This year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane is full of new surprises. From the brand new venue at Howard Smith Wharves, to the Lunch With The Girls showcasing everyone’s favourite personality, the stylish Kerri – Anne Kennerley, through to the highly anticipated Next Gen Show in the quirky Fantauzzo Hotel. Fashionistas from Brisbane and beyond have spent weeks excitedly waiting for this annual event. Whether you love shoes, handbags or salivate over the latest fashion trends there is something for everyone in this year’s sold out shows. SheSociety will bring you all the latest news, showcase your favourite designers and introduce you to some of Brisbane’s biggest and most innovative names in fashion.
Today began with a delicious lunch in the iconic City Hall. It was catered by Epicure. The fashions in the audience were eclectic with a smattering of Australian brands like White Label Noba, Sacha Drake and Scanlan and Theodore, as well as a veritable smorgasboard of designer brands. Designers Tracey Watkins ( White Label Noba) and Sacha Drake came along to the event and were both celebrating Brisbane Fashion.
Standout ensembles were Margot McKinney, in a lovely green floral dress designed by Paul Hunt for her special visit to Highgrove. Margot donated a beautiful necklace which went home with one lucky and very stunned guest. Mary Dickinson from BMaryd wowed in an artistic bespoke electric blue coat from the Haus of Kimbralou and the ever sparkly Brooke Falvey from What Brooke Wore looked glam in a Retrofete Gabrielle Dress in Unicorn Stripes. The whole crowd looked very special and our heads were in a spin trying to take in all the beautiful colours and quintessential Queensland styles. Our hosts for the day looked lovely, Georgina Lewis wore a pale pink Scanlan and Theodore, Kerri – Anne Kennerley dazzled in a sparkly Carla Zampatti tuxedo and Bianca Dye wore a lovely animal print frock from White Label Noba. During a panel discussion they discussed their fashion faux pas from past seasons and encouraged us all to just have fun with fashion.
The Fashion Parade was styled by the talented Kimberly Gardner and gave us all a little taste of things to come over the next few days. Our table loved the pale pink layered gown and white lace pants and shirt from White Label Noba, as well as the boho looks from Bonita. Elizabeth O’Connor – Cowley impressed with her hand designed, made and painted dresses to accompany her lovely handbag collection. Alice McCall was playful in pretty shades of yellow and lilac in a knit fabric and Viktoria and Woods showed structure and style.
In the evening I headed back to the buzzing Howard Smith Wharves for the QUEENSPLAZA Fashion Show which was once again styled by busy Styling Director, Kimberly, this time showcasing fashion from David Jones and the QUEENSPLAZA stores. Gorgeous Georgina Lewis was our host once again, wearing an elegant hot pink dress from Aje and metallic sandals. QUEENSPLAZA ambassador Tess Alexander was front row, as was Brooke from What Brooke Wore. Sitting near me I spied Sally from Steele My Style, Marie from the The Brisbane Girl and Linda Lola, as well as Mr Hollywood in Oz, Damien Anthony Rossi.
The Fashion was from Aje, Alice McCall , Calibre, David Jones, Sass and Bide, Scanlan and Theodore and Viktoria and Woods. Paspaley and Mimco showed off their beautiful accessories. Looks to covet were the suiting in neutrals, often fine checks, with ¾ length pants. Lavender, lilac and yellow were big on the runway and in the audience. There were plenty of white and burnt orange dresses for Spring / Summer plus floaty dresses in stripes and floral for your next ladies lunch. Sass and Bide showed off washed pale denim, black sequins for night and white jackets and shorts. Scanlan and Theodore embraced Summer in a gorgeous tropical print tiered dress in blues and browns perfect for a Summer party. Florals and ruffles were big in tops, playsuits and dresses.
For the men, models like Jett Kenny, showed off new season printed shirts and chinos, shorts with shirts and blazers, tuxedos, suiting and whimsical board shorts and bombers.
The Brisbane Fashion Festival is all about spotlighting the very best of Queensland, Australian and Next Gen Fashion. Spring and Summer fashion is the season we are renowned for here in Queensland and it’s a great way for us to showcase our fashion and climate, nationally and internationally. The Festival is unique in that it highlights the Spring/ Summer Collections at the same time they land in stores, so you can make these fashions yours now. There was a lot to love in the QUEENSPLAZA parade and I think the tiered Alice McCall white dress may have to come and find a new home in my wardrobe, along with a lovely silk floaty frock in pinks, red and cream. The modern venue, Howard’s Hall, is perfect for viewing the collections and as I gazed out at the dazzling Story Bridge there was no place in the world I’d rather be on such a magical night.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).