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Floriade blooms in new collection hitting the runway at FASHFEST

By Glynis Quinlan - 2 September 2017 0

A Floriade-inspired dress from Zilpah Tart’s new collection which will be launched at FASHFEST at 9 pm on Saturday, September 30. Photo supplied by Zilpah Tart.

The beauty of Floriade in all its femininity, colour and splendour comes to FASHFEST this year in the form of garments based on full-scale photographs taken over the years at the floral festival.

Independent fashion designer Yumi Morrissey of the Zilpah Tart label is no stranger to celebrating Canberra’s landmarks with her Parliament House-inspired dresses worn by diplomats as a talking point overseas.

Now she takes that to a new level with her ‘Garden Paradise’ spring/summer collection showcasing the blooms, foliage and beautiful Spring scenery that comprise the Floriade experience.

In her fourth year of showcasing her work at FASHFEST, Ms Morrissey has built up a reputation for unique timeless garments based on patterns achieved through the digital manipulation of photographs she has taken of iconic institutions and scenes around Canberra.

A photo of Yumi Morrissey taken at FASHFEST 2016. Credit: Sparkling Weddings.

However, for her new collection of 12 looks that will go on show at FASHFEST later this month, Ms Morrissey has captured the full photos on the fabrics almost like a large-scale art-wall style print. Ms Morrissey chose three of her best photos for the designs, including:

  • one capturing a combination of violets and tulips, with large flowers around 30 centimetres wide
  • one depicting a variety of different coloured tulips in their flower beds, with plenty of green foliage
  • one which is almost a landscape photo and which depicts the sky and the lake with flowers in the foreground. For this one, Ms Morrissey has cut the fabric so that the garment has the full image on the dress.

“It’s quite unique, it’s definitely not trend-based. It’s very bright and feminine,” Ms Morrissey said of her new collection.

“It’s something that makes you stand out. My aim is to make women feel very good when they’re wearing it.”

A pretty loop scarf with large flowers from the new Zilpah Tart collection to be launched at FASHFEST. Photo supplied by Zilpah Tart.

This year, Ms Morrissey has also introduced new designs to her Zilpah Tart collection, including culottes, a jumpsuit, some special occasion dresses and new necklines suitable for the warmer weather.

The new collection will be launched at 9 pm on Saturday, September 30, the closing night of show 2 of FASHFEST.

And Ms Morrissey is planning to put on quite a show for the audience, with models to be communicating a garden nymph vibe which matches her Floriade-based collection. The effect will be achieved through hair and make-up creativity, such as models wearing flower petals on their faces.

The new Zilpah Tart collection will then be on sale at Floriade for two full weeks beginning the following Tuesday, October 3. As well as this, clothing from the collection can also be purchased online at https://www.zilpahtart.com.au/, at the Cardif Collective in Kingston, the Gungahlin Collective, at the Handmade Canberra markets and through ‘Design a Space’ stores in Melbourne.

Models showing off Zilpah Tart’s collection on the catwalk at FASHFEST 2016. Photo: Studio Vitae (Dough Hall).

This year’s FASHFEST will be held over three nights from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 September and will feature local, national and international designer collections over six fashion-packed shows.

For the first time, FASHFEST will this year shine the spotlight on textile designs and textile art from the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation, with 12 Indigenous designers presenting a high-end look created from textiles made in remote Northern Territory communities.

The 2017 festival will also highlight the diversity of six designers from New Zealand, and Alex Perry will be on the catwalk for the first time, in a show curated by Momento Dezigns.

However, FASHFEST will not lose its focus on local and independent designers, with many favourites returning such as Zilpah Tart, as well as Karen Lee and BT.  New independent labels will include De Challie Haute Couture, Gabrielle Spencer Bridal, Gehrich and Thunder Thighs.

Ms Morrissey said that FASHFEST has been really important for her development as a designer, “switching on a light” for her and challenging her to think outside the square and come up with designs that can be showcased in an entertaining show.

“For me, I always use FASHFEST as a way to launch the collection. All of my customers are usually really excited to see the new prints,” Ms Morrissey said.

Zilpah Tart’s Warrior collection was a hit at FASHFEST 2015. Photo: Shann Brown.

Tickets for Canberra’s largest annual red-carpet event are on sale now through www.fashfest.com.au. Ticket prices start from $49. VIP and Platinum ‘experience’ include exclusive guided backstage tours. Discounts available for two show packages and bookings of six tickets.

FASHFEST will be held at the National Convention Centre Canberra. The first show on each night starts at 7 pm and the second at 9.

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