Tag Archives: FASHFEST 2016

Alice Sutton—a first Edition in Korea!

By the LFW team.

K-pop. Gangnam style. Streetwear. Unique fashion that has influenced the world. It’s all happening in Korea and it won’t be long before one of Canberra’s award-winning fashion designers is immersed in the exciting and pervasive fashion scene happening in Seoul.

Alice Sutton, of local, independent label Edition, has won a place in the new Emerging Designer Exchange Program, which sees three Aussie fashion designers and three Korean fashion designers get together to share knowledge, skills and ideas and boost their brands. Alice flies to Seoul in March.


Alice Sutton in her studio

The program, being run by Queensland University of Technology and Seoul National University, is designed to connect designers with fashion industry professionals, designers, artists and manufacturers in both countries.

Alice is over the moon at the opportunity. She’s the only Canberra designer on board and can’t wait to dive in to the extensive program, which will see the designers attend Seoul Fashion Week, Christian Dior’s flagship store in Seoul (all five stories), workshops in Brisbane and Sydney Fashion Week in May. “It’s about sharing knowledge, skills and ideas,” says Alice. “It’s fabulous to connect with other designers, including from other cultures, and see how it influences my future design work.”


Edition revealed their latest collection ‘Reveal’ at FASHFEST 2016. Photo by Studio Vitae

Melanie Finger, a fashion lecturer at QUT, is working with the Australia–Korea Foundation on the two-year program. “The judges were impressed by Alice’s sustainable focus, her motivation, her design process, unique Australian style and more,” says Melanie. “The competition was tough with the quality of applications from across the country high.”

Melanie says the program is designed to help participants ‘fast track their brands immeasurably, on both a national and international scale’ and so Alice will connect with Korean and Australian fashion industry professionals, designers, artists and manufacturers. ”It’s such a unique opportunity to think about taking Edition to Korea,” says Alice, “and an amazing chance to build international business connections and export knowledge.”


Photographer Lauren Campbell. Hair and Makeup Hayley Boyle. Model Hannah Arnold

It’s been a busy few months for Alice, who launched her latest collection, Reveal, at FASHFEST 2016. Shortly after the event, Melanie contacted FASHFEST organisers and asked them to promote the exchange program to designers. FASHFEST did, and Alice was one they contacted. Her application was a standout, says Melanie. Narrowed down to one of the top seven applicants from across Australia, Alice was next interviewed and then waited for the big decision. The rest is history.

Alice’s aesthetic is unique and carefully considered and her garments are highly wearable and transcend fast-fashion trends. We can’t wait to see how she incorporates her Korean inspiration into her next collection. The possibilities are endless for such a talented designer who does Canberra proud at every turn.

Edition designs are available at Assemblage Project in Braddon.

Tick Tock. Buy a watch.

By the LFW team

sunrise-watchThe Managing Founder of Millennial Watches says the time was right to open his own business. Riley Tanton looked for more than six months for a good looking and affordable watch that didn’t weigh a tonne. When he couldn’t find one he liked, he filled the gap by designing and manufacturing his own. But here’s the catch. Riley is just 17 years of age. Yup. Just 17.

It’s fair to say that Riley isn’t new to business. He became an entrepreneur in Grade 6, selling drinks out of his locker at school. “I’ve always had a passion for business and want to stay in business,” says Riley. “I’m thinking of property development, but for now it’s Millennial Watches which I produce believing that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

If you’re looking for a great watch for yourself, or a fab Christmas present for someone special, simply head to Riley’s website and order online. Sure, sure, you can check the time on your phone or tablet or whatever device you have on hand, but a stylish watch is always going to be a fashion statement. As further inspiration, Riley donates $3.50 from every online sale (watches are $59.70) to The Garvan Institute for Medical Research.

Riley launched Millennial Watches with six styles, including the Alpine, with a snow-white leather strap and case, and Sunrise, with white strap and rose gold case is very pretty. The Australis, with its tan strap and gold case is très chic. The Midnight—black on black—is super slick and Riley says the Maple with a tan strap and silver case is super popular. Other styles are also available.watches

Riley’s days are incredibly busy. He’s on the lake at the crack of dawn with his rowing club mates. Then it’s off to a day of studying at Canberra Grammar, and then working on his business. The first batch of watches is due to arrive this week so Riley will soon be ‘head down, bum up’ shipping orders.

white-watchQuality was the name of the game when designing and manufacturing the watches. Each includes a powerful and reliable Japanese movement, and the watches are water proof, with long-lasting batteries and high-grade leather straps. Each watch comes in a box, carefully wrapped around a pillow square for protection.

It’s no mean feat to start your own business, and it’s never without challenges. For Riley, major challenges included raising funds—he did so through crowd funding—and finding a reputable manufacturer overseas, which he did so through a global trade website connecting buyers and suppliers. After much research, Riley settled on a manufacturer in Shenzhen, China. He worked with the manufacturer to refine and test samples and then more samples, until together they perfected an elegant design that looks stylish on fashion conscious men and women.

Riley with Clint Hutchinson  - photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Riley with Clint Hutchinson – photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Riley was chuffed that one of his watches was worn to FASHFEST by Chief Executive Officer Clint Hutchinson. Clint, himself a Grammar Boy, was invited to the school to talk to students about entrepreneurship, focusing on his own business endeavours. He told the students to grab every opportunity, which Riley promptly did. After the talk, Riley approached Clint and asked if he would wear a watch to FASHFEST—he did.

If all goes well with this run of watches, Riley will look to introduce a seventh style, called the Royal. And Royal it will be. Blue strap, blue face and rose gold case. Very nice indeed.


Crookwell’s Fashionable Wind Turbines

When designer Yumi Morrissey launched her Wind Turbine print on the catwalk at FASHFEST, she never imagined in her wildest dreams that the ACT Government would get wind of her work. It did, and today two of Yumi’s prints are framed and hanging in Canberra’s brand new <2 degrees Renewable Innovation Hub.

Yumi Morrissey with her wind turbine print at the ACT Government Renewalables Hub opening

Yumi Morrissey with her wind turbine print at the ACT Government Renewable Innovation Hub opening

Over the past few years, Yumi has taken photos of her surrounds, manipulated them into prints, produced fabric, and then created garments under her fashion label Zilpah tart. This year, Yumi selected three photos, including the one she captured at Crookwell Wind Farm.

The ACT Government approached the fashion designer to ask if they could frame the photo and hang it on the wall of the new Hub, launched just last week. It’s a perfect fit. Innovative design in a space devoted to innovation.

Zipah tart windmill print -photo by Victor Tawagi

Zipah tart wind turbine print – photo by Victor Tawagi

The Hub is a collaborative co-working office space. Around 15 start ups and pioneering organisations working in the space are settling into the Hub, each contributing in their own way to the ACT’s renewable energy and cleantech sectors. It’s a new initiative of the Government, rolled out as part of its industry development strategy.

Yumi spoke at the launch, attended by more than 100 people, explaining how every year she creates new prints for the collections she launches at FASHFEST—Canberra’s largest red-carpet fashion event. For 2016, Yumi also created fabrics around a photo she took of a sunset from the steps of her home, and a photo she captured early morning at the Balloon Spectacular.

Zilpah tart on the catwalk at FASHFEST 2016 - photo by Andrew Donato

Zilpah tart on the catwalk at FASHFEST 2016 – photo by Andrew Donato

Although Yumi captured the wine turbines for their unique beauty, she also was attracted to the importance they hold in our fight against climate change. Her print is likely the most newsworthy in town.

Yumi Morrissey and Fionna from PeonynPearl collaborated at FASHFEST 2016 - photo by Avon Dissanayake

Yumi Morrissey and Fionna from PeonynPearl collaborated at FASHFEST 2016 – photo by Avon Dissanayake

National Convention Centre—the Best of the Best!

It’s always fab to pop a cork and sip on a glass of bubbles while celebrating cool Canberra. And that’s just what guests did at this year’s Canberra Region Tourism Awards.

Tourism is big business and the winners of the 2016 awards are all about bringing people to the capital and, while here, support the local economy. Tourism is a highly competitive and tough industry reserved only for those who are creative, motivated and dedicated—those who excel and operate at best practice.

National Convention Centre Canberra

National Convention Centre Canberra

Some winners of this year’s awards are no surprise. They’ve been making a major mark on the tourism landscape for yonks. Think the Royal Australian Mint (which picked up three awards this year), Questacon, and the National Museum of Australia. It’s wonderful to see some of our unique hotels win on the accommodation side, including the newer East Hotel, Little National Hotel, and the charming Hyatt Hotel Canberra, and we can all be proud of the Canberra Airport for its many accomplishments. Jamala Wildlife Lodge, at the National Zoo and Aquarium, also picked up an award; here you can get up close and personal with giraffes, zebras, monkeys, bears, and big cats!

And, for the third time, the National Convention Centre Canberra picked up the Business Event Venues Award, with more than 215 events, concerts, expos, conferences, meetings, gala dinners and venue experiences during the awards period. Whew. The Centre is home to FASHFEST, with the space being transformed for the red-carpet fashion event by Canberra’s Elite Technology. It’s also home to our beloved Royal Theatre and offers 15 flexible spaces over two floors.

FASHFEST at the National Convention Centre

FASHFEST at the National Convention Centre

Many Canberrans may not be aware of the Centre’s unique points of difference, but it has many in the world of conference centres. All its spaces are pillar free, offering free line of sight. Most are flooded with natural light and generous ceiling heights, providing a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors, instead of the closed-in feeling experienced in so many conference centres. And it’s big enough to host events for thousands, but small enough to be comfortable and easy to manoeuvre.

On the food side, the Centre’s kitchen is headed by Executive Chef, Nikhil Jain, who holds the Chef of the Year title, which he picked up at this year’s Australian Hotel Association National Awards for Excellence.

Canberra International Airport - photo by Ginette Swan

Canberra International Airport – photo by Ginette Snow

The Centre won in part for the quality of and inspiration behind its $5.4million renovation, which includes a major facelift and many improvements to its functionality. Australian timber and the rich colours of autumn, which Canberra enjoys, are front and centre. Most of the work involved local designers and operators, again supporting the local economy. The renovation is much more about making the Centre look pretty, however. “An economic impact study reported that the two-year refurbishment would result in $31.5million in extra economic activity for the ACT over a five-year period,” says General Manager Stephen Wood. “The timing is perfect with the arrival of international flights linking the capital with Singapore and New Zealand.”

The winners now move on to the National Award, to be held in Darwin in February. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for each one of them. The list of winners include:

For a complete list of Canberra winners visit http://canberratourismawards.com.au/winners/

A Treasure Trove of Art and Fashion!

Trove is a collective of artists, creators, designers and much more, and is celebrating fashion meets art with a free evening of entertainment on Friday 11 November from 7pm.

Dissonance by Red Photography; hair and make-up by Lauren Cataldo

Dissonance by Red Photography; hair and make-up by Lauren Cataldo

Trove made a bold move in May this year when it moved to new premises in the Garema Centre in the city, and expanded its collective to include two local and well-known fashion designers Sovata and Dissonance. Fashion meets Art aims to move beyond a typical shopping or market experience and offers a relaxed and intimate environment for customers, designers, and artists to engage with each other.

Fifth Season Artwork

Fifth Season Artwork

At Fashion meets Art you can meet local artists Fiona Hill, and Jennifer Baird from Fifth Season who will be offering a live painting demonstration, and you can chat with in-house designers Sovata and Dissonance, and three guest designers Karen Lee, Zilpah Tart, and Pure Pod. All five designers have shown collections at FASHFEST, and one of Sovata’s designs won 2016 Melbourne Cup Fashion on the Field at Thoroughbred Park.

Stephanie Kwong in Sovata at Melbourne Cup Fashion on the Field, Thoroughbred Park 2016. Photo by Andrew Campbell. Jewellery by JAC Studio

Stephanie Kwong in Sovata at Melbourne Cup Fashion on the Field, Thoroughbred Park 2016. Photo by Andrew Campbell. Jewellery by JAC Studio

You can relax and watch the fashion parade, and listen to live music by acoustic guitarist David Bath, while enjoying your complimentary wine and cheese, and cross your fingers that you just might go home with a fantastic prize giveaway!

Pure Pod at FASHFEST 2016, photo by Andrew Donato

Pure Pod at FASHFEST 2016, photo by Andrew Donato

At Trove everything is designed and made in Australia—often in Canberra—so you’re getting a true local product. And Trove isn’t just art and fashion.

Trove collective also includes jewellery, gifts, soft furnishings, children’s clothes and toys, and candles and aromatherapy. So you can do all your Christmas shopping in the one place, and what better to get in early at Fashion meets Art this Friday at Trove.

Karen-Lee at FASHFEST 2016, photo by Holly Williams

Karen-Lee at FASHFEST 2016, photo by Holly Williams

Fashion meets Art: Where—Trove Canberra Cooperative, Garema Centre (upstairs with lift access), Garema Place, Canberra City. When—Friday 11 November 7 – 10pm

Luxury Indulgence at #fashionXhyatt

What to do when you’re invited to ‘an afternoon of Luxury Indulgence’ organised by the Hyatt Hotel Canberra? Well, obviously, you go … and so I did. Complete with beautiful gardens, bell boys in their 1920s plus fours, and afternoon teas, our small group of invitees indulged in an afternoon of gourmet treats in luxurious surrounds.


The afternoon included two fashion shows by FASHFEST 2016 designers Sovata, Zilpah Tart, Karen Lee, and Braddon Tailors, and allowed Hyatt patrons to get an up-close look at local designers. FASHFEST co-founders, Clint and Andrea Hutchinson, were also there to chat about FASHFEST and their amazing plans for further development, which includes their new children’s fashion label NOMI. Music for the fashion shows was by Magnifik with Neon Honey.

Designers (l-r) Braddon Tailors, Sovata, Zilpah Tart, Karen Lee, Sovata; (seated) Braddon Tailors, Karen Lee

Designers (l-r) Braddon Tailors, Sovata, Zilpah Tart, Karen Lee, Sovata; (seated) Braddon Tailors, Karen Lee. Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

In between the fashion shows we were treated to the most amazing afternoon tea in the very opulent and recently opened John Howard Room, which used to be pantry! At tables for two, Director of Culinary, Nitin Kumar, outlined a few of the items on our three-tiered stand of goodies. Savouries included mini salmon brioche, ribbon cucumber sandwiches, chicken wraps, and bite-sized smoked duck canapes, with the sweets including chocolate, mousses, macarons, and the traditional scones with jam and cream. I would love to go into more detail, but suffice to say it was truly amazing both in presentation and taste.


Executive Pastry Chef, Gerold Gstrein, explained that they only use natural ingredients for their pastries, so the sweetness is barely there, and the subtlety of flavour is amazing—you could taste each individual flavour in each bite. It was hard to choose a favourite as everything was brilliant, but the cucumber sandwiches—ribbons of light bread spread with a cream cheese and topped with slivers of cucumber—were miles ahead of your average cucumber sandwich.


LFW would like to thank Avon Dissanayake—Marketing Communication Manager, Hyatt Hotel Canberra, for his invitation, and Fredrick Arul—General Manager, Hyatt Hotel Canberra who took time to make sure we were given the five-star treatment!

FASHFEST co=founders Andrea and Clint Hutchinson, with Avon Dissanyake (l) and

FASHFEST co-founders Andrea and Clint Hutchinson, with Avon Dissanayake (l) and Fredrick Arul (r). Photo by Leighton Hutchinson.

Afternoon tea is available at the Hyatt on Friday 2.30 – 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday at 11am – 1.30pm, and 2.30 – 5pm.


FASHFEST—Breaking News!

It’s exciting news for Canberra and for the capital’s creative industry as a whole. The CEO of FASHFEST, Clint Hutchinson, will be leaving his full-time position as Managing Director of ZOO Group at the end of this year to concentrate on a new chapter in his life. What is that chapter? LFW caught up with Clint in a Q&A session; so let’s hear all about it in Clint’s own words.

Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

So this is a massive change. What inspired you to take such a leap? I’ve been in the creative industry for as long as I can remember. Creativity flows through my veins. I’ve been the Managing Director of ZOO Canberra for 15 years and have loved every minute of my time with the agency. But I have other creative initiatives underway—outside of ZOO—that are near and dear to my heart. I’ve developed these with my wife, Andrea, over some time. One day it just clicked. To get everything to the next stage, I need to be able to dedicate more time to these initiatives. And I need time to work through some new ideas floating about in my head.

What creative initiatives specifically? Well FASHFEST is the big one. Before FASHFEST, Canberra was the only capital city in Australia to not have its own fashion event. We’ve changed that. The event grew rapidly and it now demands more and more attention to refine it and expand it.

Over and above FASHFEST, I’ll be working more closely on HAUS Models, , which I co-founded with Andrea after the inaugural FASHFEST. We had a bevy of models who weren’t part of an agency after the first year of the event. They enjoyed working with us and walking for FASHFEST. We enjoyed working with them. So we thought a new modelling agency was a logical suggestion.

Clint Hutchinson in action at FASHFEST 2016 - photo by Sparkling Weddings

Clint Hutchinson in action at FASHFEST 2016 – photo by Sparkling Weddings

Tell us about NOMI. What does it stand for? Well, NOMI is another creative initiative we’re developing. It’s pronounced ‘know me’ and is the new children’s label Andrea are developing. We gave guests a sneak peek of some NOMI fashion at FASHFEST, on closing night. It was really well embraced. So stay tuned. This is in the early stages but we’re super excited about its possibilities.

Anything else in the pipeline? You bet. Andrea and I are developing a creative incubator to help businesses in the creative space grow in many ways. That includes fashion labels who want to build their business strengths, musicians who are on the move and other creatives. It’s early days and things are still being worked out but we believe this will be good for Canberra. After all, many creatives are ‘creative’ but not necessarily ‘business focused’. That’s cool, but to be sustainable they need to be both. We think we can help.

And I’ll become a partner of Braddon Tailors, to help them move even higher up the fashion chain. This is a great story of a business that’s doing well and they’ve now opened permanent bases in Adelaide and Sydney. As you saw on the catwalk at FASHFEST this year, Braddon Tailors has seriously started to create women’s wear. So more exciting possibilities ahead on that front too.

FASHFEST Co-Founders Clint and Andrea Hutchinson - photo by Sparkling Weddings

FASHFEST Co-Founders Clint and Andrea Hutchinson – photo by Sparkling Weddings

There’s so much in the pipeline. Are you going to be able to manage it all? Andrea and I are determined to make our dreams work, but we both slowly came to the realisation that it was time for me to start a new chapter. My job as Managing Director of one of Canberra’s largest creative agencies was exhilarating and super demanding. It wasn’t possible to sustain both streams so, after 15 years, of very rewarding work, I took the decision to pursue new personal initiatives. It’s a risk but I’d bet on it doing well.

Broken and Damaged Objects get New Life

When Fiona Glover was born, her mum wore a new cotton and silk kimono in the hospital. The quality garment was made to last and for many years Fiona’s mum wore it time and again. By Wendy Johnson

Cotton and Silk kimono

Beautiful cotton and silk kimono

Twelve years ago, when her mum passed, Fiona found the kimono and wore it herself until she had her first child. With the fabric now nearly 40 years old, however, the garment is too fragile to continue to wear. Many people would have just chucked the kimono, despite its beauty, and it would have lived its last days in landfill. But Fiona couldn’t part with it; the kimono held too many wonderful memories.

So what did Fiona do with the treasured garment? She submitted to Object Therapy, a research and design project that challenges us to rethink the way we consume and to re-evaluate the value of broken objects.

Fiona Glover with the kimoni cushion cover

Fiona Glover with the kimono cushion cover

Object Therapy sent the kimono to local fashion designer Louisa de Smet, who is on sabbatical teaching fashion in Wales, to see if it could undergo ‘therapy’. The end result is a stunning cushion cover, with the kimono treated as tenderly by Louisa as Fiona was by her mum. It’s been lovingly repaired by hand and transformed into a new object with a new lease on life.

The kimono is one of 30 broken or damaged objects that have been creatively repaired by a designer or artist as part of Object Therapy, and they’ll all feature in the exhibition opening today (14 October) at Hotel Hotel.

Corr Blimey - Louisa and Steve

Corr Blimey – Louisa and Steve

Louisa and her partner, Steve Wright, who is also on sabbatical teaching at the University of South Wales in Cardiff, own and operate Corr Blimey. The couple were moved by Fiona’s story and thought long and hard about how to transform the kimono. “Given its history, we wanted to treat it with a great deal of sensitivity,” says Louisa. “We repaired any damage in a visible or invisible way and then created the cushion cover without cutting the fabric. We kept it intact which means it can be returned to its original state at any time.”

Fiona was stunned when presented with the final result, describing the cushion cover as beautiful and marvelling at how it would also be enjoyed now by her children, who never had the chance to meet their grandmother.

The Object Therapy project is a perfect fit for Corr Blimey, with designers Louisa and Steve true advocates of sustainability and zero waste design. Their philosophy holds true with the new fashion collection they’ve just launched, called Memories of Cloth. The collection comprises eight pieces, with each crafted using three pre-loved, machine-knitted jumpers. Each jumper had lost its value to the original owner, either because of a rip, hole or stain, or because the aesthetic was no longer ‘on trend’. Louisa—without tearing apart any of the three jumpers—combined them to create anew.

From Memories of Cloth by Corr Blimey. Photo by Corr Blimey; model Claire Ritchie

From Memories of Cloth by Corr Blimey. Photo by Corr Blimey; model Claire Ritchie

The process was challenging, but energising. “Each jumper was unpicked to varying degrees, and as much of the seam thread used to hand sew them back together into a new garment and style,” says the designer. “I reconstructed them around a mannequin to produce a 360⁰ visual exploration for the viewer.”

The end result is eight modern, eye-catching garments each featuring a new aesthetic. They’re all sculptural and testament to Corr Blimey’s unique design approach, as evidenced by the three collections Louisa and Steve launched in previous years at FASHFEST. They were missed at the event this year, but it’s reassuring to know their connection to the capital remains strong.

Object Therapy runs at Hotel Hotel to 30 October, and is free entry to the public.

Hands across the Water: Australia—New Zealand Collaboration

In many ways, Australia and New Zealand are two of the most ‘connected’ countries on the planet, and both are keen on exporting their fashion prowess to overseas markets. This year two New Zealand designers—with remarkably different aesthetics—launched collections at FASHFEST 2016, both supported by the New Zealand High Commission to be in the show.

Designer Melanie Child; photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Designer Melanie Child; photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Melanie Child, a boutique, independent womenswear label from Dunedin, appeared on the FASHFEST runway for the second time, with her thought-provoking aesthetic and garments made through upcycling and sustainable fabric choices. Making a debut appearance was A’au Elei. The three brothers behind the label, Junior, Matthew and Jerry Chan Sau, focus on design inspired by their Pacific Island heritage. They have just moved to Sydney to be closer to sales agents but will never forget home.

While here, Melanie met New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Australia, Chris Seed, at the High Commissioner’s residence in Canberra. Melanie also worked with Leighton Hutchinson, Director of Photography for FASHFEST, on a photo shoot at the High Commissioner’s residence. “I’m a big fan of his work,” says Melanie, “and it was inspiring and a huge opportunity, especially since we got to do the shoot at the residence, which is such a unique location and a special one for me as a New Zealand designer.”

FASHFEST Co-Founder Cling Hutchinson, Melanie Child, and NZ High Commissioner Chris Seed. Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

FASHFEST Co-Founder Clint Hutchinson, Melanie Child, and NZ High Commissioner Chris Seed. Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Melanie was drawn back to FASHFEST in part because the event continues to attract so many ethical and sustainable fashion designers. “I’m motivated to create beauty from the unwanted and wasted—timeless garments that transcend seasons,” says Melanie, who redesigns preloved denim, reducing post-consumer textile waste into landfill in the process. “I’m also drawn to FASHFEST’s commitment to provide a platform for emerging designers, and the opportunity to collaborate with designers, photographers and other creatives. As a small label from New Zealand, showcasing my work on an international stage is a huge opportunity to present to a wider audience. I also had a viewing with a women’s retail shop while in Canberra.”

Melanie and Matthew also met the Deputy High Commissioner, Llewellyn Roberts, at FASHFEST, providing a personal tour of the bustle backstage. A’au Elei says they were inspired by FASHFEST. “We’re predominantly a textile design company but our experience with such a professionally run show, and the interest we attracted, has inspired us to expand our range of men’s clothing,” says Matthew.

A’Au Elei’s new collection on the catwalk. Photo by Holly Williams

A’Au Elei’s new collection on the catwalk. Photo by Holly Williams

High Commissioner Chris Seed says New Zealand’s fashion industry is growing internationally. “Recent figures show 25 per cent of our production is off-shore with 70 per cent of manufacturers involved in exporting, and Australia is the biggest market,” says the High Commissioner. “New Zealand’s participation in FASHFEST reinforces a view of both countries as nations of contemporary innovation and creativity. Our determination and our independence, and our Māori and Pasifika heritage, enables creativity, innovation and often ingenious solutions.”

Designer Melanie Child. Photo by Martin Ollman

Designer Melanie Child. Photo by Martin Ollman

The benefit of attracting international labels to FASHFEST is a win-win for both countries says Clint Hutchinson, CEO of FASHFEST. “Designers from Canberra and interstate gain new insights from New Zealand and designers from New Zealand gain new insights from Australia.”

You can learn more about Melanie Child and A’au Elei on the FASHFEST website.

Charly Thorn—Darling of the Catwalk!

She’s 17 and she smashed it on the catwalk. Charly Thorn from Cooma was the youngest designer to showcase a new collection at FASHFEST 2016 and she wowed the audience—so much so that she received a standing ovation that took her by surprise. The look on her face was priceless.

Charly Thorn FASHFST 2016. Model: Annaliese Seubert, image by Martin Ollman

Charly Thorn FASHFST 2016. Model: Anneliese Seubert, image by Martin Ollman

FASHFEST isn’t the end for Charly. She just heard today that she’s been accepted to show at Vancouver Fashion Week in Canada in March 2017. No doubt the Canuks have been catching glimpses of Charly at FASHFEST.

Charly Thorn collection - FASHFEST 2016

Charly Thorn collection – FASHFEST 2016. Image: Martin Ollman

All of Charly’s pieces were exciting but the most amazing was worn by supermodel Anneliese Seubert who is also from Cooma and a family friend of the Thorn’s. As photographer Tina Nikolovski, who owns Devojka Models here in Canberra, proclaimed of Anneliese when she was shooting her from the media pit: ‘She is a goddess’.

Image: Martin Ollman

Image: Martin Ollman

Collections are at their best when they tell a story and Charly’s collection did that well, right down to the shiny bronze runners many of the models wore. It’s all about detail, and detail is what Charly does well.

All we can say here at Lostfourwords is ‘Go Charly!’.

Model: Anneliese Seubert. Image: Tina Nikolovski

Model: Anneliese Seubert. Image: Tina Nikolovski