FRIDAY night Fashfest has an unmistakable party vibe. The audience is finished work for the week, wine is flowing and pumping music fills the space in the new location, the Canberra Convention Centre.
The theme for the night is Cartographer and as such we are expecting to see designers make use of natural fibres and draw inspiration from their surroundings. In light of that it makes sense that designer Melanie Child begins the show with her garments that utilise discarded clothing and give them a second life. The use of different materials within each piece results in a multi-layered and dimensional clothing. There is a mixture of structured pieces made from firm material such as denim, with flowing lighter pieces made from materials such as cotton, which were once, most likely discarded T-shirts now given new life.
Next up is Braddon Tailors whose range includes smart, classic, well-tailored suits for men and women. The structured pieces are made of wool and linen matched with silk accessories such as ties, handkerchiefs and scarves. The cut of the ties is contemporary and bold with a blunt, straight edge at the end.
Illusory Cog follows with contemporary, angular and constructed black and white pieces with hints of embellishment such as spiked silver shoulders. Designer Vanessa Mifsud draws inspiration from the surrealist painter Salvador Dali and his collaboration with Sigmund Freud and her garments are aimed at empowering women of all shapes and form.
Red Corner is next on the runway and is one of the designers the whole crowd is excited to see, cheers and whistles fill the room as their name appears on the big screen. Red Door designs boxing gear for men and women who want to exercise seriously but inject a little spice and fun into their workout. The mitts and pads on display do not disappoint. They are adorned in bright pinks, purples, blues and lime green – there is a galaxy pattern, a tetris pattern and marbled bright colours. Their set is fun and vibrant and perfectly highlights the product on display.
MAAK showcases a range of active wear that is relaxed, unstructured and made for everyday living. The relaxed fit of the garments is matched with the use of soft, high-end materials, which give the active wear a luxurious look.
Maak is followed by Miranda Sakhino whose designs light up the runway with a fusion of African and Western fashion. The structure and cut of the garments highlights the Western influence as well as the use of muted pastels however the patterns themselves are an ode to the African influence. The classic and flattering cuts mean that a number of the pieces could very easily transcend from runway to everyday.
The night ends with Sovata, who is at Fashfest for the second year in a row. Once again the brand makes a bold statement on the Fashfest runway with intrinsically detailed fascinators matched with both structured and flowing garments that together form either the perfect curated outfit together or as separate pieces. The dresses look comfortable and flattering on the different models and I am extremely drawn to the use of bright and vibrant colours of orange, green, purple with black and white highlights.
There is only one more night left of Fashfest and if the last three nights are any indication, it will be a finale to remember.