Brisbane Fashion Week

Brisbane Fashion Week

Brisbane Get Their Very Own Fashion Weekend

In late October Fashionistas, Designers, Models and Hair and Makeup Experts, stepped into a glamorous arena at the Royal International Convention Centre for the inaugural Brisbane Fashion Weekend.

The first of its kind in Brisbane, the event celebrated the exceptional talent that Queensland has to offer and was pulled together by Brisbane based company Major League Marketing, led by Managing Director Jason Greenhalgh.

Jason, who developed similar industrycentric showcases such as the Brisbane Fitness & Health Expo and the Brisbane Hair and Beauty Expo said what drove him to create this event was a desire to bring together the spirit of the fashion industry in his home city.

“All these industries have one major element in common – they are very passionate communities. Our role is to bring all of that passion together and provide a platform for them to showcase their industry,” he explained.

The event, the first of its kind in Brisbane, was created in a year with the help of six full-time staff and 50 volunteers over the weekend.

“We contacted over 400 designers, labels and boutiques initially with 51 participating over the weekend. The designers showcased are from all over Australia, but primarily from Brisbane and South East Queensland.”

With DINJUAN only being a twinkle in my eye, my love of creative expression and fashion evolved.

The Brisbane Fashion Weekend incorporated pop-up stalls for tangible customer interaction, where they could feature new designs and a dedicated hair and beauty pamper zone.

One of the highlights of the event was the uber-glam runway, where close to 1000 guests were treated to a true VIP ‘Sex and the City- style’ experience, sitting only metres from the catwalk with a champagne in hand.

Jason believes he sourced the best in the business for the event, from top designers, models and music and with veteran stylist, Kimberly Gardner, lending her talents to the look and feel of the runway.

“We had a vision of creating a vision of a ‘Runway to Rack’ experience that guests and designers could take part in, over the course of two days under one roof,” explained Greenhalgh.

“We had supreme confidence in Kimberley’s curation of the experience with her 15 years’ experience in the fashion industry – from designer shoots to styling runway catwalks.

Twelve models were selected from Brisbane based modelling agencies, “we were fortunate to have a number of Brisbane based girls available for our runway that work on an International platform as well,” he said.

The Runway featured nine clothing designers with four supporting designers including shoes, handbags and sunglasses/spectacles.

Designers included; Pink Swim & Active, SunSoaked, Adrift, Kahlo Kahlo, Wilde Willow, IXIAH, 400 Co., Saylor & Saige, Tengdahl with supporting designers; LouenHide, Ar-czyk, Nat-Sui
Shoes and Oki & Oro Boutique.

Spoilt for choice, a major challenge of the event was choosing who to feature on the runway.

“Each designer was reviewed by the Brisbane Fashion Weekend team, in concert with Kimberly. Considerations for making the cut included the overall collection look, the variety of outfits in their current spring/summer collection and the quality of materials used.

“It was important that the designers offered a collection that suited our target market who are primarily located in south east Queensland, especially coming into the warmer months and we wanted it to be fun!

We knew a lot of our guests would be experiencing a runway show for the first time – so we didn’t want it to be too serious,” said Greenhalgh.

Hair and makeup was perfected by event partners INGLOT Cosmetics and Affinage Professional with six hairdressers creating 12 amazing hair creations in just 50 minutes.

The Pop Up Precinct, which featured the runway designers, also hosted over 40 amazing designer brands and industry related companies in a small pop up village inside the venue. This allowed guests the opportunity to talk shop (and actually shop) alongside key industry stakeholders.

Feature zones were another popular element of the Brisbane Fashion Show and included areas such as the Stylist Hub, a Pamper Room, an Emerging Designers precinct and Centre Stage, with each of these areas delivering a unique experience for guests.

One zone that more than delivered on the glamour associated with fashion was the Moet Lounge which proved incredibly popular across the weekend.

Of the designer pool, one of the standout emerging designers was Juanita Machado with her African nature-inspired label DINJUAN, who was attracted to the event as it created a community vibe for like-minded creatives to showcase with designers, fashion businesses, media, stylists and bloggers.

Machado’s designs bring together an array of animal and nature prints in DINJUAN. Created for the fashionable global traveler, Juanita creates everything from evening wear to kid’s wear and accessories. A bespoke leather detail is a feature on her dresses, which she makes in a one size fits all.

“I just wanted women to feel comfortable in what they are wearing, we always have those off days where we feel like we’ve gone up a dress size, so I thought it was important for all women to feel fabulous anytime and embrace their bodies,” said Juanita.

Juanita is a true product of south east Queensland fashion design, having studied at both Griffith University in Brisbane and Bond University on the Gold Coast, as well as teaching design at the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, all before realising her childhood dream in 2011 of launching DINJUAN.

“Fashion has always enticed my creative side. It was a skill set I developed throughout my childhood. With the guidance of my mother, grandmother and aunts I developed a love for fashion, fabrics and colour.

As a little girl, I recall visiting Oriental Plaza in South Africa, which is THE fabric market in Johannesburg. I recall that I was fascinated with fabrics of the traditional Indian attire which danced in the wind and glistened in the sunlight. With DINJUAN only being a twinkle in my eye, my love of creative expression and fashion evolved,” she said.

In the Brisbane Fashion Weekend event, Juanita was thrilled that there was finally a platform to showcase her designs and network locally.

Jason and his team echoed this sentiment.

“I believe we are well on our way to building something very special for the fashion industry in south east Queensland.”

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