Tag Archives: FASHFEST 2017

Zilpah tart goes Corporate

She’s known for her bright, colourful prints created digitally from photos she takes in Canberra and surrounds. So what’s the deal behind the corporate range in solid blacks, navy blues and royal blues just launched by local fashion designer Yumi Morrissey?

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Zilpah tart’s new corporate line in black, navy, and royal blue.

“A friend asked me to make her favourite Zilpah tart print dress in plain navy for work,” says Yumi. “She loves the style, shape and ease-of-wear of the Balloons dress she bought from me but works in a conservative office and thought a solid colour would be more appropriate. She discussed it with other female friends who agreed so I seized the opportunity to design a new corporate range for professional women.” And the range began attracting attention the moment it popped up on Zilpah tart’s website and social media platforms.

Yumi is staying true to her aesthetic—dresses that look fabulous; are flattering to the female silhouette and are comfortable. She’s also using the quality polyester jersey fabric so popular in her other collections because it doesn’t crease or crinkle or need ironing. It washes easily, dries quickly and is fabulous for those who travel.

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Heidi in royal blue

This isn’t the first time Yumi has made the smart move of responding direct to customer suggestions. She took a limited number of orders for the black diamond dress she made to wear to FASHFEST 2017, when launching her spring/summer Garden Paradise collection on the catwalk. When she ran out of that fabric, she sourced a sparkly forest green fabric in Sydney. “The runs were limited but customers thought they were perfect for Christmas and the party season,” says Yumi.

The initial line-up of Zilpah tart’s new corporate range features four styles, each named after one of the women who encouraged Yumi to ‘go for it’—Ash, Heidi, Penne and Sarah. “They also modelled the dresses for me in the photo shoot, which was really fun,” says Yumi. “I chose the four styles because they’re best sellers for Zilpah tart, and all four are made specifically for work, but they can easily take you to after-work drinks or events or special occasions.”

Each style is available in black, navy and royal blue. Yumi has designed two V-neck lines, shapes she knows her customers like, and has included two variations for the bottom of the dresses; a full skirt and a more A-line shape.

She plans to monitor sales of the new corporate range and add additional styles over time. She’ll also change the colours to reflect the change of seasons.

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Yumi in Zilpah tart black diamond dress at Fashfest 2017. Photo by Doug Hall Studio Vitae

The corporate range is sold through the Gungahlin Collective and Zilpah tart’s website. Yumi is also hoping to also sell it out of the Design A Space, Manchester Lane, Melbourne, where she already stocks many of her colourful prints. “Let’s face it, Melbourne loves a bit of black,” she says, “and with my colourful patterns, I’ll be looking to sell in Sydney and Queensland starting this year.”

While sales of the corporate range continue, Yumi has been busy. She’s just come back from a fabric buying trip and is now busy designing her autumn/winter 2018 collection, which will feature coats made from black wool (with her bright prints as lining for added interest), dresses out of wool jersey and skirts out of a cotton satin.

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V-neck styles in navy blue

The new corporate range starts at $160, with four part-payments available through Afterpay on www.zilpahtart.com.au

Kids’ First at FASHFEST!

For the first time kids featured in two shows at FASHFEST this year, and boy did they enjoy themselves! Both Tip You’re It! and NOMIKO made first appearances at FASHFEST, and considering the kids walked the full length of the runway to huge audiences, they exuded the style and confidence that any model would.

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Tip You’re It! Photo by LFW

First up was Tip You’re It! a fashion store with a difference. Opening in 2015 Tip You’re It! sells a huge range of gorgeous kids’ fashion brands, gifts and accessories, furniture and décor—you can find everything you need from cool casual to party style, for babies and up to 6 years. Tip You’re It! is located at 5/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon—open 7 days a week—or check out their website or Facebook page.

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NOMIKO – photo courtesy FASHFEST

NOMIKO is the brainchild of Andrea and Clint Hutchinson, founders of FASHFEST, and was established, together with co-founder and partner Sophia Petersen, after the birth of Andrea and Clint’s two gorgeous children. NOMIKO is quality and fun fashion for kids from 4 to 10 years and includes boys, girls, and unisex designs. Running around, playing in the dirt, getting messy—that’s what kids are meant to do, and NOMIKO’s comfy leggings, hoodies, dresses, pants, and tops allows them to just get on with being kids. In fact, the clothing is so fabulous you will wish it came in your size! All garments are designed and made in Canberra. NOMIKO is available by order, and you can find them on Facebook.

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NOMIKO – photo courtesy FASHFEST

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Tip You’re It! Photo by LFW

FASHFEST 2017 in Review

There’s been a lot of ‘firsts’ this year for FASHFEST, but from all the stunning gowns, gorgeous bridal wear, and everything in between we’ve chosen to review those that are a little bit different. The standard of wearable items this year was amazing, but we eventually went with labels we could, and would, wear ourselves, and perhaps more importantly, those with a community background to their fashion. By the LFW team.

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Tiwi dress by Magpie Goose – photo by LFW

Our chosen designers include one label working with remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, another that brings a range of artists from across Australia to work together in a visually exciting collection, and the third showcasing what you can do with someone else’s unloved clothing.

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Magpie Goose Collection – photo by LFW

Magpie Goose is a new label founded in 2016 by Maggie McGowan and Laura Egan and named after a bird native to the Northern Territory. Based in Katherine, Magpie Goose works with four Aboriginal communities across the Top End including Palngun Wurnangat Aboriginal Corporation in Wadeye; Tiwi Design in Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island; Injalak Arts in Gunbalanya; and Bábbarra Women’s Centre, Maningrida. Through its clothing, the label aims to tell the story of people, place, and culture through fashion.. Magpie Goose is incubated by Enterprise Learning Projects, an organisation dedicated to fostering and supporting grassroots business development in partnership with remote Aboriginal communities. This was Magpie Goose’s first time at FASHFEST.

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RAW Australia – photo by LFW

RAW Australia is part of an international community that brings together a range of artists including photographers, designers, visual and performing artists and musicians, film makers, and much more. For FASHFEST, RAW Australia brought together four fashion designers to show an exciting range of clothing including exotics from Bird Skin in Melbourne, gorgeous gowns from Bianca Pavlic The Label from Canberra, couture garments and jewellery from Ellavanna in Perth, and Adelaide’s Kiira showcasing a bohemian twist to their fashions. This was RAW Australia first showing at FASHFEST.

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RAW Australia – image by LFW

SALVOS Stores. It’s fashion reinvention and serious eco chic. That’s what this unique FASHFEST 2017 show, presented by Salvos Stores, is all about. Salvaged is sustainable style at its best and this collection illustrates how fashionable high-end discarded and donated clothing can be. Curated by Salvos Stores stylist Fay De Lanty, this ingenious upcycling, dare we say even couture, transforms your perception of second-hand. It’s op-shop—but not as you know it! This is Salvos Stores first appearance at FASHFEST.

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Upcycled fashion by Salvos Stores – photo courtesy Fashfest 2017

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Salvos Stores Salvage Collection – photo courtesy Fashfest 2017

FASHFEST versus HYPER REAL

The two escalators in the National Gallery of Australia foyer were transformed into towering runways as FASHFEST presented a fashion pop-up to build hype around the 2017 event with opening night this week, 28 September. One by one last Saturday, models posed at the top of an escalator and slowly glided down to the main foyer before walking before guests and stopping before the photographer’s scrum. Then it was slowly back up the second escalator.

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Megan Cannings Designs (black dress), Model: Mariè Strazdins, MUA: Lydia Curtis, Photo: Jack Mohr

By design, the fashion at the pop-up was eclectic. The first and last models appeared in showstopper gowns by De Challie Haute Couture—gowns never seen in public and soon to be sent to Paris Fashion Week. Exquisite beading and detailing is De Challie’s signature. These are hand-made gowns that dreams are made of. Award winning De Challie will showcase sophisticated, exquisite gowns made of the finest fabrics and meticulous detail on the FASHFEST catwalk on Friday night.

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De Challie Haute Couture, Model: Sarah O’Neill, MUA Alexandra Watson, Photo: Sparking Weddings

Other gowns were created by Megan Cannings Designs, a full electric blue layered skirt paired with a silver glittery top and a black ruffled outfit with sexy see-through elements. Megan’s designs embody the feminine form using soft, easy wearing fabrics. Megan is based in Sydney and this will be her second appearance at FASHFEST.

Two pieces of innovative bridal wear by Gabrielle Spencer Bridal popped up at the National Gallery of Australia, showing how the designer casts aside traditional ball gowns for pieces that are modern and refreshingly elegant. This is Gabrielle Spencer Bridal’s debut appearance at FASHFEST. Her aesthetic is influenced by bridal fashion of the 1920s to 1950s and Gabrielle uses luxurious fabrics, including pure silks, cashmere and French lace. At FASHFEST, she will collaborate with Christine Waring Milliner.

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Thunder Thighs, Model: Lamishi Dauda, MUA: Mikaela Thompson, Photo: Sparkling Weddings

Three pieces were presented at the pop-up by Bianca Pavlic The Label who makes a debut appearance at FASHFEST this year. She will appear on the catwalk twice, once in her own show and also in a segment curated by Raw Australia. Bianca’s creates unique, beautiful and feminine garments, all hand made in her Canberra home studio.

The shimmery silver number at the pop-up was designed by Yumi Morrissey of Zilpah tart. Yumi’s spring-summer 2017 collection features new necklines, some special occasion pieces and more. After FASHFEST, Yumi will sell her new collection at Floriade.

 

One of the most intriguing creations at the NGA was by Bronwynne Jones of Thunder Thighs, a new independent Canberra label who will debut at FASHFEST on opening night. Bringing back the bustle, Bronwynne’s hand-made garment was created with a recovered jacket and embellished with waste and recovered fabric. Ties and tie linings left over from the Infinity scarves Bronwynne makes were folded and twisted with other fabric scraps for a modern take on the bustle.

Karen Lee is a veteran of the FASHFEST catwalk. Her creation at the pop-up was used for pre-event publicity. It featured a black jacket she made from a garment that appeared at FASHFEST several years ago and a brilliant red oversized tulle skirt.

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L-R: Lamishi Dauda (Thunder Thighs); Sarah O’Neill (Bianca Pavlic The Label); Kelsi-Jane Hedges (De Challie Haute Couture); Mariè Strazdins (Zilpah tart); Toya Bakoles (Gabrielle Spencer Bridal); Samara Purnell (Bianca Pavlic The Label). Photo: Sparkling Weddings

The pop-up was also a prelude to the NGA’s upcoming summer blockbuster Hyper Real. The hair and makeup was as inspirational as the wonderful artworks in Hyper Real. Led by FASHFEST’s Director of Makeup, Diana Cheetham, the artists were given free rein to make masterpieces. Looks ranged from a princess look made of gold leaf and glitter, a Japanese inspired look and bold black line work.

FASHFEST opens this Thursday 28 September with Show 1 at 7am. The full program and tickets are available on their website. Opening 20 October, Hyper Real charts the evolution of hyperrealism since the early 1970s through a jaw-dropping display of renderings of the human form in sculpture, video, digital art, virtual reality and bio-art.

Beating the Drum for Fashion

If fashion doesn’t make you want to roll out of bed every morning, but music does, then think about immersing yourself in the FASHFEST experience this long weekend. More than 20 musicians and DJs bring their own sense of style to the stage, expressing and magnifying the garments designers have worked so hard to create. FASHFEST 2017 presents a top line-up with many highlights across many genres, including pop, hip hop, house, soul and more.

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Tony Rich – The Tony Rich Project

Let’s start with mega start The Tony Rich Project. Remember the hit single Nobody Knows? Well it’s that Tony Rich. Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, musician Tony Rich will hit the stage on Friday September 29, show 2, 9pm. Tony, born in Detroit, now calls Canberra home. He’s released six albums, authored hits for artists like Elton John and Michael Bolton, and toured with Prince, Sting, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Sheryl Crow and others. Tony bolted out of the gates, winning a Grammy for his debut album Words.  His forthcoming album project, mixed here in Canberra, will be released at the end of October.

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Raio De Sol – photo by Adam Thomas

Ashley Feraude, FASHFEST’s Music Director, says another first for FASHFEST is Raio de Sol, a percussion ensemble that will play on closing night. “The band first rehearsed on a re-purposed drum kit cobbled together from pots, pans and other bits and pieces uncovered at the tip,’ says Ashley. ‘They’re an amazing community samba drumming band.”

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Soulitude – photo by Art Artelier

Also making a debut appearance is Canberra’s premier four-piece live soul, R&B and urban groove band, Soulitude, whose vocalists and musicians have performed with the likes Deltra Goodman.

Female musos are strong again this year. Happy Axe (AKA Emma Kelly) is making a debut appearance. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Music (Hons) from the ANU, Emma has performed at major festivals like Woodford. She uses violin, musical saw and vocals to create beautiful sounds. At FASHFEST, she’ll play violin alongside DJ Hamish Lardi (no stranger to FASHFEST fans).

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FASHFEST 2016 – photo by wearefoundau

Other new acts include DJ Andrea Corazzon, known for mixing smooth house music and nu-disco. Amy Ferreira will be on stage incorporating old classic house with disco. Seasoned and award-winning DJ Sandman will be on deck to ramp things up.

Favourites return, including the lively Kirklandd, who is on a roll after his debut performance at FASHFEST last year. He’ll perform his upcoming single, Faded, live at the event. And Ashley himself will play, under his alias Magnifik Feat NeonHoney. Ashley has produced two albums and recently received Best House Producer at the Music ACT Music Awards.

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FASHFEST 2016 – photo by Doug Hall Studio Vitae

Click here to see the full music line up for FASHFEST 2017. FASHFEST is only a few sleeps away. Tickets, starting from $49, are on sale now. FASHFEST will be held at the National Convention Centre Canberra from 28 to 30 September (two shows per night), with lively after parties at QT Canberra.

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FASHFEST Music Director – Ashley Feraude

NUNIE … and Paula Ryan

She’s a fashion model, a fashion publisher, a fashion designer and a fashion icon. Paula Ryan is one of New Zealand’s hottest exports, and for the first time Canberrans will get to see her classy, stylish designs on the catwalk at FASHFEST.’

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Paula Ryan designs available from Nunie Canberra

Nunie, an upmarket women’s retail shop in Curtin (formerly in the Canberra Club Building), is presenting pieces from Paula Ryan’s spring-summer collection at FASHFEST on Friday night (29 September, show 2), alongside other amazing designers such as De Challie Haute Couture and independent designer Bianca Pavlic The Label. It’s going to be a cracker of a show.Paula Ryan 2

Owner of Nunie, Roxanne Ebina, has been providing quality fashion to Canberra women for years, and she’s thrilled to be showcasing Paula Ryan—in part because of the label’s superb quality and broad appeal. “Paula Ryan garments last forever and never go out of style,” says Roxanne. “We carry a solid range of her essentials and some gorgeous pieces from each of her seasonal collections, which never disappoint. With her garments, the magic is in the fabric. The label is about classic simplicity with stretch and style.”Paula Ryan (1)

After searching the world for the best natural fabrics that breathe, look fabulous and stand the test of time, Paula Ryan selected three—New Zealand Merino, Italian MicroModal, and Italian MicroJersey. “They’re colour fast, and Paula Ryan matches colours from one season to another, so it’s easy to build a versatile wardrobe with her pieces,” says Roxanne.

Essential pieces accommodate a range of body shapes. The snug slim fit is a signature. So too is the body-skimming easy fit for fuller figures. Singlets and camis are other must haves, as are pants, leggings, and a range of go-to dresses, skirts and tops. But it’s Paula Ryan’s seasonal collections that are most coveted by her fans around the world, and what Nunie will put on the catwalk at FASHFEST will be no exception.

This is Nunie’s first time participating in FASHFEST. “It’s a great event for Canberra because it gives local designers and retailers a chance to sign where they sell,” says Roxanne.Paula Ryan 4

FASHFEST’s opening night is less than two weeks away. Get the full program and buy tickets on the FASHFEST website. Tickets start at only $49 for assigned seating. FASHFEST 2017 runs from 28 – 30 September at the National Convention Centre, with two shows each night. And don’t forget the after parties at QT Hotel.

Steal the Thunder!

Let’s start with the facts. Women come in all shapes and sizes. All shapes and sizes. The pear shape is just as beautiful as any other and no one knows this better than Bronwynne Jones, who founded her own label catering to this target market last year.

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Bronwynne Jones – owner and designer Thunder Thighs

Thunder Thighs is about the shape, not about the size”, says Bronwynne. “I design from size 8 up, but in a way that complements women who are naturally smaller at the top and curvier at the bottom.”

Bronwynne is currently full steam ahead, cutting, sewing, fitting and fussing with models to get her first full collection on the catwalk at FASHFEST 2017. She’s excited but admits it hasn’t been entirely easy. “The FASHFEST model casting was an open one, but the fashion industry tends not to focus on true pear-shaped women,” says Bronwynne. “Not many modelling agencies have pear-shaped models on their books either.”

 

And the name? Doesn’t it just draw unfair attention to the unique body shape Bronwynne designs for? “I’m actually calling it for what it is and am proud of it,” says Bronwynne. “My clients don’t necessarily have a problem with their shape. They have a problem with not being able to find attractive clothing that works well on their bodies. It’s frustrating, and I know because I have thunder thighs. I want to design for this group of women and who they are, not what the fashion industry says they should be.”

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Thunder Thighs at CARDIF Collective Fashion in the Alley in April 2017

A self-taught designer, Bronwynne focuses on fitting, flattering and the body positive. She designs foundation (essential) pieces and pieces that add flair and sells through CARDIF Collective in Kingston. “My tops fit the bust line well and swing or float over the bottom,” says Bronwynne. “Cigarette pants and skirts fit at the waist and hips, and fall from the thighs. Short tailored jackets with a swing, not straight, work a treat too.” Since opening her label, Bronwynne has been thrilled to sell to women of other shapes who are attracted to her designs. “Many women can wear swing tops, for example,” says Bronwynne. “It’s a fabulous style that stands the test of time.”

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Thunder Thighs at Fashion in the Alley

For the FASHFEST catwalk, Bronwynne has designed pants, tops and jackets, some with sculptural elements. She’ll also present her popular ‘shirt front back top’ which features the front and optional collar from a recovered men’s shirt. Customers can help design their own top by selecting from Bronwynne’s impressive collection of quality men’s shirts or by bringing in a shirt owned by a loved one. Bronwynne will also feature her attractive infinity scarves created out of men’s vintage silk ties on the catwalk.

The designer is showcasing solid black and white, mono prints, and shades of pinks and purples. Sheer fabric will also make a grand entrance as will hand-crafted headpieces with colour and flair.

“It’s been a steep learning curve getting ready for FASHFEST,” says Bronwynne. “There’s so much to consider beside the garments. Hair, makeup, props, shoes, and with only a couple of weeks to go—it’s full on.”

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Model Swan Ricco (size 8 – 10) wears Thunder Thighs at Fashion in the Alley

FASHFEST is on from 28 to 30 September, at the National Convention Centre Canberra, with after parties at QT Canberra. Thunder Thighs proudly makes its appearance at FASHFEST on opening night, 28 September show 2, 9pm. FASHFEST tickets are available from the FASHFEST website and start at $49.

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Getting ready to walk-the-walk at Fashion in the Alley