Ever-Evolving #FASHFEST in Canberra

Fashion is ever-changing, some say revolving more than evolving; with retro looks re-emerging from decades past yet not forgotten – snippets of styles left amongst the plethora of movies, shared memories and scattered magazines – all waiting for modern designers and fashionistas to muse over: Every cut, collar, swatch, pattern, stitch and shade longing to be revived and showcased in events like Canberra’s FASHFEST

Not all styles make the grade for reinvention; not all collections grace the runways; and not every event lasts the distance in Australia’s capital…


FASHFEST however, has certainly proved its staying power since landing smack bang in the middle of the ACT map in 2013; and since then, co-founders Andrea and Clint Hutchinson have well and truly secured the fashion extravaganza with a fabulous pin that even the fussiest of fashionistas would be proud to sport on the lapel of their couture jacket…

With innovation comes a touch of inspirational, and this is the case with the fashion scene in Canberra – which is becoming more eclectic and exciting –

And just like trends we’ve seen before come back with fabulous force, FASHFEST has returned in 2018 with lots of style and swagger and with a BIG difference to the overall structure of the event…

Keeping it fresh each year, FASHFEST are rolling out several shows over the next few months… showcasing only a select few designers and using only the best models Canberra offers from agencies Devojka Models, Victoria’s Models and HAUS Models.

tahlia at fashfest 2017

FASHFEST 2017 Devojka Model Tahila Toth

Change is thrilling and when it comes to real fashion – it has always been about pushing boundaries and expressions of an artistic nature – designers wanting to both shock and enchant onlookers at runway shows.

Just like art, fashion is thought-provoking and conjures emotion…

So, what better place for FASHFEST 2018 to be than at the National Gallery of Australia?

With the canvas being the models and the designers being the very artists that will adorn the canvases with their latest collections, this event is sure to lead visitors forward on a glamorous path towards FASHFEST’s future as a fashion festival with a difference.

I am personally delighted about the venue choice – NGA is one of my favorite places in Canberra; with its serene surroundings, striking architecture and stunning interior; vast space and walls that scale high to open ceilings… the entrance is long and leads to two escalutors that are almost symbolic of the stairway to another world of artistic expression…

And it is these very esaculators that the models will be using as part of their runway – which is very cool…

As a former international model, I have walked various surfaces and platforms for shows, including stairs, but never moving stairs…

“We’ve selected really experienced runway models based on what the agencies have put forth as their best talent—models who can walk in massive gowns on a moving escalator with little rehearsal time given that this major space has to be available to the public,”

says FASHFEST co-founder Andrea Hutchinson.

Tahlia Toth (photographed above and below) is one of the lucky and very lovely models walking in the show again, she says “I believe fashion is just another form of art…

Fashion is a result of creativity and passion that designers have and the shows are there to share creative ideas and express different moods through colour, fabric and shape…”

Friday’s showcase is the first in several that will take place within Canberra,

“We want to keep fresh for our fans,”

says co-founder Clint Hutchinson.

“…This year we’re hosting a series of rolling shows in venues of cultural and historic significance in Canberra, showcasing the beauty of architecture as well as the beauty of the fashion.”

It is an exciting time for the fashion industry in Canberra and the best part about it all is that everyone can get involved;

Fashfest is a platform for creatives across the capital, including models, photographers, designers, make-up artists, venues… the list goes on.

It is also a wonderful part of culture for the youth to experience, giving them future opportunities in a creative world that is really only just beginning in Canberra, and much of this is thanks to FASHFEST.


Since showcasing at FASHFEST young Canberra designer, Charly Thorn has had plenty of opportunities including shooting in the Bahamas with photographer Robyn Damianos (Model: Rokarah Makeup: Beauty by Neatase)

Coming from London, and with a background in fashion, in many ways I consider London to be the fashion capital of the world, others may argue that it is New York, perhaps Paris or Milan…

But the thing I really enjoy about Canberra is that the culture embraces all fashion possibilities, international inspirations, and at the same time nurtures local talent, such as  Charly Thorn, who first showcased her collection at the age of 17…

Tina Nikolovski_designer Charly Thorn 1

Charly Thorn’s design at FASHFEST 2016 Photographer: Tina Nikolovski

Now still only 19-years-old she will be one of three designers sharing her collection at Friday’s new vibe FASHFEST.

This may be quite daunting for other designers Charly’s age – but she seems to take it in her stride and it is clear from her Instagram account that she is excited about the event where she will be presenting luxe evening wear, created with special printed silks and bright colours inspired by the culture of Cuba—fushcia, green, blue, yellow.


Photographer: Alec Morris; Models: Jade Meyers and Annagh Weston Makeup: Tash Pascoe

Megan Cannings Designs has showcased twice before at FASHFEST, and will be sharing her latest collection after just returning from New York Fashion Week. Her style is ultra feminine, floaty and ethereal.

Hajar Gala Couture will also be showcasing gowns not yet seen in Canberra, and after appearing at Paris Fashion Week, we are in for a treat of elegance, skilful design and beautiful fabrics.


Hajar Gala Couture at FASHFEST 2016 – Photographer: Sam Nerrie

It is the big gowns I am really keen on seeing – having worked with great couture designers over the years, and creatives (including former client Vicki Lord – multi-awardwinning hairstylist and amazing hair sculpture and artist)… I am certain the dresses will look dramatic and complement the art gallery backdrop!

Rumour has it the VIP tickets are sold out, but if you ACT FASHFast (sorry I couldn’t resist) then you may get your hands on a ticket for one of the two shows this coming Friday… check out the link for more information: FashFest Tickets.

JackMohr-ARIVALS-N2-S2 - _mg_4000

Feature image taken at FASHFEST 2016 by Photographer Jack Mohr, Make-up: Harlotte Cosmetics

SUMMARY of the changes:

  • Rolling shows, instead of a one annual three-day event.
    • First on Friday October 19th 2018 at NGA
    • Next in December 2018 – venue TBC
    • Third in February 2019 – venue TBC
  • All venues have Canberra cultural and historical significance.
  • Less models – but the best Canberra can offer.
  • Less designers – internationally inspired and nurturing local talent.

What to Expect from OCTOBER’s FASHFEST:

  • The same show, with the same three designers, will run twice. For the first show, doors will open at 6:30 pm for a 7:00pm start and for the second, doors open at 8:00pm for an 8:30pm start.
  • FASHFEST may also pop up periodically with surprise events during the next few months.
  • A special cocktail is being designed for the event by Archie Rose, called ‘Quandong paint stroke’.
  • Guests will have access to an after-hours viewing of the American Masters exhibition.
  • Standing room tickets are $35.00.
  • Tickets are fast selling, but check availability for your spot at this year’s must- be fashion event in Canberra: www.fashfest.com.au/tickets

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