Coop and Cooper (presented by Momento Dezigns), Kowtow (presented by Assemblage Project, which will also host its own segment) and independent designer Melanie Child, who returns to FASHFEST for the third year.

thumbnail_2_trelise cooper_bg

Trelise Cooper

Another first is the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation show, with high-end creations by 12 Indigenous designers who have worked with textile designs and textile art from 12 art centres (eight from the Northern Territory). Recently, the fashion industry, nationally and internationally, has embraced Indigenous textiles as a new and exciting trend. In a separate segment, Magpie Goose will showcase fabric designed and hand screen-printed in remote Aboriginal communities.

thumbnail_DAAFF_Shane Eecen (10)

Darwin Aboriginal Arts Fair Foundation – photo by Shane Eecen

Also new is Gabrielle Spencer Bridal, whose work is inspired by the texture, balance and colour of fibres found in nature, and several lingerie labels presented by Canberra’s Miss Winks.

Fashion zeroing in on niche markets include Thunder Thighs, a new label celebrating perfectly pear-sharped women of all sizes with edgy designs that fit and flatter. Stok Denim Kids and NOMI (know me) Kids are taking care of the young ones, and Summer Paradise Seekers, by young emerging designer Ashleigh Bujaroski, will present surf clothing celebrating Australia’s beautiful coastline and beaches. Those who love op shopping will be amazed by the segment being presented by Salvo’s Stores, curated by their eco stylist Faye De Lanty. This is serious eco chic.

thumbnail_4_coop_bg

Coop

All-time favourite Canberra independent designers are re-appearing, including Karen Lee with her simple, sophisticated lines and classic shapes. Zilpah tart’s new line of prints celebrating spring, once more celebrate scenes from the nation’s capital. CIT fashion students return with two shows this year. BT (Braddon Tailors) will showcase men’s and women’s wear. And from Cooma, Charly Thorn arrives for the second time to wow guests once more.

thumbnail_DreamscapeCrew_dusty pink

Kowtow – Dreamscape Crew

FASHFEST is so much more than fashion. It’s about live music and new film. This year 15 live musicians and DJs will rock the house down at the National Convention Centre Canberra. Just like the fashion itself, the sounds of FASHFEST are truly memorable.

Tickets are on sale now, starting at $49. FASHFEST 2017 presents six shows over three nights—28 to 30 September. For full programs and to buy your tickets, head to www.fashfest.com.au

thumbnail_AuteurCoat_dreamscape

Kowtow – Auteur Coat Dreamscape

Getting Down and Dirty …

For some, coal is a dirty word. For others, it’s an incredibly refined ancient rock that can be used to create stunning pieces of jewellery.

Coal jems 1

Sophia Emmett – Workshop 85

Sophia Emmett hand makes jewellery out of chunks of pitch black coal she finds while walking the beaches of Newcastle. She does so out of Workshop 85, which she formed in 2012. “Exploitation as a fossil fuel has given coal a bad name,” says Sophia. “Appreciating coal as a finite and precious mineral is a different perspective and my pieces highlight its raw and natural beauty.”

Sophia’s professional artistic career began with the world of glass, and has included an artist-in-residency program at the Canberra School of Art, studies overseas, and many opportunities to work with master glass blowers. For years Sophia worked with black glass and wasn’t at all surprised that she was naturally drawn to the intense black of coal once she made the ‘sea change’ from Canberra to Newcastle.

coal_hands

From this …

Coal gems 5

… to this – coal stud ear-rings by Sophia Emmett

Dealing with coal is a messy business; it’s oily and dirty. Sophia must also be careful that she doesn’t breathe in any coal dust. She uses a respirator, lots of water to control the dust and works in batches of about three days to cope with the realities of dealing with the raw material. “It takes me ages to scrub down so there’s no point in working with coal for just an hour or two, even though what I find on the beach has been weathered and worn in the water and can be quite smooth to begin with,” says Sophia. And the first step back in Workshop 85 is sorting the coal into sizes.

Next is cutting the coal with diamond tools, which have high grinding efficiency but low grinding force, meaning more pieces survive the process. “I’m getting to the stage where I can pick up a chunk of coal and tell if it will survive,” says Sophia. “Coal is not a uniform material. Some pieces have fractures and I know they won’t work. I have to be careful when drilling since even at the last stage a piece can crack.

coal gems 2

Working with coal

“The piece of coal I find dictates the form and shape of what I make. No two pieces are the same, not even two earrings that form a pair,” says the artist. “They aren’t identical. There are so many variables I can’t control.”

The last step sees Sophia carefully polishing each piece of jewellery. The length of time required depends on the type of coal, with some pieces harder than others. Sophia uses reclaimed silver and stainless silver wire to form pieces, and her range includes cufflinks, pins, hook earrings, stud earrings and necklaces.

Coal gems 4

Elegant coal necklace by Sophia Emmett

Karen Lee, who owns Assemblage Project in the Ori Building, Braddon, was instantly attracted to Sophia’s work and now stocks a selection of her women’s jewellery. “I liked the story behind it,” says Karen. “When people see it in the shop and it clicks that it’s coal, they touch it and then look at their hands wondering if there will be dust on their fingers. They’re fascinated.”

The coal jewellery also works well with the aesthetics of the fashion designers who sell out of Assemblage Project, including Karen’s own label—Karen Lee. “It’s not just the colour that works well, since black goes with everything,” says Karen. “It’s the design. It’s unique, well made and I love its simplicity.”

Sophia also sells her coal jewellery The Curatoreum, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

FASHFEST 2017 dates announced!

It’s hard to fathom that it’s time to start filling up our 2017 calendars, with the New Year just around the corner, but FASHFEST has got out early with its 2017 dates—28 to 30 September. So if you’re keen to be seen at Canberra’s biggest, annual red-carpet fashion event, pop these dates in your diary.

Assemblage Project on the catwalk - photo by Samantha Taylor

Assemblage Project on the catwalk – photo by Samantha Taylor

“We chose September again because it aligns FASHFEST with Australia’s overall fashion calendar,” says Andrea Hutchinson, Managing Director. “It’s perfect for spring fashion season and the kick start of Canberra’s major tourist season.”

True to its beginnings, FASHFEST—now in its fifth year—will showcase the talent of local and independent designers. It will also continue to push out the work of many other creatives who make the show a gold-star event, including film, music, art, photography, makeup, hair and more. Organisers are also already on the hunt for new labels from interstate and overseas, to keep the event growing and growing, says Andrea, so guests can expect new designers on the catwalks.

Sovata - photo by Doug Hall

Sovata – photo by Doug Hall

Here at LFW, we love how FASHFEST is unique each year and look forward to new talent. But we also hope our faves from 2016 will be on show including Zilpah tart whose gorgeous Canberra themed prints turn fashion into art, and Sovata who makes the most stunning headwear that complements every outfit. Pure Pod designs beautiful and wearable eco-friendly clothing, and who can forget the stunning designs from 17 year old Charly Thorn from Cooma—we would love to see her back next year. Another of our favourites is Assemblage Project which is a collective of designers including Karen Lee, SZN, Wendy Voon, and High Tea with Mrs Woo. You can find out more about our local favourites on their website or Facebook page.

Pure Pod at FASHFEST 2016 - photo by wearefoundau

Pure Pod at FASHFEST 2016 – photo by wearefoundau

And didn’t we just love the foyer action this year. Fletcher Lovell shoes, Harlotte hair and make-up, Pialligo Farm—with their delish smokehouse goods, and our very own fast FASHFEST illustrator. Who will we see in the foyer next year?

Harlotte - photo by anitaentriken

Harlotte in the foyer – photo by Anita Entriken

Heavy duty planning is already underway for next year’s event, which will again be held at the National Convention Centre Canberra.

Amazing designs from 17 year old Charly Thorn - photo by Samantha Taylor

Amazing designs from 17 year old Charly Thorn – photo by Samantha Taylor

FASHFEST is here to stay, with CEO Clint Hutchinson is leaving his full-time job as Managing Director of Zoo Group in the next week or so to dedicate even more time and energy to the event. “FASHFEST has grown rapidly over the past five years and now demands more attention to refine and expand it,” says Clint. “Stepping down from my full-time role will help me and Andrea take FASHFEST 2017 to the next level. We’ll also roll out exciting pop-ups and activations throughout the city.”

Zilpah tart - photo by Samantha Taylor

Zilpah tart – photo by Samantha Taylor

In 2016, for the first time, FASHFEST curated a special segment on the runway to show support for the work of a selected charity and The Red Segment featured the work of 12 designers all in red or featuring red, in support of the Heart Foundation. The 2017 charity has not yet been selected.

Andrea and Clint Hutchinson

Andrea and Clint Hutchinson

Follow FASHFEST on: www.fashfest.com.au https://www.instagram.com/fashfest/

https://www.facebook.com/fashfestcanberra/  https://twitter.com/Fashfest

FASHFEST REVIEW—Night 3 Show 1

Here’s our final FASHFEST runway rundown for 2016. Some great designers tonight and almost every one a local. We also had some awesome music from Simon Anau and Small Town Funk with soul, funk and R&B, and DJs Degg, and Benjamin Reeve, and a short film clip by Stephan and Andrew Robinson.

Karen Lee

Karen Lee

Karen Lee is one of our favourite locals and she has been at every FASHFEST since it started. Her simple yet sophisticated, designs have no darts and can often be worn a number of ways to suit your style and personality. Karen Lee is available at Assemblage Project in Braddon, and was one of our faves on the night. See more at Fashfest Designers in Profile—Karen Lee.

Karen Lee

Karen Lee

Edition appeared at the very first FASHFEST with her trademark soft jersey that takes you from work to play and everything in between. Designer, Alice Sutton, uses sustainable design and creates all her garments in her studio in Canberra. This is Edition’s second time at FASHFEST.

Edition

Edition

 

Assemblage Project is a collective of local, regional, and New Zealand designers, and you can find them in the Ori Building in Braddon. The collection tonight includes High Tea with Mrs Woo (Newcastle), Wendy Voon (Melbourne), Eva Cassis (Sydney), and Kowtow (New Zealand). Models’ shoes by Rollie Nation, also available from Assemblage.

Assemblage Project

Assemblage Project

Fashionation Cooma is making their first appearance at FASHFEST this year. I first heard of this collective a couple of years ago and it’s great to see them here. Collections include young designer Charly Thorn (see Night 2 review), Elle Hopwood showcasing formal wear, costumes, and LBDs, and Rasa Mauragis of Snowy Textiles who creates gorgeous floaty tops inspired by the colours and texture of the mountain region.

Fashionation - Snowy Textiles by Rasa Mauragis

Fashionation – Snowy Textiles by Rasa Mauragis

Fashionation Cooma

Fashionation Cooma

Pure Pod is making their third appearance at FASHFEST with a stunning collection inspired by the environment. Pure Pod is a pioneer of sustainable fashion and appeals to women to care about what they wear, where it’s from, and how it’s made. Another of our favourites on the night.

Pure Pod

Pure Pod

Cadia Belante—not sure what to say about these designs … Cadia uses recycled materials from op-shops and second hand stores (and yes, they were sleeping bags!) to create highly unusual and colourful garments. Very eco, and very sustainable, but you need to brave and independent to carry off some of these!

Cadia Belante

Cadia Belante

SZN is an independent label created by Suzan Diouhy focussing on simplicity and garments for the ‘non-conforming spirit’. If you’re young, courageous, and want to be noticed then this is for you. Suzan has moved slightly from her trademark use of fabric offcuts, and now works with sustainable and organic fabrics. This is Suzan’s third appearance at FASHFEST and you find her collection at Assemblage Project in Braddon.

SZN

SZN

And that’s a wrap for FASHFEST 2016!

More from Fashionation Cooma

More from Fashionation Cooma

FASHFEST Designers in Profile—ASSEMBLAGE PROJECT

By the LFW Team.

Do you know who made your clothes?  If you don’t—perhaps you should. Here at LFW we’re all in favour of fair trade and buying local, and if it’s organic and sustainable as well; even better!

Karen Lee

Karen Lee

 

Assemblage Project in Braddon has been operating for a few years now, but in the past 12 months it’s not only changed premises, but also expanded to include a number of local designers most of whom are no waste, use organic materials, and work in Canberra and the surrounding region.

Karen Lee is well known for her no darts, easy-wear draping styles, and together with Edition, SZN, and Pure Pod, Assemblage is now in the forefront of sustainable designers in Canberra, and will be exhibiting their individual styles for the first time as a group, at FASHFEST on Saturday 1 October in Show One at 6.30pm.

 

All Assemblage designers Karen Lee, Edition, SZN and Pure Pod will each have their own shows to launch new collections on the same night, together with other Assemblage labels  High Tea with Mrs Woo, Eva Cassis, Kowtow and Wendy Voon. So you get to see all eight labels in the one show!

Assemblage 4

One of the exciting things about a visit to Assemblage is that you’ll probably find a designer there cutting, drafting, or sewing on their huge industrial steel worktable—which also serves as the reception counter. The industrial look carries through the shop with old piping as clothes racks, low industry pendant lighting, and a simple concrete floor. Huge windows at the rear provide extra lighting to the cutting and sewing area.

Edition

Edition

 

Styles and fabrics are mixed and include Edition’s soft draping jersey that takes you from work to dinner, and focusses on Selvedge-to-Selvedge designs meaning zero waste. Alice Sutton’s previous collections have been Canberra themed including a nod to the Bogong Moth, and Canberra Brickworks.

SZN clothing is designed and made in Australia and focusses on simplicity. Designer Suzan Dlouhy has side-stepped slightly from her recycled street-wear past and is now using organic materials to produce smock style dresses, batwing tops, and comfy loose fitting dungarees.

Garment colours include a predominance of black, grey, and white with the occasional bold splash of deep blue, vivid red, and earthy burnt orange

 

 

 

Pure Pod was launched in 2006 and is considered one of Australia’s most consistent ethical fashion brands and a pioneer in Eco and Sustainability fashion. Designer Kelli Donovan takes pride in keeping the brand 100 per cent Australian made, using local craftspeople. Pure Pod is for women who really care about what they wear, who makes it, and where it comes from.

Pure Pod - photo by Tracy Lee Photography

Pure Pod – photo by Tracy Lee Photography

Assemblage also includes gorgeous soft knits by Wendy Voon, natural fabrics and textiles from High Tea with Mrs Woo, and ultra-comfy Rollie shoes.

Assemblage Project, Shop 66, 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon—check the website for open times.

You can see Assemblage Project at FASHFEST Saturday 1 October, 6.30pm at the National Convention Centre. Tickets on sale now!

 

FASHFEST Designers in Profile—KAREN LEE

By the LFW team

Each designer’s fashion collection starts with inspiration. Where the inspiration comes from is not always clear. However, it’s mostly (always) a combination of research and thinking, as it is with Karen Lee, who will launch a new collection this year at FASHFEST 2016.

Karen Lee (centre) - Assemblage Project

Karen Lee (centre) – Assemblage Project

“I’ve been exploring the work of various artists that take a minimalistic approach and use minimal palettes,” says the designer, who owns and runs Assemblage Project in Braddon. “The artists catching my attention incorporate structure with asymmetrical shapes and include uneven details. The collection is still evolving so I haven’t yet settled on a name.”

Karenn Lee 2Those who know Karen Lee’s work, recognise the designer has always created contemporary and sophisticated garments that enhance changing body shapes. This collection is no exception. Karen wants women to feel comfortable and confident in her garments, and she wants them to express their individual style when wearing them and take on the garments as their own.

Karen’s collections always look fabulous on the catwalk. She’s appeared at FASHFEST every year since the event took Canberra by storm in 2013.  Indeed, her label is a strong draw card for the three-day fashion event. In 2016, the designer promises a dominant, strong, bold collection, concentrating on shape and form. “I’m playing with some avant-garde pieces that bring in sculptural elements, and soft, flowing pieces,” says Karen. “I’m also exploring the idea of contradictions.”

Karen wants to evoke a sense of involvement in her 2016 collection. “I want the wearer to embrace the garments; love what is on the catwalk and say ‘I want that outfit’.”

thumbnail_thumbnail_Karen Lee_Leighton Hutchinson_FF2013Karen’s new collection is in tune with the signature restrained colour palette she’s known for. As is always the case with this seasoned designer, the new outfits won’t follow here-today-gone-tomorrow fads or trends. “I design garments that can be worn for years,” says Karen. “Because of their design, quality of fabric, and the way they’re made, my designs celebrate slow fashion and all the term embraces.”

Slow fashion and ethical fashion are at the heart of Assemblage Project. “While the mainstream fashion industry relies on globalised, mass production, where garments go from the design stage to the retail floor in a few, short weeks, the labels I carry do not,” she says. “They’re not just a label. They’re slow. They’re ethical and in many ways sustainable.”

Assemblage Project has carried up to 10 independent fashion labels at a time. Currently, Karen stocks seven labels, four of which will launch collections at FASHFEST 2016—Edition, SZN, Pure Pod and her own label, Karen Lee. For the first time, Assemblage Project itself will also be doing a show at FASHFEST. Stay tuned for details.

Karen Lee

FASHFEST 2016 is on 29 September to 1 October at the award-winning National Convention Centre Canberra. Three nights. Six distinct shows. One total fashion experience!

Tickets on sale soon.

FASHFEST Finale—What a Night!

Night 4 at FASHFEST was a true finale in every sense—with not only individual designers and their collections on display, but a final parade of all designers over the four nights. Spectacular! Lots more monochrome with a touch of bohemia thrown in from Boho Bird, and some interesting men’s wear from Cameron & James, and Corr Blimey.

By Aine Dowling. Photos by LFW.

Boho Bird night 4

Boho Bird is part of Birdsnest in Cooma and includes our fave label Belle Bird as well as That Bird Label and Birdkeepers. All garments are easy to wear, comfortable and perfect for the Australian lifestyle, and we’ve certainly got our eye on a couple of pieces for our next tropical trip! This is Boho Bird’s debut appearance at FASHFEST.

Cameron & James2Menswear by Cameron & James of Melbourne focusses on trendy, cutting edge clothing for young men who appreciate comfort and are not afraid to take it to the edge with style. The label is also 100 per cent accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia, so you can also take pride in the fact that you’re helping the environment. This is their debut appearance at FASHFEST.

CIT All Stars2                          CIT All Stars1

CIT All Stars features six graduates from the Canberra Institute of Technology who showcased their designs this year. The All Stars show demonstrates the diversity and innovation, and not to mention talent, of the individual graduates. CIT is FASHFEST’s official education partner.

Karen Lee - Assemblage Project night 4This is Assemblage Project—Karen Lee’s third year at FASHFEST and is famous for her easy to wear, no zips, no darts, garments. Karen’s simple yet sophisticated lines are for women of all ages, shapes, sizes and culture who can transform the garment to suit their personal style. All garments are designed and cut in Canberra with manufacture in Canberra, Melbourne, and Albury.

Corr Blimey night 4Corr Blimey is one of Canberra’s most well-known and independent labels and is ‘street sculpture’ at its best! Corr Blimey is a sustainable (minimum waste) designer for both men and women who look to take the lead in life and fashion. All garments are designed and made in Canberra and this is their third year at FASHFEST.

Music on the night from Chanel Cole, Cris Lucas, Kayo Marbulis, and Mondecreen all under the direction of amazingly talented FASHFEST Director of Music, Ashley Feraude (Magnifik).

Ashley Feraude (Magnifik) FASHFEST Musical Director

Ashley Feraude (Magnifik) FASHFEST Musical Director

Designers from previous nights who also put in appearance at the finale, and added more colour to the monochrome, included Sovata, and The Prodigal Daughter.

Sovata (R) - showcased her collection on Night 3

Sovata (R) – showcased her full collection on Night 3

The Prodigal Daughter from Night 2

The Prodigal Daughter from Night 2

And finally, we had to include this from BM Designs on Night 2 because it’s just so bloody awesome! Next Melbourne Cup anyone?BM Designs4