With over 30 fashion events over six days at various Perth locations, it was going to be mission impossible to see and do everything the Perth Fashion Festival had on offer this year. The standout evening shows at Fashion Paramount for me started with the WA Designer Collection show. With a focus this year on 13 new and emerging designers, including some of my favourites, this show was always going to be on my must-see list, followed closely by Designer Capsule 2 and Student Runway.
These shows might not have had the VIP appeal like the opening and closing nights but they still had glamour, genuine talent and were definite audience favourites. While Perth has some incredible emerging new talent and some amazing designers that have stood the test of time and the economy, I’m bringing you just a glimpse of my favourite five designers from the 2013 festival who I believe will be worth watching in 2014 and beyond. While I’m a huge fan of their designs, I’m also impressed with the passion and ambition of the business women behind the brands.
After graduating as the WA Vocational Student of the Year and runner-up Australian Vocational student of the year (Polytechnic West in 2010) Jonté Pike tried her hand at some capsule work before being offered a textile scholarship to Japan in 2011. Following her return to Perth Jonté launched her first full collection.
Not new to the runway, having showcased in national and international trade shows and fashion weeks including Japan, South Korea, Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast, Jonté was an obvious inclusion at PFF this year as part of the WA Designer Collections show.
The latest collection combines contrasting colours with the use of fine fabrics including silk, cotton and leathers together with laser cut fabric and crystal details. I had a sneak peek at some of next year’s collection and it’s all going to make its way into my wardrobe! More at www.jontelamode.com.
Having hit the runways at both Perth Fashion week and Perth Fashion Festival last year, this luxury swimwear label by designer Louise Bond has been making waves since 2011. Louise designs cutting edge ultra modern swimwear that is not only fashionable but functional.
The latest collection from Bikini Atoll, titled Revolution, is inspired by the French Revolution period and incorporates laser cut lace inspired designs. All garments are not only designed but made in Australia using only the highest quality locally and internationally sourced fabrics and trims.
Bikini Atoll appeared at PFF this year as part of Designer Capsule 2 and had everyone talking when Louise’s gorgeous son made an appearance on the runway.
More at www.bikiniatollswimwear.com.
Former Karate champion turned designer Jessica Bratich might be a new addition to the PFF runway but she has already made her designer mark on the international stage showcasing last year at New York fashion week.
Jessica’s zippered and studded leather bags are not only practical and functional but are real statement pieces. Jessica’s inspiration for her designs came from her own frustrations at not being able to find pieces she liked.
The latest collection Metal Works uses a mixture of hard and soft quality leather pieces with structured and smooth textures to give the bags an edgy look. Inspired by metal, the collection is full of heavily studded statement pieces for the sexy, cool, rock chic woman.
I’m looking forward to adding Jessica Bratich bag number 6 to my collection after spotting it on the runway.
More at www.jessicabratich.com.
One of Perth’s up and coming designers Steph Audino and her Seaside Sanctuary Collection hit the runway as part of the 2012 Perth Fashion Festival. Steph’s designs have fast become favourites with national and international celebrities including Mel B. Steph’s designs are chic and vibrant with a mix of striking hemlines and intense colours as well as your classic black and white pieces.
The latest ready to wear collection Euphoria and Steph’s couture collection were a huge favourite with the crowd as part of the Designer Capsule 2 show. I spotted a number of Steph’s designs on VIPs throughout the festival. Front row with me for the show all the way from the USA was stylist and fashion columnist Hailee Pue, wearing one of Steph’s latest designs. The intricate beading and attention to detail on the gorgeous black and white number really caught the eye of the crowd.
More at www.stepaudino.com.au.
Betty’s first collection hit the runway during New York Fashion Week last year along with other Australian designers including Jessica Bratich. Since then the Betty Tran label has gone from strength to strength with stores at Raine Square (Perth CBD) and Times Square Claremont as well as the recent launch of an online store.
Inspired by a recent trip to France, Betty describes her latest collection La Muse, as being for the quintessential modern women, combining career, adventure, romance and family. Each garment aims to be timeless, functional and versatile, inspiring the wearer to look and feel great. More at www.bettytran.com.au.
Having attended Student Runway, with so many fabulous student designers showcasing across four categories (Women’s Ready-to-Wear, Men’s Ready-to-Wear, Eco design and Evening Wear) I’m including Melanie Nicholls from WAAPA to my list. Melanie picked up an award for her Ready-to-Wear number as well as being awarded the overall winner on the night. Melanie will be a designer to watch in the future.
Still on fashion but slightly left field, is Rayne Embley, who did a fantastic job MC’ing a number of the fashion shows at Wesley Quarter and Fashion Central throughout the festival. Business woman, blogger, mother of three and so much more, I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next for the ever fashionable Rayne and her Embley Empire.
Photos by Ms Mystery Case