This year’s WAFA took place at the glitzy Brookfield building which has that alien-like top sticking out above the Perth skyline. Unlike previous WAFA I attended it was very much an extended fashion family gathering celebrating WA fashion talents. I don’t have any problem with big gala events, expensive ticket with all meals and entertainment included, but obviously that sort of arrangement tends to lose the focus, especially when it’s often seen just as a good ol’ entertainment and a fancy night out for rich people. That is not to say that this year’s WAFA was ‘poor’ by any stretch.
WA is growing along with all other areas of the city and fashion is no different. Although the event didn’t feature much of what I call indie fashion – think designers and boutiques in Fremantle – but for what it’s worth WAFA was a great fashion family gathering. I’ve been watching many of the talents for a few years, both designers and models, and I do feel close to them although they may not even know me. As Mariella, the Perth Fashion Festival director, put it, I’m a member of the WA fashion family, albeit an odd one and a quiet one.
The awards ceremony was preceded by a big red carpet arrival of local ‘celebs’. Local paps were out there snapping away. It was a rather amusing scene of glammed up men and women posing like big Hollywood stars. I was quite interested in this year’s model winners. For whatever the reason, Perth seems to produce quite a few star quality models. Not sure if that is statistically true or it is a result of self-promoted perception. Any of these girls can become as famous as Gemma Ward. And judging by their post acceptance glow and excitement there is no reason for them to expect anything else.
Gabrielle Sullivan is my favourite runway model. Nicole Harrison appears in a lot of editorial and magazine ads, and Grady Wulff is a catwalk favourite since 2011. It was no surprise to see Pippa McManus winning the Creative Edge award. And my favourite shop, Hatch, took away the best dressed boutique this year. I’m also excited for Zsadar’ Shane Newton, winner of Designer for Tomorrow. And years ago, Teagan and I were joking about when she would finally have her own jewellery label. Here she is winning the Fine Details awards. My blessing and huge congrats go out to all the winners.
So another year of PFF all wrapped up and we now look forward to September 2013. I wonder now whether I should ditch my camera gear and glam up for a change. I could stand in front of the cameras – making the huge assumption here that the local paps would be interested in taking photo’s of me. They will all call out what are you doing here? – as I do expert poses like the ones I saw last night, but perhaps with an awkward smile across my face.