Tag Archives: New Zealand fashion designers

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

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

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Gehrich – photo by Christopher Thomas

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

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Bianca Pavlic The Label – photo by Tina Nikolvski

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

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Trelise Cooper

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

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Darwin Aboriginal Arts Fair Foundation – photo by Shane Eecen

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

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

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Coop

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

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Kowtow – Dreamscape Crew

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

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

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Kowtow – Auteur Coat Dreamscape

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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.