It was a steamy Brisbane day when our state’s most fashionable came together for the annual Women in Fashion Long Lunch and Awards ceremony. Like a colourful flock of lorikeets chirping and preening we gathered in the salubrious surrounds of The Rooftop, GOMA. Hosted by Women in Fashion Global and headed by the tireless Upma Kite (Director of both Women in Fashion and Ravishing Fashionistas), guests enjoyed champagne and canapés before taking our places at the long, long tables.
Sponsored by Slim Magazine this stylish soirée overlooking the Brisbane River was decorated in shades of pink. The festive air was only enhanced by the golden goodie bags brimming with gifts. This is the first year that Director, Upma Kite has taken the reins from founder of the concept, Carly Vidal Wallace. Upma admirably honoured Carly’s legacy. The format remained the same and in the same venue for as the organisers said, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Hosting for the day was Brisbane’s own Mr. Hollywood and media personality, Damien Anthony Avery – Rossi. Damien introduced Upma Kite who looked ravishing in a hot pink lace Sonia Stradiotto pant suit. Next was our fashion panel with Carly Vidal Wallace hosting a Q&A session with fashion identities Liz Golding, Sonia Stradiotto and Deborah Fisher who explained the changing face of fashion, the need to pivot over time and their thoughts on the future of fashion, with AI playing a big role.
After a scrumptious lunch we waited as the prestigious awards were announced and sponsors presented the coveted trophies. The afternoon saw awards handed out in fifteen categories and celebrated the wealth of talent and leading lights in the Queensland fashion industry. Judged by well-known stylist, Di Cant and Brisbane’s Lady Mayoress, Nina Schrinner these hotly contested awards showcased many nominees and winners in six major categories. Here are the lucky finalists and winners in these categories.
Top Fashion Model – Madeline Marziac
Finalists – Tahlia Banning, Chelsea Fursdon, Melissa Gelonese, Mercy Woods
Most Notable Designer of The Year – Chamani Weerasekara
Finalists – Sacha Drake, Alyssa Mc Donald, Teddie McRitchie, Sher Lo
Best Iconic Personality – Kimberly Gardner
Finalists – Damien Anthony Avery – Rossi, Di Cant OAM, Liz Golding, Fleur Madden, Debbie Miller
Best Fashion Event – Winner – Glamorous Runway Luncheon (by Sonia Stradiotto)
Finalists – Brisbane Fashion Month, Labels on the Lawn, Rise to the Runway, The Glamourossi Spring Fashion Long Lunch
Stylist of The Year – Kimberly Gardner
Finalists – Annabel Falco, Liz Golding, Gabby Hammet, Style by Kara.
Best Dressed 2023 – Dale Olsson
Finalists – Jo Boon, Mary Crofton, Inessa McIntyre, Louise Owen
I spoke to innovation winner – Michelle from Boob Accessory Solutions whose innovation, an ingenious clip, gives you so many more options when wearing your dresses and tops. I was pleased to see well-loved Brisbane Arcade designer Wendy Diggles take out the award for best jewellery and accessories.
The day ended with a lively after party at the Soleil Rooftop Bar, Rydges Hotel where the winners celebrated long into the night. A hearty congratulations to all involved for celebrating the beauty and passion that is Queensland fashion. Many people don’t see all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes amidst the glitz and glamour. Today was a day to foster connections, to celebrate achievements and most of all to encourage us all to get behind our local fashion scene, to support our Brisbane businesses and to think, shop and dress local.
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!).