Fashion-forward Canberra

by The Editor


It’s said that innovation happens at the edge of industry. This is certainly true of Canberra.

Being on the edge of major centres like Sydney and Melbourne, we’ve truly come into our own as a thriving mini-metropolis—an inspirational place exploding with eclectic, imaginative minds. These minds are bursting with creative ideas and fuelling amazing stuff in our nation’s tiny capital. If you’re still wondering if we’ve got what it takes, you simply don’t get out enough.

Take Fashfest, which made a dramatic entrance into the fashion scene here last year. It seemed to come out of nowhere and then—BAM—four nights, and four different shows unfolding before our very eyes at the award-winning Canberra Airport. Twenty-eight designers, all with a strong connection to Canberra. Dozens of local models. Local hair and make-up artists. Local music that thrilled. Superb lighting and sound. Media attention second to none.

The inaugural Fashfest smashed it. Just under 3,350 guests attended, far exceeding the initial target of 1,200. Gold ticket packages, enabling the ticket holder to attend all four shows, sold in record time. Tickets sales were in such demand that standing room only had to be released to cope (you can find our previous coverage here).

Even before the event was over the question on the minds of core team members was: ‘What next?’

Clint Hutchinson, who co-founded Fashfest with his wife Andrea, realised well before the show started on opening night, that Canberrans have an intense appetite for fashion and love to be fed. Fashfest became the biggest joint business venture of its kind held in the fashion world here—further evidence people were clamouring to be involved in such a large-scale, red-carpet affair.

There was no doubt Fashfest would have to ramp it up to fulfill its dream of becoming a permanent fixture on Canberra’s annual social calendar—our own version of the big fashion events held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

So here we are. 2014.

Will Fashfest be bigger and better? Is it on its way to becoming a sustainable event?

You bet, says Clint. You bet.

Fashfest 2014 will be again be held at the Canberra Airport 30 April to 3 May and tickets are already running hot.

What’s new you ask?


There’s no doubt that Fashfest is growing. This year 850 guests a night will fill pre-assigned, tiered seating.

For the first time, ‘special experience packages’ are on offer for VIP and Platinum-level tickets, which include a guided tour of the exciting happenings back stage.

A suite of new designers is on board, all with a strong connection to Canberra. Fave designers from last year are back, with new collections being created now.

New sponsors are also on board, including Moet et Chandon, which will host a special VIP bar area, and Rolfe Classic BMW.

The after party is being held on site this year (so very convenient). Stay tuned for the new music line up, featuring super local acts pulled together by Fashfest’s very own Music Director.

And Fashfest continues to smash records. Look at this year’s model call. More than 160 models rocked up to the East Hotel last month, trembling with excitement. They came from all corners of Canberra, and from Sydney, to walk down the makeshift catwalk one step at a time showing their style with fingers crossed they would make the cut for 2014. It was the biggest model call ever held for a single fashion event in the capital.

Fashfest is a showcase of Canberra fashion—four nights, four distinct shows. 30 April to 4 May at the Canberra Airport, a major Fashfest partner.

Got your ticket yet?

Photos: Leighton Hutchinson, Fashfest’s official event photographer.