Canberra Fashfest 2014
For fashionable Sydney siders, the anticipation for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is palpable. In a few short weeks, installation space and multi-arts center Carriageworks will be transformed to accommodate Australia’s proverbial cream of the crop, at least in terms of the fashion world. But while Australian designers and front-row bloggers are poised at the ready, our dear capital is making its own waves in the industry with Fashfest, a four-day event that aims to highlight local diversity in fashion design.
For event producer Steve Wright, it is this element of difference that separates Fashfest from other major fashion events in Australia. “Diversity and individuality are what makes the fashion industry tick”, says Wright. “Fashfest is a bespoke, innovative and completely designed fashion experience that reflects contemporary Australian society at every point.”
Founded by husband and wife dream-team Clint and Andrea Hutchinson, the event was first unveiled in 2013, and was successful enough to nab an ‘OutInCanberra People’s Choice Award’ in the attractions and events category. Although still relatively small, Fashfest provides an important platform for designers studying at The Canberra Institute of Technology and the Australian National University School of Art. Emerging local labels like Rockstars and Royalty and Perpetually Five now have a real chance to project their work to an international audience. Designers are chosen to showcase at the event based on current standing in the fashion industry, and can take advantage of professional work-shops, mentoring in all aspects of the industry.
While the fashion limelight may be permanently fixed on the big players – Milan, New York, Paris & London, Canberra is increasingly talked about in terms of a thriving student culture, with a flurry of bustling nightspots popping up in central areas and a resounding hum of creativity bubbling under the surface. “Canberra has grown out of the “I visited it when I was 10” mentality and become a fully formed creative hub that is capable of flexing its muscles,” says Steve. Shining a light on a youth-driven fashion hub seems like a logical next step.
You can read the full interview with Steve Wright here
By Lucy Rennick