– by Aimee Hughes
It’s always a delight to reveal just how much local talent Perth possesses, and this year’s annual Fox Feet Summer Runway did not disappoint. As well as supporting the Princess Margaret Hospital burns unit, the charity event was established to promote home-grown fashion designers in an infamously tough industry.
Presenting 12 Perth designers, all with differing styles and techniques, the night showcased remarkable collections that drew ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s from the audience at every turn.
First up was Margaret Sylvester of Silverstar Designs. Silverstar originated in 1993, Sylvester found her niche in the market for high-end swimwear, cover-ups and hoodies, with her brand appearing at local and international events.
Sylvester offered up an assortment of her latest swimwear, clothing and delightful umbrellas to get the ball rolling and set the bar high.
Following this strong start was Jay by Jessica Reeves. Focusing on feminine forms, Reeves captivated the audience with a new spin on a classic idea. Her collection followed on seamlessly from her previous works, exploring a childlike sense-of-play.
“Taking the idea of becoming a character… I decided to go into an actual, specific idea, which was mermaids,” Reeves explains. Working with Fox Feet has ‘elevated her profile’, contributing to her dream of owning her own boutique.
Cindy De Quintal, of CDQ Designs, showcased ‘Zurina’, her all-white collection. De Quintal’s gowns made stunning use of clean floral motifs, with an abundance of rose petals, lace and (of course) white.
“I have a real passion for nature, so that has definitely influenced my collection.” When viewing her gowns, the influence of Zuhair Murad (who she names as her fashion designer idol) is gracefully evident.
Bojana Petrovich’s collection took to the stage to show off her incredible talent with her modernity and sophistication.
“I started drawing and making clothes for my dolls from a very young age, and the interest for it all just became stronger as I got older,” muses Petrovich. “It came to life when I made my first dress and put it out onto social media just to see the response and it was incredible.”
Included in the collection were jewellery pieces from Little Dove Design, by Jemma Manson. These highlighted Petrovich’s stunning creations, working with the garments to create a ‘wow’ factor for the audience.
Sandra Rives’ Red Opium opened the second part of the show with a collection for ‘the modern woman’. Her S/S15 collection is filled with bright patterns and bold colours while adhering to a sexy, yet simple, silhouette.
Rives is aptly confident in the designs presented in the collection; “The unique designs are made for confident, passionate women who know who they are and who are not afraid to stand out from the crowd.”
Pervanni designer, Chloe Taryn, showcased her signature piece, the ‘valaug’e’ on the runway as part of her striking collection.
“The valaug’e (neck piece) was designed and created for women,” says Taryn, “it has made an amazing impression amongst today’s fashion industry.”
Villarmar Couture was an amazing highlight to the second segment of the night with elegant yet bold gowns.
At the tender age of 11-years-old, Nita Villarmar discovered a book on Valentino and from that moment onwards vowed to create clothing that inspires confidence in women. “To the best of my ability I experiment, make mistakes, and allow myself to understand the world we live in.”
Poppy & Charlie rounded off the latter part of the show with luxurious evening wear. “I mainly focus on the natural contours of the body when designing so that the garments,” designer Kloey Rubidge explains. “Many women struggle to find a dress that works with their body type and my aim is to create dresses that are glamorous on every shape.”
MKO showcased some truly inspiring pieces as her distinctive collection hit the runway. “My focus for the label is to produce unique pieces influenced by a mix of contemporary concepts and street style,” designer Mal K Madukah said.
MKO is based on diverse shapes, forms and textures, intended to give the wearer a new perspective.
Aqeela Isaacs presented an impressive collection of dresses and reminded us why she was such a worthy recipient of the Best in Category and Best Overall award at the Perth Fashion Festival in 2012.
Isaacs found it hard finding clothing to suit her own personality, so decided to found a brand, not only to suit her tastes but for others with comparable style persuasions. “I found it very tough finding clothing to suit my personality in stores so I decided to create it not only for myself but others with the same fashion sense as mine,” Isaacs said.
Qamar Designs’ new collection, ‘Summer Glam’, saw a union of edge and glamour. The sophisticated gowns on the runway revealed the combined influence of designers Zhivago and Elie Saab.
“I like shiny things and ‘bling bling’, so I have transformed my dresses to a different level.” An interesting aspect to this collection is its free sizing; anyone can fit into the dresses.
ELLAVANNA closed the show with a selection of stunning black and gold couture pieces, a fitting and unflinching conclusion.
“Ellavanna offers luxury garments that are works of art. One of a kind couture garments and jewellery pieces for the powerful and timeless woman,” designer Daniella Gitto said.
Folks from all manner of diverse backgrounds and fields converged on a packed out Causeway bar, all for the purpose of giving back and supporting the local fashion community.
I, for one, was left with a warm feeling at the end of the night from the excitement of the runway. As well as the bright future of each designer, the Perth fashion community and incredible event put on by Fox Feet.
Photo credit: Medi Esmail