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Brisbane Fashion Festival Wrap Up

Brisbane Fashion Festival Wrap Up

Fashion festivals are strange things. Unlike your typical fashion show where journalists, buyers and celebs are there for the business side of things, the numerous festivals set up around Australia are consumer driven events, aimed at showcasing to the public what is available to purchase in the stores right now. The events are designed to get the general public excited about fashion, enjoy a show and perhaps make a few purchases based on what they have seen.

In theory it works, but in reality it’s a little bit awkward – awkward mainly in regards to the rookie crowd and their enthusiastic applause. I’m all for clapping when seeing something breathtaking. I’m pretty sure applause and screams of joy were littered throughout this year’s Romance Was Born show. And rightly so. But clapping every time a model recovers from loosing a shoe or every time a male model strides out onto the catwalk is a bit rich. What are we really celebrating – design, or one’s ability to walk in heels and posses a ‘Y’ chromosome. Even more awkward is a boutique owner taking a bow after a show. What are we applauding here? Someone’s ability to buy clothes from talented designers and put them in a shop. Where’s the three cheers for everyone else turning up to see it?

Apart from the enthusiastic clapping, there were some things on show that did warrant a proverbial pat on the back. Easton Pearson’s eclectic prints were one. Paul Hunt’s fifties ball gowns were another. Local design duo Francis Leon also received great praise for their collection of tailored dresses. The collection skipped the bells, whistles and frills that a lot of other local designers have grown attached to and focuses on a womanly silhouette, letting their jewel toned fabrics and cut shine through.

Gold Coast designer Bianca Daly’s softly spoken label Blanc + Delta also stood out amongst the vibrant group shows. Bianca’s talent clearly lies in her construction and pattern making, as intricate pintucks, draping and twisted details were found in almost all her pieces. From the delicate pleats along the knee of a pair of pants to sheer draped silk surrounding a velvet panel; the devil was in the details of the collection, hidden within a muted colour palette with bursts of ruby red.

The colour red must have been on quite a few designers’ minds in the lead up to the festival. Sequins, ruffles and feathers were also on offer too. Things got a bit camp at the Daniel Alexander Couture show when models tried to re-enact the spectacular horseracing scene from My Fair Lady in skin tight leggings and boater hats. While most of the audience was left a little confused by it all, the four drag queens in the back row seemed to get a kick out of it.

The vivacious ladies also enjoyed the Neon Heartache show, where designer Amelia Duncombe expanded on her ‘The Retrospection’ collection, experimenting more with feathers and pleats to form a well-rounded and versatile range. Cue enthusiastic applause.

Published on The Vine