On a beautiful Brisbane evening , the city’s fashion lovers headed out wearing their finery, to enjoy the Ravishing Fashionistas Fashion Show 2021. As I hopped off the escalator at the Royal International Convention Centre I stopped short as I was greeted by a sea of glitter, sequins and colour.This dazzling evening hosted by founder, Upma Kite, Liz Murrihy and the Ravishing Fashionistas Team was abuzz with excitement and proved to be an amazing showcase of Queensland labels modelled by women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities. It was simply breathtaking , with a beautiful soundtrack only adding to the fun.
In the well dressed audience I spied Brisbane’s Queen of Hats , Dale Olsson dressed in Sonia Stradiotto Couture, Mr Hollywood in Oz – Damien Anthony Rossi, Sarah Hutson from SFH Designs dressed in a glittering gold jumpsuit, Bronwyn Smith from Irma J. Smith House of Fashion clad in one of her own timeless designs, Cheryl Creed from Murrii Quu Couture in head to toe fashionable black and Millinery designers Flora Fascinata and Wendy from Belle Folie in Brisbane Arcade.
We were welcomed to the show by a glittering Liz Murrihy before the evening began with a blast of gold and sequins.The beautiful Angela Clark led the way down the catwalk for the glamorous RF Label. These gowns were all Hollywood Glamour and I coveted many of the beautiful styles. Next was Cairns based label Murrii Quu Couture from designer Cheryl Creed. Cheryl’s elegant silhouettes, all in black, never fail to delight and are all made with exquisite fabrics in flattering cuts.The audience loved them. Next was our emerging designers from TAFE Designs whose playful, colourful and whimsical silhouettes gave a nod to the future of fashion. A dramatic red billowing coat modelled by Mary Croft was a real showstopper.
Jade and Heidi Bond have created Wrapped In Light, a label that shows wearable pieces in shades of white and yellow. Shorts, jumpsuits, dresses and ruffles were a feature of this playful collection perfect for a Queensland Summer. Designer, Rebecca Crawford, showed classic silhouettes in a minimalist style with her label, Ulterior Uniform. I coveted a beautiful grey suit with stripes and buttons and a shirt dress with a lapel with big white buttons. I could see Rebecca’s pieces being those in your wardrobe that you return to again and again. Her eye for detail was amazing.
With a burst of colour Sarah Hutson’s models from SFH Designs burst onto the stage like a tropical fruit salad.There were embellished denim pieces. Sarah has an embellishing station in-store and there were plenty of billowy floral frocks in a riot of colours. A blue sheer and sparkling star dress drew gasps from the audience. It was so pretty! I loved the rainbow sequinned jumpsuit with matching head scarf and an embroidered jacket paired with a green satin slip dress seemed to boast every jewel colour imaginable. A great statement look! All looks were paired with bold earrings and pretty headwear.
Energy abounded as Tuntifady burst onto the catwalk with a range of colourful dresses boasting voluminous sleeves, ruffles and elaborate headwear. These African inspired designs took me straight back to my travels in Africa with the beats in the music inviting the audience to dance. I remembered steps from my nights under African skies dancing in the Bomas. The models were having a ball.
Buluuy Murri’s designs shared some lovely indigenous designs in beautiful fabrics. A gold mustard coloured pattern was a feature in beautiful gowns, as were colourful dresses with high – low hems. Different again were the styles from Monica Tovar who creates hand -painted limited-edition pieces, each possessing a distinctive mix of colours. These were wearable works of art celebrating humanity in all it’s cultural diversity. Inspired by places and spaces in South America, the colours are awash with the beauty of purples, gold, aqua and blues. Her flowing and comfortable designs are created for all women and are pieces you would have in your wardrobe forever.
The well dressed ladies of Brisbane know that for couture fashion in classic and timeless shapes, made with extraordinary fabrics and attention to detail, you need to visit Bronwyn at Irma J. Smith House of Fashion. The models floated down the catwalk in a variety of gowns and bespoke suiting. From a black long sheath in sequins to a playful sequin dress in spots of red, yellow and blue, these creations exuded elegance. A pink Chanel inspired suit caught my eye and a red brocade skirt with a red sequin top would not have looked out of place at the Oscars. There were tweed looks paired with floral in the same colour way and plenty of the designer’s signature pussy bow shirts. Fringing was a feature and the textural elements and craftsmanship were divine.
Another favourite was the work of Moreno Marco, whose high end fashion looks would not look out of place on the catwalks in Milan. Angela Clark led the way once again in a two piece midriff baring voluminous skirt and embroidered top. Hand embroidery and embellishments featured in these looks with sheer tulle and mesh used to good effect. The colour and drama of a fuchsia one shouldered dress impressed the crowd and was given the edge by being worn with sky high knee high boots. The fashion shows finale was a colourful flourish from Sunshine Coast brand, Czarina, whose swirling kaftans in a range of fabulous prints caught the eye of many fashionistas. Every length of dress and shape was catered for and no matter what your favourite colour you will find it in this collection, perfect for swishing from poolside to bar and dinner on your next holiday.
Lady Mayoress, Nina Schrinner, reminded us that in Brisbane one in three people are migrants, so it is so important to embrace the diversity to be found in our vibrant community and to also support our local fashion industry if it is to survive and thrive. Judging from the happy faces in the audience the show was a great success. By showing the beauty of all women, the Ravishing Fashionistas Fashion Show encourages us all to be kind to others, tolerant of differences and proud of our own uniqueness. I think that is just what the world needs right now and She Society are proud to be a part of spreading that message.
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!).