I arrived at The Block early and luckily got to have a quick chat with Adele Turner, one this years' graduates and the only one to produce an accessories collection. Hers was not just a fashion project but an international community cooperation one as well. She designs and produces samples of her work here and the bags are then handmade by craftsmen in India, who learn valuable skills, earn a proper wage and are even supported to start their own business. As Adele said – sustainable at both ends. I was lusting after one of her beautiful creations but didn't have the cash on me, so I'm hoping to get an invite to her launch next year and nab one then...
Milling outside waiting for the show to start, it was clear most of the audience were friends, family and supporters of the graduates, as well as a few sponsor reps such as a delegation from Westfield Chermside who awarded prizes for the most commercially viable collection at the end of the night.
Kiki and I had an absolute blast. Sparkling to kick the night off and a goodie bag on our seats might have helped. Our seats in the second row turned out to be a first-timers mistake – if you can't first row, go third or last, they're elevated. Still, we were in a good enough position for me to try my hand at fashion photography for the first time.
Of the 302 photos I took, I could delete about 80 for being out of focus and another 80 for being either of models' backs or first-row hair. Still, what I couldn't photograph I could see and I loved it. It was so exciting to sit there and watch so much local talent parade past you. Some of the collections – Franchesca Blardony and Jacqueline Curren to name a couple - I positively swooned over.
The more outlandish collections were wonderful to look at, if slightly less street-ready.
It was a night of amazing talent that we as a stylish cultured city can be proud of. When in a few years' time I'm wearing my Phoebe Younger for CUE, Chelsea Whitbread or Meredith Hewitt I will a delightful sense of pride; and smugness, that I saw their first ever collections.
If you're at all interested in fashion buy your ticket now to this fun and fabulous show. It runs November 29 – December 2 but Friday night is sold out.