FashFest 2014 – Opening Night

by The Editor

FashFest Logo

Reviewed by Top Notch

Fashfest is back, and didn’t Canberra turn out in its finest last night to see the latest and greatest offerings from a top crop of local designers? From the local glamours striking a opose in front of the media wall, through to the cool kids kicking back with a nonchalant glass of Moet, the crowd felt as diverse-yet-stylish as the collection on show.

So, what were the highlights of Fashfest’s opening night?


It might have been cold tonight but as is somewhat of a Fashfest tradtion we started with swimwear. Tonight we saw the swimsuit collaboration between designer Shelley Campton and art student Mimi Fairall – who was commissioned by Fashfest to produce a design that was then digitally printed onto fabric. Mimi’s design of graphic prints reminiscent of a  map or a subway system translated perfectly to the swimwear which had a sexy 70s feel, with low cut legs, cross over halter necks and cheeky cut aways.

We liked: the sexiness of the swimsuits paired with grosgrain straps adjustable with a couple of D rings.


The collection from WND-LND was a dessert buffet of super cute pastels in pink and peppermint, ranging from a pink puffy wool top to a neoprene shift to a pulled wool take on a flapper dress. Designer Zoe Brown, accessorised this collection with fairy floss matted woollen headpieces complete with cones and Octavia shoes.

We liked: that the collection was full of fun and cute but wearable pieces including a drop shirt dress and heart shirt.


Reneira delivered a two part collection that would fit neatly into any girls wardrobe:  Cigarette pants of white fabric with splashes of blue and texta like black lines, mixed in with classic short skirts and dresses of black and white lace are on everyones wish list.

We liked:  use of fabric in the designs and the connecting piece of the collection in lace but with a splatter of blue


CIT Grads

Tiger pants with a transparent skirt, a white suit that wouldn’t have been out of place in a science lab, garments that appeared to have other garments attached and a beautiful green shift dress with attached embelishment were just some of the pieces by final year CIT students that intrigued us.

We liked: the sculptural suede coat with exaggerated hips and cut outs and the selection of garments that could be interchanged and worn in a variety of ways, providing options for travelling light!

The Darling Sisters

Gingham dresses for a picnic, nautical halter neck jumpsuits and gorgeous wide leg pants for a jaunt by the seaside and a petticoat frock for the dance later in evening.

We liked: that the Darling Sisters had us covered for all activities in beautiful, gorgeous vintage inspired clothing.

The Darling Sisters Swimwear

Flattering vintage swimwear in polka dots and stripes for all women with ruching in all the right places.

We liked: How well fitting these swimsuits looked and the cotton one pieces with the cute little skirt flap

Stage Label

A number of designers showed under Stage Label and all brought something different to the stage.  We were treated mainly to glamorous floor length gowns but also to a small range of menswear that showed well the effect of layering and mixing textures.

We liked: the gowns with intricate embellishments including  sculptural shoulders with fringing and a superb dress of netting with flowers

Rockstars and Royalty

Wow! This was an exquisite and extremely professional collection, commencing with a range of the deepest of black ruffled and pieced gowns, moving through into white and salmon gowns which flickered with a hint of silver. The detail and embellishment on these gowns was equalled by the head pieces which, made from feathers and beads, were every bit as intricate and precise.

We liked:  that this did not disappoint as the big finale to the night and favourite dresses included the pink layer strapless dress and the crocheted lace dress.  Just need an occasion to wear them!


We’ll be back tomorrow with more of Fashfest 2014.  Stay tuned!


All images by Chris Whitfield/Courtesy of OutinCanberra.com.au