Brisbane’s annual Natural Fibres Fashion Parade (was called the Wool Parade), produced by Laura Churchill, did not disappoint. There were 16 designers, and 13 student designers, showcasing this year’s theme ‘Nature in Bloom’. A lovely aperitif for the upcoming Mercedes fashion week at the end August and October’s Brisbane Fashion Month.
But behind the gorgeous gowns and sharp suits, designers had deeper messages and stories to tell. Sustainability in fashion is arguably the design trend of the decade and all of the designs emphasise quality and longevity, these are garments to be loved for a long time, not just a season. The designs and labels on this runway were a million miles away from fast fashion. The fairy-lighted branches of two huge trees framed the lavender-lit stage as violin soloist Emma Beau strolled down the runway.
Dianne Mayocchi’s quirky bright bamboo and cotton Japanese and custom print dresses were swiftly followed by a soft palette of Rudi Miro’s signature effortless, classic silhouette tops, trousers and skirt.
Ileana the Label continued the soft brown and pink pastels in cool comfortable linen trousers, a backless wrap-around top, coat dress and backless dress.
White Label Noba gave a nod to between-seasons with sophisticated knitted green and dark navy poncho tops, and fringed and striped pencil skirts; and for warmer days, long swishy leopard print coat and skirt with sheer black top.
But nothing says spring like flowers. Annalisse Designs showed off their floaty feminine side with big bright flowered fabrics and a bit of fun with big flower appliques on 7/8 trousers and top.
While Jericho Road’s shifts, tops and skirt went bold and simple with big orange daisies.
In Occasion Wear, Living Silk’s bold solid coloured dresses flowed and flattered.
While Sacha Drake showed how to speak figure flattering in three different styles in lace, silk and linen.
Men’s fashion was well represented by the classic country by Ringers Western, down-to-earth wearable WS Workshop and the uncompromising tailored suits of Wil Valour, all sharing a passion for quality clothing designed locally.
Mojalivin and Pure Dreamwear share a passion for helping communities through their fashion label. Having grown up in refugee camps, Salomon Lukonga launched Mojalivin to use his love for fashion to help combat poverty.
Pure Dreamwear’s founders Melissa & Robert Taylor, wish everyone was free to dream and have partnered with sewing centres in Cambodia to help vulnerable women.
Congratulations to the talented students from Australian Institute of Creative Design AICD, Queensland University of Technology QUT, Billy Blue College of Design and TAFE Qld.
The student designers were showcased in different days over the course of Ekka, but they are listed below and we caught some of them. Billy Blue student Joshua Djordjewitsch’s dramatic asymmetrical cutaway black dress and coat.
QUT Ronan Horstman’s beautiful white formal gown with keyhole back. QUT Kat Harvey’s eco-dyed silk slip nightie and dressing gown.
Of course the highlight of any show is the formal and bridal wear. The gorgeous off-the-shoulder and ruffled bespoke designs of Isabella Longginou vied for attention with the Wendy Makin elegant classic ball gown in over-sized pastel-blue flowered silk print.
But Kirsten Fletcher stole the light, literally, as the house lights dimmed to show off her fantasy fairy-light angel-winged feathery gown.
Emma played us all out with her violin, as the bedecked bridal party posed for photos.
If you’d like to check out the designers:
Ileana the Label https://ileanathelabel.com/
Isabella Longginou https://www.isabellalongginou.com.au/
Jericho Road https://www.jerichoroadclothing.com.au/
Kirsten Fletcher http://www.kirstenfletcher.com/projects
Living Silk https://www.livingsilk.com/
Pure Dreamwear https://puredreamwear.com/pages/about-us
Ringers Western https://www.ringerswestern.com/
Rudi Miro https://rudimiro.com/
Sacha Drake https://www.sachadrake.com/default.aspx
Wendy Makin https://www.wendymakin.com/
White Label Noba https://www.whitelabelnoba.com/
Wil Valor https://www.wilvalor.com.au/
Australian Institute of Creative Design AICD: Rosie Elkington, Benji Coco, Ella Rose Bordis
Billy Blue College of Design: Tea Marinov, Juanita Pardo, Courtney Sanders, Andrea Walker, Fiona Waller, Joshua Djordjewitsch https://www.notjustalabel.com/djordjewitsch
TAFE Qld: Thu Nguyen, Gloria Chung
Tea-drinker, writer and editor. Ecologist, environmental scientist, futurist and student of irony.
Reader of romance and science fiction. Practicing cat-herder. Frequently succumbs to the need to write. Rarely succumbs to the need to vacuum.
She also has a website at http://kalyonnswrites.weebly.com/ and http://www.longnightcafe.com/