Tag Archives: HAUS Models

A story of a pear-shaped woman

Lovin’ thunder thighs. Designer Bronwynne Jones with model Swan Ricco at FASHFEST 2017. Image: Avon Dissanayake.

For years, Brownynne Jones was frustrated with fashion, so much so that she started her own label. We all have different shapes—hour glass, watermelon, banana, apple and pear. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, says Bronwynne, the reality is that it’s easier to shop fashion for some shapes than others.

Bronwynne is pear shaped and proud of it.

‘I used to think there was something wrong with my shape because I could never find lovely clothes that fitted just so,’ says the designer. ‘Then it dawned on me that it wasn’t my problem, it was the fashion industry’s problem and so I began making my own clothes. That’s when I started to feel great and stopped worrying about how I looked.’

Image of Tiahna taken at FASHFEST 2017 by Naimat Ahmed.

Thunder Thighs is a label for the perfectly pear shaped, although Bronwynne now knows her designs fit a range of shapes, even the tall and thin. ‘It was fabulous to discover this, although the pear-shaped is still my main aesthetic,’ says the designer.

This Thursday, at M16 Artspace, Brownynne is launching an exhibition as part of Design Canberra Festival. ‘Curvature Couture: Design and the pear-shaped woman’ officially opens at 6 and runs until 25 November. M16 is where Bronwynne has her studio.

The exhibition showcases what Bronwynne does best—focus on shape as a feature not as a flaw. She’ll host a short fashion event using a combination of models with interesting shapes, such as Bec and Trish from HAUS Models. She’ll also use women who aren’t professional models. The common thread is that every woman who appears in the show is in love with their body shape and fashion.

Bec from HAUS Models. Image: Naimat Ahmed.

Thunder Thighs is still a young independent label and Brownynne has learned heaps since presenting her first full collection on the catwalk at FASHFEST in 2017. ‘FASHFEST is a real platform for local designers and an important one,’ says the designer. ‘I was so nervous, but the collection looked amazing on the catwalk and the feedback was  fabulous. The team members behind FASHFEST are so willing to share knowledge and encourage you.’

Sustainability is important to Bronwynne and she’s committed to using new and natural fabrics as much as possible and sourcing interesting roll ends and remnants. She also uses pre-loved garments, deconstructing them and using elements in her designs. A classic example is Bronwynne’s hugely popular ‘Shirt Front Back Top’, which she’ll present at ‘Curvature Couture’.

Bronwynne’s famous ‘Shirt Front Back Top’. Image: Naimat Ahmed.

This shirt is fitted at the top and has a swing back to skim over the thighs, but women who have a tummy love it too. ‘To enhance interest, I include an insert using men’s shirts and, more recently, women’s scarves,’ say Bronwynne. ‘Customers even bring in their own shirts and scarves, ones that hold memories, so the garments I make for them are highly personal and a major talking point.’

At the opening of Curvature Couture, and throughout the exhibition, guests can check out their shape against life-sized panels by String, local artist Paul Martin. The garments on the catwalk will be put on mannequins after the show and form part of the exhibition.

Brownynne presented her first full collection on the catwalk at FASHFEST in 2017. Image: Doug Hall, Studio Vita.

You can also hear Bronwynne talk about her designs at M16 on 15 November at 1pm. She’ll also present a short workshop on dressing thunder thighs on 25 November at 2pm.

In the meantime, join Bronwynne at ‘Curvature couture: Design and the pear-shaped woman’ for the official opening this Thursday, 8 November, at 6pm. The fashion show starts around 6.30.

 

 

GOWNS AND MOVING RUNWAYS

Sixteen metres of tulle. A creation by Megan Canning Designs. Image: Martin Ollman.

You could feel their hearts beat. The hearts, that is, of the models wearing voluminous, long gowns at FASHFEST last Friday night (19 Oct). They weren’t just wearing magnificent pieces, they were wearing them while on the long, moving escalators in the foyer of the National Gallery that formed part of the overall runway.

How tricky was it? Consider this. One gown was created with a whopping 150 metres of tulle.

Would the fabric get caught? It didn’t and the show was nothing short of majestic.

Model: Kahu Kapea from HAUS Models.

‘The nature of this event meant we simply couldn’t go out for a broad model casting as we have in some other years,’ said Andrea Hutchinson who co-founded FASHFEST and who is also the event’s Model Director. ‘We needed experienced models who could not just walk in such large gowns, but handle them gracefully on moving escalators, first going down and then going up. It was tricky, especially entering and exiting the escalators. The models had to maneouvre them without interrupting the flow of the show or getting the garments caught.’

Another graceful gown by Megan Canning Designs. Image: Doug Hall, Studio Vita

FASHFEST is ‘changing it up’ and this was its first full show at a cultural institution. The event sold out, with VIP seats going first. Even the standing room upstairs at the top of the escalator was packed with guests staring down over the models for a very different perspective indeed.

The event started with Megan Canning Designs, with the showstopper, 16-metre tulle gown. It was breathtaking watching model Kahu Kapea, from HAUS Models, manage the gown while walking to the cool tunes of zares, Canberra DJ and electronic dance producer. And it wasn’t just Kahu who had to manage massive mounds of fabric. Many other models did too.

Super model Anneliese Seubert (l) with young designer Charly Thorn, walking the finale.

Next up was the evening luxe collection by young designer Charly Thorn, with legendary model Anneliese Seubert modelling an elegant long silk dress which Charly has fondly called the ‘Anneliese Dress’. Charly designed the bold black and white pattern, called ‘stargaze’, and had it printed in Sydney. Some solid pieces in the collection were made from wool and they all popped—pinks, yellows, greens and blues.

Charly Thorn’s new collection pops with colour.

Last, but not least, appeared the collection by Hajar Gala Couture, each piece exquisitely detailed. This is true couture. It takes ages for Hajar to design, fit and make each of her luxury gowns.

Hajar Gala Couture. Image: Martin Ollman.

Pre-show, guests gathered upstairs for a ‘Quandong Paint Cocktail’, created by Archie Rose for FASHFEST and inspired by Lichtenstein’s brushstrokes. As soon as the drink is swirled, the Quandong Paint leeches into it, changing the flavor from a simple gin old fashioned into a native peachy delight.

Models gracing moving escalators–a tricky business indeed, says FASHFEST’s Andrea Hutchinson. Image: Jack Mohr.

Pre and post-show, guests were entertained by Simon Anau while getting up close to a small exhibition of gowns by the three designers, to see just how much work goes into each one.

The National Gallery of Australia was a magnificent backdrop for the first ‘change it up’ event for FASHFEST. So what’s next? Clint Hutchinson says planning is well underway for the next major FASHFEST event in December and Canberrans might just see FASHFEST pop up in-between.

For exclusive updates and special offers, sign up to FASHFEST’s newsletter: www.fashfest.com.au

The Quandong Paint Cocktail created for FASHFEST by Archie Rose. Image: Martin Ollman.

Models from Devojka Models, Victoria’s Models and HAUS Models. Hair for the event led by Craig Rhodes using Sachajuan. MUA was led by Katie Saarikko, using Harlotte Cosmetics. The FASHFEST photography team is led by Leighton Hutchinson Photography.

Couture on the catwalk

Hajar Gala Couture. Image taken by Leighton Hutchinson Photography for FASHFEST at the NGA. Models (from left): Hellena from Devojka Models, and Emma from HAUS Models.

Ever since she was young, Hajar Gala has adored glorious gowns—elegant, beautifully designed and wonderfully crafted gowns. Today, the fashion designer is one of Australia’s most creative couturiers, running two busy ateliers for discerning women, one here in Canberra (Griffith shops) and one recently opened in Melbourne.

Hajar Gala Couture will present glorious gowns tomorrow night at the National Gallery of Australia as FASHFEST rolls out the first in a series of ‘change-it-up’ fashion events.

‘I believe that no matter how many times one redefines style, classical simplicity and charm can never be outdated,’ says Hajar, whose bespoke creations are carefully thought through from the first sketch, to the final fitting and then finishing touches.

Couturier Hajar Gala

Hajar formally trained in the French couture method at the International Fashion Academy in Europe, learning to meticulously place every stitch. ‘The traditional couture techniques emphasise design but also quality of construction,’ says Hajar. ‘The end result is a timeless treasure that holds its place in the world of luxury.’

At FASHFEST, Hajar will showcase 10 pieces, including some bridal and evening wear designs that first appeared in a collection at Paris Fashion Week (never before seen in Canberra). Models will bring the gowns to life, as they work their way down one of the massive escalators in the foyer of the NGA, and then along the runway and back up the opposite escalator.

Hajar’s gowns have also graced runways in other prestigious fashion shows internationally, including at Milan Fashion Week. Models are from Canberra’s top three agencies—Victoria’s Models, Devojka Models and HAUS Models.

One of Hajar’s creations. On location at Lake George. Image: Leighton Hutchinson Photography. Model: Courtney from HAUS Models.

‘I love the romance of the fine lines and beaded silhouettes of the 1920’s Jazz Age through to Old Hollywood glamour of the glorious 1950s,’ says Hajar, ‘and often reflect these in gowns, using only the best fabrics, all carefully sourced.’

Guests will also get up close to four other Hajar Gala Couture gowns in an exhibition FASHFEST will present tomorrow night and they can do so while sipping on special Quandong paint stroke’ cocktail, created by Archie Rose for FASHFEST and the NGA. Pieces by the two other designers in the show—Megan Cannings Designs and Charly Thorn—will also form part of the exhibition.

Hajar’s work has been extensively covered internationally, including in prestigious publications such as Collezioni Haute Couture. A shoot she did with Canberra’s Leighton Hutchinson, of Leighton Hutchinson Photography, and Courtney, from HAUS, appeared in the magazine. The shoot took place at Lake George.

Only a few seats are left for tomorrow night’s shows so snap one up if you’re keen. Standing room tickets are also available at only $35. The first show is 6.30 for a 7pm start and the second show (repeated) is 8 for an 8.30 start. http://www.fashfest.com.au/tickets

 

Walking the Walk at FASHFEST 2017 Model Casting

It’s the shoes that fascinate me. I’m impressed (and not to say envious) by the towering, tapering heels, and the fact that the female models manage to stay upright let alone walk a catwalk in front of four judges! That’s got to get them brownie points!

high-heels-for-women

Image LFW

FASHFEST model casting got underway at the National Convention Centre on Sunday 4 June with over 400 registrations and over 250 hopefuls on the catwalk. Judging panel Victoria’s Models, Haus Models, Leighton Hutchinson Photography, and Devojka Models had their work cut out to select around 100 models to showcase designer brands and new collections at FASHFEST 2017 in September.

Avon_Dissanayake_Fashfest_casting 2

The great thing about FASHFEST is that models of all sizes, shapes, genders, and ethnicity are welcome—not just your sixers … female, size 6, 6 feet tall, and to that end there is usually a good choice for designers to choose who they think can best wear their outfits.

The judging panel were looking for confidence in the walk, creativity and style, and diversity, as the models walked to a thumping beat designed to keep everyone energised. And, strangely enough, when I get up to move to the back of the room I too found myself walking to the beat.

Avon_Dissanayake_Fashfest_casting 5

FASHFEST is now in its fifth year and co-founder, Clint Hutchinson, says it’s going to be bigger and better this year with more live music, art, film and multimedia, and FASHFEST is also on the hunt for new labels from both interstate and overseas—so maybe lots of new designers too. FASHFEST is also expanding its publicity wagon with up-coming pop-ups and activations throughout the city. Stay tuned!

Avon_Dissanayake_Fashfest_casting 3

Learning to walk-the-walk

Back to the model casting they learn to walk-the-walk in groups, pairs, and solo, under the tutelage of Susie Ellis, Director of Choreography; get head shots by the FASHFEST crew, and measured up by Braddon Tailors. Those chosen will have a few months to practise and perfect their walk and poses, and then be assigned to a designer. Good luck to all those who tried out!

Avon_Dissanayake_Fashfest_casting 4

Selfie time!

FASHFEST 2017 will be held at the National Convention Centre from 28 – 30 September with two shows each night. Tickets on sale soon.

Many thanks to Sparkling Weddings Photography for images.

FASHFEST 2017 MODEL CASTING—On the Hunt!

FASHFEST 2017 is on the hunt for models of all ages, personality types and sizes to bring designer fashion to life at the red-carpet event on 28 to 30 September.

thumbnail_Modelcrowd3_DC

Model crowds at FASHFEST 2016 model casting – photo by cumminsphoto.com.au

The annual model casting is being held Sunday 4 June at the National Convention Centre Canberra and only time will tell if FASHFEST smashes its 2016 record, with more 550 models registering to strut their stuff. While it’s serious business, it’s also a fun day, packed with wannabe models meeting new friends, snapping selfies, getting measured up, and—with butterflies in their tummies—walking the makeshift catwalk, alone and in pairs.

thumbnail_Models_pair1_DC

Walking the walk at FASHFEST 2016 Model Casting – photo by cumminsphoto.com

“We look for different ages, body profiles and nationalities since our designers are so diverse,” says Andrea Hutchinson, from HAUS Models and one of the four judges on this year’s panel. “Depending on the final cut of designers, we might need mature models, athletic models, models with a sophisticated look or models from various ethnic backgrounds. And we need a mix of male and female.”

The casting is ‘open’ which means models don’t have to belong to an agency. Indeed, since FASHFEST is big on training, applicants don’t need previous modelling experience. If they have what it takes, they’ll cross the line and get to be in Canberra’s red-carpet fashion event. The only restriction is that models must be 16 years of age by the time FASHFEST rolls out that red carpet.

FF 2017 Model casting panel JPG

FASHFEST 2017 Model Casting Pane l-r: Victoria from Victoria’s Models, Tina from Devojka Models, and Andrea from HAUS Models

Joining Andrea is Victoria Schnabl, Victoria’s Models, and Tina Nikolovski, Devojka Models, meaning that all three of Canberra’s top modelling agencies are represented on the judging panel. And for a different perspective, FASHFEST’s Director of Photography, Leighton Hutchinson, will also judge.

thumbnail_FF_Auditions_Avon Dissanayake 58

FASHFEST 2016 Model Casting – photo by Sparkling Weddings

The models will walk to music organised by FASHFEST’s official music director, Ashley Feraude. The music creates a unique vibe for the day and helps keep nerves calm.

If you want to give it a go, register on www.fashfest.com.au.The form only takes a minute or two to complete and registration closes late on 3 June.

thumbnail_Modelpair3_DC

In pairs at FASHFEST 2016 Model Casting – photo by cumminsphoto.com.au

 

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.

FASHFEST Model Casting Smashes Record!

This year’s model casting has smashed a record for Canberra with more than 470 models already applying to strut their stuff on the catwalk at the capital’s largest red carpet fashion event. The number of registrants continues to grow, surpassing last year’s record of 300 by a long stretch.Mdel casting tile 2

Diversity has always been important to FASHFEST and this year is no different. FASHFEST is on the lookout for male and female models of different ages and ethnic backgrounds. At last year’s event, Red Corner Boxing was looking for athletic models, Karen Lee required a mature look and Prodigal Daughter and Hana Apparel Design selected models that helped them celebrate the ethnic diversity of their designs (Africa and the Middle East).

This year’s judging panel features:

  • Hayley O’Neill, a Sydney-based stylist and Fashion Office Coordinator at Marie Claire Australia, who originally hails from Canberra.
  • Robert Coppa, an internationally renowned fashion photographer who has been behind the lens for 12 years.
  • Victoria Schnable, owner of Victoria’s Models, Canberra’s longest running agency.
  • Tina Nikolovski, a photographer and now director of Canberra’s newest modelling agency, Devojka Models, established in 2015.
  • Andrea Hutchinson, Managing Director of HAUS Models, herself former model from Switzerland.

    2015 model hopefuls 'walking the walk' - image by www.cumminsphoto.com.au

    2015 model hopefuls ‘walking the walk’ – image by http://www.cumminsphoto.com.au

The casting is a relaxed day full of selfies and fun with music by DJ Hamish Lardi, who has built his profile playing iconic Canberra events and nightlife venues, NeonHoney, a Canberra-based singer-songwriter, and Ashley Feraude, FASHFEST’s official music director, a DJ and music producer who operates under the alias Magnifik.

“The music will give the models a taste of what they can expect at the live shows. It is also about keeping the energy up so the models can feel good and do their best,” says Ashley.

This open casting is available to all models 16 years of age and above. It will be held from 10am on Sunday 22 May at the National Convention Centre, a major FASHFEST partner.

FF Model casting 2016