A 400-strong crowd of Canberra’s most stylish turned up in their finest for last night’s opening, with a sprinkling of celebrities and high-profile locals. But it wasn’t entirely who you’d expect – Deputy Opposition Leader Alistair Coe and Brumbies star David Pocock were among those who couldn’t resist a sneak peek of the exciting fashion festival. (Some locals were reportedly so excited, they were lining up a good hour before the doors were due to open.)
As guests sipped champagne and settled into their seats, a pre-show visual of youth culture in 1970s Canberra – a vision of mullets, cigarettes and short-shorts – was shown as heavy dubstep pounded.
Opening the show was swimwear label Baku, and curly-haired, sun kissed models wearing bright bikinis and puffa jackets strutted down the runway, blowing air kisses and winking to the crowd. As models walked, a live soundtrack was provided by talented singer Xavier Dunn and DJ James Erskine, of local electronica group Shot Gun Cubs.
Hunter slowed things down with moody models drifting dreamily across the runway. Oriental-print cropped jackets, loose-fitting trousers and tartan-printed outfits were key pieces.
A standout was menswear label Perpetually Five, whose colourfully printed suits were young and playful – geometric patterns clashed with stripes worn with clear, plastic suit jackets. There were moments of brilliance, as the male models’ grim demeanour artfully contrasted with the bright, fun suits they were wearing. Each carried a balloon which they let slip out of their hands at the end of the show.
Womenswear label Lisa T was infused with a feminine, ethereal element, as statuesque models wore floor-length, two-toned coral gowns and gorgeous Little Red Riding Hood-esque jackets with sequin detail and fur-lined hoods.WND.LND had models with princess-leia style buns and deep red lips dramatically strutting down the catwalk wearing black veils, sheer dresses and jackets with the word “Virgin” scrawled across the back.
And bringing a spectacular finale was bridal label Rockstars and Royalty, whose colourful gowns came in sequinned, jewelled and floral appliqué . A disco ball-style gown stunned and shimmered across the runway while a sweet-heart busted, cream dress with jewelled detail at the bust and waist was a standout, sending a few brides-to-be reaching for their iphones. Face of Fashfest Anneliese Seubert made an appearance on the runway, rocking a show-stopping gold and green sequinned gown, looking every inch the supermodel.
Photography by Andrew Campbell