Under the stars in Brisbane’s King George Square, a fashionable crowd gathered for the Brisbane Fashion Festival. Boasting three days of fashion and fun , the brightly lit City Hall was the stunning backdrop for the stage and catwalk.The audience hushed as they were welcomed by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Ambassador of the Festival, Nina Schrinner. They re-iterated the role of fashion to our economy, to the creativity of our city and to our local labels, most of whom are small businesses. Labels like White Label Noba, Sacha Drake and Maiocchi are all from Brisbane’s own designers and they need our support if they are to thrive and survive as the pandemic rages on.
But tonight was all about the celebration of fashion and there was a huge surprise in the form of Naomi Price, who belted out the anthem made famous by Jessica Mauboy, Absolutely Everybody, as the excited crowd sang along. The first night runway was the Treasury Brisbane Fashion Show showcasing designers including: Aje, Bianca Spender, Calibre, Jets Australia, Ginger & Smart, David Jones, article:, Camargue and Samantha Ogilvie.
Aje were first up and it was amazing to see the models appear on the high catwalk before weaving through the crowd. This ensured everyone had a wonderful view. Aje had plenty of pattern with muted shades of green, blue and nude plus pops of pretty pink, white and yellow. A navy dress with full skirt and voluminous sleeves caught my eye. There were midriff baring designs and the signature silks and classic silhouettes for which Aje is famous. Bianca Spender takes classic with a modern edge to the next level and featured flowing dresses, silky jumpsuits and blue and white.
Swimwear was up next with Jets Australia showing the looks we’ll be coveting for our next visit to a resort. Soft patterned one and two pieces flattered and the array of cover ups was amazing. There were long sleeved swimsuits for the sun conscious, like me, and great maxi dresses which will see you swishing up to the pool bar. There was an olive green palette, belted pieces and some cool high waist bikinis. The range sported something for everyone.
I had seen Ginger & Smart’s collection in Sydney recently and loved it but here were some pieces that were new to me. Wearable jumpsuits in print, plain and satin gave an ageless style. A buttoned and twist tied dress in light dusky blue was an elegant option. Suiting sported a modern edge n classic colours and I coveted the cream shirt dress worn by Emma Hambleton. The patterned dresses were so pretty and romantic and most were an elegant mid length. A midriff baring white small ruffled all over top and maxi skirt was the show stopper in this collection.
Local accessories label article: added a French touch with their music and classic style. This label’s range of beautiful customisable handbags, pochettes and accessories for men and women have been designed with form and function in my mind. Designer and founder, Elizabeth O’Connor – Cowley has carefully engineered each piece to be extremely useful as well as beautiful and her colour palette, including navy, black, oyster and ballet pink is truly elegant. I receive compliments every time I use my large ballet pink pochette.
Menswear was not forgotten with a range from Calibre and David Jones. David Jones also displayed lots of modern suiting style for women in black and white and perhaps my favourite dress of the evening, a soft pink high necked button through dress with an interesting neckline and ruffled hem. It was pure femininity. Lots of blue, green and yellow and even mixed prints caught the eye of this writer. I love the selection at David Jones and it’s often great to find all your favourite labels in one place. I have bought the dress for my son’s wedding from David Jones with the advice of their lovely personal shopper, Melody.
Camargue impressed this pink lover with pink in shorts, jackets and tops and dresses. Dresses had such interesting shapes. There were maxi skirts, plenty of pretty white, cutaways, voluminous statement sleeves, ruffles and must have checks. The perfect Summer yellow dress was twirl worthy. Samantha Ogilvie provided one of the showstoppers of the night with a pretty gold pleated sundress perfect for your next event. Midriff baring leather trousers and top in tan were cool. There were floral slip dresses, colourful co-ords and even a nod to the Olympics with a green cami paired with cool gold pants. A lovely two piece set of yellow top and maxi skirt was beautiful and an elegant orange top and pants would look right at home in my wardrobe.
Fashion is back in Brisbane and as always it’s breezy, beautiful, colourful and unique. If you can’t make it in real time to the shows this year, like me, it is all being live-streamed on the Brisbane Fashion Festival page and you can have a leisurely look through the galleries in your own time. It’s easy to earn your fashion fix and look forward to the warm weather looming. You can also be inspired to curate your own wardrobe and see which of the looks you can work back from pieces in your own wardrobe. There is so much inspiration and so many styles to suit all tastes and stages in Queensland’s Premier Fashion Event.
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!).