Fashion lovers are buzzing with the new collections launched at FASHFEST this year, and although bump out had already begun yesterday for Canberra’s biggest fashion show ever, 18 designers were still at it on DAY FIVE. While the catwalk experience is the pinnacle in the fashion world, many Canberra designers are inspired by the direct experience with customers that DAY FIVE offers.
By Wendy Johnson
Louisa de Smet, from Corr Blimey, says it’s integral to what she does as a designer. “We love meeting customers direct,” says Louisa. “It gives us an opportunity to understand their needs, refine our designs, and push boundaries with them. Canberra is a sophisticated market in many ways, which makes it all the more rewarding.”
The designers set up in ‘market style’ for DAY FIVE. For customers this was a valuable chance to meet designers to advise on style, colour and fabric, try on garments, get measured up, place orders if stock is not available in your size and, overall, indulge in the wonderful world of fashion.
Barb Mickelson, from BMDesigns, for example, spoke about her new Heaven and Earth collection, including how she hand-dyed fabrics, including with rust. And she can help customers experiment with her amazing hats. So too can Jade Sargent, the designer behind Sovata, who specialises in a total hatted look. Jade’s collection popped with colour on the catwalk.
DAY FIVE was also the only chance customers had to speak with New Zealand’s Melanie Child, who was at FASHFEST for the first time this year. Melanie specialises in producing high-end, upcycled clothing, reusing one item to create another or higher quality or value than the original.
And it’s was a great opportunity to talk to contemporary jeweller Tanja von Behrens, who collaborated with two fashion designers on the runway. Tanja has designed her new line of graphic jewellery around Canberra’s streets and some of the capital’s icons. She uses 100 per cent recycled sterling silver, copper and brass to create her works, manufacturing by hand as much as possible.
The Design Institute of Australia also attended Day Five to award The Graduate Designer of the Year. The prize is a membership in the Institute, which represents all design disciplines, and a mentorship by the ACT Chapter.
DAY FIVE was held at the National Convention Centre and with free entry and live music by the Director of Music for FASHFEST, Ashley Feraude, has become an integral part of the FASHFEST experience.
Designers participating in DAY Five are all featured on the FASHFEST website. They are, in alphabetical order:
More information: http://fashfest.com.au/day-five/