21 September 2017

FASHFEST gets Hyper Real at the NGA pop up parade

| Wendy Johnson
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Claire Emily Mackey and Patricia Piccinini

Karen Lee holding ‘The offering’, a miniature hyperreal sculpture by artist Patricia Piccinini, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Model Claire Emily Mackey wearing fashion by Karen Lee and top hat by Thunder Thighs.

Something Hyper Real is going on this Saturday, 23 September, at the esteemed National Gallery of Australia. At 1pm, models will pop up wearing innovative clothing created by some of the hottest designers showcasing at FASHFEST 2017.

FASHFEST Vs Hyper Real sees Canberra’s biggest fashion event draw inspiration from the weird, wonderful and uncanny artworks in the NGA’s upcoming summer blockbuster, Hyper Real, in a pop up parade featuring two towering runways. It’s also a sneak peek to what FASHFEST will roll out at this year’s red-carpet event. It’s the first time the NGA has had a fashion show on site.

At least six fashion designers will explore Hyper Real’s representation of humanity amplified, sending out models dressed in an eclectic range of fashion, including hand-stitched massive gowns and colourful pieces commanding attention.

Karen Lee, the designer behind Karen Lee and owner of Assemblage Project, an upmarket women’s fashion shop in Braddon, has had her garment created for some time and can’t wait to see it at the National Gallery of Australia.

‘I’ve created an outfit which features a jacket with stripped sleeves which appear to float on the arm. The sculptural, brilliant red skirt imitates the voluminous ball gowns of the past, cheekily exposing the human form,’ says the designer who made the garment in the midst of completing her spring-summer collection for FASHFEST 2017.

At the free pop-up show, guests will also get close to two magnificent gowns just completed by De Challie Haute Couture. The gowns, by designer Hajar Gala of De Challie, who now calls Canberra home, will then be carefully packed up and head to Paris Fashion Week. Hajar was trained in the French method of haute couture at the International Fashion Academy. A selection of other De Challie gowns will be presented at FASHFEST, on Friday night, 29 September.

FASHFEST will draw inspiration from the weird, wonderful and uncanny artworks in Hyper Real when creating hair and makeup for the show, says Diana Cheetham, Director of Makeup for FASHFEST. ‘We’re giving our artists complete license to “go for it”.’

Opening 20 October and running until 18 February, Hyper Real charts the evolution of hyperrealism since the early 1970s through a jaw-dropping display of renderings of the human form in sculpture, video, digital art, virtual reality and bio-art. The exhibition magnifies the traditional understanding of hyperrealism beyond the illusion of ultra-realistic human skin by inviting visitors to experience digital simulations, online existence, and virtual reality.

‘Fashion and art go hand in hand,’ says Alison Wright, NGA Assistant Director. ‘Hyper Real explores touching, unusual and even disconcerting elements of what it means to be human, and it’s fantastic to see FASHFEST’s designers drawing inspiration from this exciting material.’

Hyper Real tickets available via Ticketek.

FASHFEST tickets are on sale now: www.fashfest.com.au from $49. The event is being held at the National Convention Centre Canberra, with six shows over three nights (28 September to 30 September), with after parties at QT Canberra.

This article was written by Wendy Johnson for FASHFEST.

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