With the arrival of Spring to the Sunshine state comes the first long-anticipated event of Brisbane Fashion Month. National and international designers old and new will showcase their pride and joy (i.e. their clothing lines) to stylish audiences flocking the streets of Brisbane city this October.
Whether you’re a clothing enthusiast or an up-and-coming designer, there’s something for everyone in this glamorous world of vogue. Throughout the month there’ll be ample time to interact with pop-up shops, runway shows, fashion competitions and educational workshops, all sponsored by Wintergarden.
This is BFM’s second year in the running, as directors Carly Vidal-Wallace and Laura Churchill aim to amp up Queensland’s fashion scene by raising its profile in the Australian and International spotlights. As Carly told The Creative Issue, “Brisbane Fashion Month is more than just a runway.
“The month is an opportunity for industry people to connect. Networking is essential on all different levels of business, but the importance of it in BFM is to break down the barriers in the fashion industry. It’s so hard to get ahead without networking, so we’ve provided these events as a perfect place, and also created the right vibe for people to feel comfortable to chat.”
Carly somehow found the time in her busy schedule split between her home in LA and her business in Australia to chat with us about the event. The fashion connoisseur said she is most looking forward to the business workshops they host, as they provide an opportunity for people to be educated and informed about the inner workings of the industry, allowing people to make long-lasting connections.
“I can connect people through these events, and I’ve been so proud to watch those relationships grow. Just two weeks ago a Townsville designer and a Melbourne photographer I introduced flew together and presented at Milan fashion week. Thanks to social media, I can see opportunities develop into business case scenarios.”
In the opening runway for the event, Carly greeted the audience with an infectious, amiable energy that instantly set the mood for the glamorous night. As the evening unfolded, models showed off the latest releases from Wintergarden stores, Cue and Veronica Maine opening the runway. When I asked which brand Carly is favouring this year, she immediately jumped to Isabella Longginou, a custom made dress designer. Apart from Longginou, the swimwear labels featured in the resort evening are highly rated on the director’s list.
“Im interested to see Une Piece because she’s a new entrant into the industry. She came along to our workshop last year and she asked some great questions about influences and breaking into the market. It’s amazing coming a year round and she’s launched her swimwear collection and had some amazing stars in the US purchase her collection. It’s a great feeling to see her on the runway.
“Sunsoaked as well have just been picked up by Sunburn nationwide, and Kate’s an amazing designer. They donate money to melanoma and so thats exciting to see them on the runway. Mara Swim, a Townsville duo, are sun safe with rashies and one pieces. I’m a firm believer that in Queensland we need to embrace sun safety. We have the highest rate of skin cancer issues so it’s great our designers take that on board and produce garments helping that cause.”
Many eyes were glued to the gorgeous tiered dress Carly wore to celebrate the opening runway. She says her ideal outfit involves “Bright colours… Queensland is a colourful place and home to plenty of brands on the market selling vibrant clothing. The state is resort style all year round and barely produce any Winter clothes. The people in Brisbane pride ourselves in our fashion. When you head to the races or to an evening soirée or a luncheon people take a lot of care… especially when I interviewed Jimmy Choo two days ago. He said people take attention here, people are well groomed and attired.”
Jimmy Choo? You read correctly. The lovely, down-to-earth fashionista was lucky enough to interview the heels expert himself to open BFM. Carly says “He was very humble and quiet-spoken. His big global message was people need to support local designers so they don’t disappear. That’s why he’s such a passionate cobbler by trade, and why he’s gone back to doing his bespoke shoe line.”
With the renowned Professor Jimmy Choo opening Brisbane Fashion Month and the lovely Carly and Laura hosting, there’s no doubt the month will be anything but extraordinary.
This post originally appeared on The Creative Issue.