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‘I believe that no matter how many times one redefines style, classical simplicity and charm can never be outdated,’ says Hajar, whose bespoke creations are carefully thought through from the first sketch, to the final fitting and then finishing touches.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

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

This is THE FLORA DRESS

Flowers and fashion are front and centre this year at FASHFEST with a truly unique collaboration between Rockstars and Royalty and Peony n Pearl.

by Wendy Johnson

And the fun started with The Flora Dress that fashion designer Vicky Kidd-Gallichan and floral designer Fionna Tamin created as a teaser to the red-carpet event—now only five nights away. It was fussy work involving hours of meticulous planning and execution but the end result was worth every second for these two talented Canberrans.RR Flora2

It all began with Vicky creating the garment, a corset (the type she is so famous for) and a mini hoop cage skirt. Once made, matters moved into high gear on how to ‘decorate’ the skirt with silk and real flowers. “We wanted a 1920s look so shooting at Lucky’s Speakeasy at QT Hotel was perfect because it has an amazing vibe and suited the look we were going for,” says Vicky. “We even managed to restyle their hotdog cart as a flower seller’s cart.”

To create the dress, Fionna worked primarily in her floral shop and then carted fresh flowers to the shoot location to finish things off on site. More than five types of fresh flowers, including Cymbidum orchids and Spider chrysanthemums, as were Privot berries, Peppercorn berries and Gumnuts. Luscious purples and greens formed the main colour pallet.RRFlora3

The shoot was made possible, as all amazing shoots are, by a team of strong creatives, this time all from the FASHFEST team. Model Hannah Miners will be on the catwalk this year, hair was by Tanya Lancaster who works at THE Hairdressing and is a Team Leader, and makeup was by Katie Saarikko, Creative Director of MUA for FASHFEST 2015 who used creamy foundation by major sponsor Harlotte Cosmetics. The end result was captured by Leighton Hutchinson, Director of Photography for FASHFEST. “I’ve done shoots with Leighton for the previous two FASHFESTs”, says Vicky. “I love his style and the way he uses colour.”

Creating The Flora Dress was a great pilot for what Vicky and Fionna are planning for Rockstars and Royalty’s Cherries in the Snow collection that will appear for the first time on the runway at FASHFEST 2015. “I was inspired by the name of the red lipstick Revlon launched in the 1950s and still makes today,” says Vicky. “I wear it and love it.”RRFlora1

Cherries in the Snow will feature fresh flowers which adds to the complexity of planning, says Fionna, who has been working in floristry since 2007 and who opened her own shop in March last year. “You need to select the right flowers to work with—flowers that will last as long as you need them to. Some flowers simply won’t work since they die if out of water for more than an hour. It’s my first time being part of a major collection and taking part in an event on the scale of FASHFEST. It’s thrilling.”

The collaboration is possible this year because FASHFEST has moved to a new venue, the National Convention Centre, which has massive refrigeration units in its kitchen that can be used to keep the flowers fresh.

 

ff ticketsFASHFEST is on 13 to 16 May. Don’t dillydally. It’s time to get ready to glam up for FASHFEST, and remember the venue this year is heated, so don’t hold back. Buy your tickets today: www.fashfest.com.au

Credits for Flora dress—Designer: Vicky Kidd-Gallichan, Rockstars and Royalty; Floral designer: Fionna Tamin, Peony n Pearl; Model: Hannah Miners; Makeup: Katie Saarikko; Hair: Tanya Lancaster and THEhairdressing; Photographer: Leighton Hutchinson—taken on location at Lucky’s Speakeasy at QT; Behind the scenes photographer: Samuel Broomby

FASHFEST Tickets on sale NOW!

Tickets for Canberra’s most glamorous annual fashion event are on sale now and selling sizzling hot.

By Wendy Johnson (for LFW)

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When asked why she wanted to participate in FASHFEST, even though it means lugging a mountain of garments and other paraphernalia all the way from Melbourne, Mariska Thynne didn’t skip a beat. The fashion designer behind the label The Professor’s Daughter, has a sister who lives in the capital—a sister who attended FASHFEST last year.

“My younger sister and I go to a lot of fashion events together, including in Melbourne and Sydney,” she says. “Last year she went to FASHFEST and told me how fabulous it was. She said it was more of a spectacle and a curated show, not just a parade.

FASHFEST is a spectacle. This year will see four days of entertainment, featuring new collections by more than 30 designers, worn by around 80 models walking to the beat of music by 14 live musicians, covering a wide range of genres, from rap to jazz. Read on to find out how this spectacle works, who pulls it together, and view the Faces of FASHFEST. Continue reading

WHO IS … ?

WHO IS exhibition

by Wendy Johnson (for LFW)

When Louisa de Smet was invited to incorporate furniture design into her fashion design, she didn’t skip a beat. Louisa, the local fashion designer behind the label Corr Blimey, understands the intrinsic value of quality design, no matter what the discipline. And she was even more intrigued by the invitation because of the connection to Germany. So let’s take a step back and put all of this together for you.

Designcraft, which sells a wide range of authentic Australian and international furniture—mostly top-notch lines available exclusively through their massive showroom in Hume—loves the idea of cross-pollinating local business and international brands.

Scaffold dress and Walter Knoll chair

One of their iconic lines of furniture is Walter Knoll, based in Germany and celebrating 150 years in business in 2015. Designcraft also knew of Louisa, who has visited Berlin with her partner Steven Wright several times, each time inspired by what they saw on a deep level—architecture, colours, culture and quirkiness of so many of the hidden gems they stumbled across while wandering the city’s streets. Why not bring the two together brands together and see what could transpire, thought Bob Fenderson, Managing Director of Designcraft.

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FASHFEST is Back in 2015!

The Canberra fashion event of the year is back with new Faces, a new venue, and bigger and better than ever! And the Faces of FASHFEST were announced this week!

Faces of Fashfest 2015 

By Wendy Johnson (for LFW)

They’re young. They’re fresh. They’re beautiful. And they’re trembling with excitement.

The new Faces of FASHFEST 2015, Hannah Claire McKenzie and Ken Scruton, were slightly stunned when told they had been selected out of  a record-breaking model casting call to represent Canberra’s pre-eminent annual fashion event at the highest level. But they soon got over it and within a matter of days were at their first launch, sporting smart black and white FASHFEST t-shirts and posing in front of a brand new Audi in a large photographic studio at Canberra Institute of Technology.

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