1 October 2016

FASHFEST 2016 opens tonight - What you need to know

| Heather Lansdowne
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FASHFEST 2016 is finally here, with doors opening tonight at 5pm. Canberra fashionistas have been waiting an extra long time for this installment – While previous events have been held in April/May, this year’s show was postponed till Spring to align with the international fashion season and local attractions like Floriade. I for one was thrilled about the change, as it meant warmer weather and more adventurous options for red carpet outfits (though I’ll have to see how the rain predictions pan out over the next few days before I get too excited about the weather!).

Now in its fourth year, FASHFEST will once again be held at the National Convention Centre, with immersive sound and lighting provided by Canberra’s Elite Sound and Lighting.

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 11.25.57 PM

Tonight will mark the beginning of the biggest red-carpet fashion event ever seen in the capital—over 40 designers, with new collections worn by 150 models, 25 musicians (live and DJ), 6 original films, 2 exhibitions and more.

Rather than the usual four shows over four nights, this year FASHFEST has condensed its schedule into three days, with two distinct shows on each night, one starting at 6.30pm and one at 8.30pm. For more information on each show’s theme, and which designer is showing when, see fashfest.com.au.

There’s no lack of fresh blood in the talent pool, with FASHFEST’s youngest designer yet, Charly Thorn from Cooma, having just turned 17. Having said that, I’m actually most excited for a couple of returning designers; Hunter, with her immaculately constructed, understated and sexy garments and SZN, whose voluminous designs “highlight the wearer’s non-conforming spirit”. It’s always fun to see what the graduating class of the CIT come up with (they are not yet bound by the commercial nature of fashion and tend to explore some experimental designs) and I also have high hopes for the Canberra Vintage Collective, who will be showcasing a range of retro threads that are fun and less harmful to the environment.


SZN will be a returning designer in 2016

Hunter’s 2013 FASHFEST collection

2016 has also seen a record number of models flock to the runway, 150 in total, amoung them the returning former supermodel Anneliese Seubert.

Anneliese Seubert models a Rockstars and Royalty gown in 2013

Tickets to FASHFEST 2016 are still available, with a reduced price $49 silver ticket encouraging younger people and students to attend. With many of the models and artists being themselves students, it only makes sense to market the shows to their peers. Group bookings are also available (buy five tickets and get one free) in some sections. At the other end of the spectrum, special experience packages, which include an exclusive guided backstage tour, are available for VIP and Platinum ticket holders.

For more info or to buy tickets, head to fashfest.com.au.

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