FashFest Lands at Canberra Airport – Night One

by The Editor

FashFest F

Well, gentlefolk and fashion fans, finally we are off and running with FashFest. We’ve just returned from the premiere evening where the first five designers showed their wares on the airports most fashionable runway. So, what did we find? What can you expect? How did it go?

FashFest organisers Andrea and Clinton Hutchinson

FashFest organisers Andrea and Clinton Hutchinson

Well, a sea of colourful, swirling lights greeted Canberra’s fashionistas as they made their way to a part of the airport not accustomed to such colour and shape. The broad ramp leading to the entry of No. 3 Molonglo gave a feeling of grandeur, as attendants confirmed revellers’tickets prior to even reaching the front entrance.

FashFest - The Bar

Inside, the massive Wednesday-night crowd mimicked the frenzy of the outside lights as they snacked on hors d’oeuvres from Shorty’s and drank from the bar manned by Canberra’s new kids from EightySix Restaurant.  Familiar faces from Canberra’s design scene over the years soaked up the excitement of our city’s first real crack at a multi-evening fashion event, while a crop of bright young things checked out who-was-who while dressed with a mix of elegance and adventure.

(Note: if you’re heading to any of the remaining nights – for comfort’s sake take a jacket. It got a little cool in the concrete construction site)

FashFest - The Seats

But not for long.  Shortly before 8.30 guests were asked to take their place, admitted to the seating area in order of the cost of their tickets (quite appropriately really, when one hosts a show at an airport!). Before we knew it (and through a pretty herculean effort by the ushers) everyone had their seats.

The lights darkened and it was show time.

Fittingly, we were treated to a montage of scenes celebrating the Centenary of Canberra via the four large video screens at rear of the catwalk. After a few minutes we were in the dark again.  Local electronic and vocal duo Shotgun Cubs kicked into action and would go on to supply 45 minutes of amazing musical accompaniment.

Now, it was finally time for Canberra’s fashion to take centre stage.

 FashFest - The Music


A brave and strong rebuttal of the impending winter as cheeky cuts showed of strong patterns.

We liked: the sheer audacity of showing off swimwear in autumn. It was an act of rebellion that set the scene for the evening.


Simple with natural details – a very natural approach to colour and shape, so much so felt like we had stumbled across a group of Forrest dwellers.

We liked: Simple and cute designs that looked wonderfully easy to wear.

Perpetually Five

Boys in shorts and colourful patterns, accented by transparent umbrellas, bright red suitcases and balloons.

What we liked: What’s not to love?  If Canberra’s men dressed like this the Public Service would be a happier place.

Lisa T

Lots of furs, legs and large jackets. Perhaps in anticipation of a Canberra winter’s sunny days and cold nights. A most consistent collection with depth and detail

We liked: The Owl Cape. Wow. Just Wow!


Zoe brown’s quirky designs have been a favourite of ours for ages now – and she did not disappoint. This collection showed a slight shift to the darker side – perhaps well chosen for a winter palate

We liked: Cheeky chalk grey shorts matched with a black jacket emblazoned with ‘VIRGIN’


Rockstars & Royalty

Typically outrageous and utterly uncompromising, it was great to see R&R make the transition from pure bridal to experimental catwalk.

We liked: Green and gold. Not for its patriotism – more for the only use of that palette over the evening, and done to striking effect.

It was a fantastic effort all round.  Congratulations to the organisers, volunteer, the models and the designers. We’ll be back tomorrow with another collection of Canberra’s finest designers. We can’t wait.