Cut of cloth impresses
Brisbane the new black at Sydney fashion week
Designer Gail Reid of label Gail Sorronda poses backstage ahead of her show. Photo: Getty
Another year, another chance for Brisbane designers to show their wares at Australia's high-profile Fashion Week, and this year's local collections are already raising eyebrows and not for the wrong reasons.
Though only day two of the annual event, three home-grown labels have featured on the runways and received a largely positive reception at the Sydney event.
And with more yet to come, it seems at last the cloth from this city is more likely to incite a retail binge than cringe.
Brisbane designer Tovah Cottle. Photo: Supplied
However Queensland's fashion contingent still needs to overcome the tyranny of distance.
Tovah Cottle, former international model turned designer, says frequent travel comes with being in the Brisbane-based fashion business.
Ahead of her inaugural Fashion Week show on Thursday, Cottle said local labels needed to go beyond the city's limits in order to establish themselves on the national scene and gain enough exposure to build a sustainable market.
“Brisbane has grown, fashion-wise, but you can't get the kind of attention from the Australian fashion media here that you can in Sydney,” she said. “Getting in to Melbourne is important too, but it depends on your label – there's a big difference between the two cities.
“It's exciting – but it's a lot of work as well.”
Cottle will also have to contend with cameras from the ABC capturing all the behind-the-scenes drama of her fashion week debut; she is one of the latest subject of the biographical documentary series Australian Story.
“It hasn't been like living as Kim Kardashian, no,” she said of her filming schedule. “But it has been interesting – I'm just focused on being who I am and showing my designs for what they are.”
Gail Reid of label Gail Sorronda, Talulah's Kelli Wharton and Courtney Meyer of Miss Unkon are fellow Brisbane designers who have already shown their designs to the eagle-eyes of fashion industry insiders at the event.
Reid's Oh My Goth! collection stood out for its bold colour and edgy hair and make-up – reminiscent of vaudevillian clowns and Batman's Joker, the range departed from her signature black and white pallet.
Meanwhile Meyer and Wharton kept things typically flirty and feminine. Shades of salmon, apricot and pink coloured Miss Unkon's latest looks with a distinctly youthful edge; Wharton opted for bolder hues and patterns that marked her out as a truly tropical designer.
Cottle's clothes will take to the runway on Thursday from 10am at The Tent. The full fashion week program is available via the website.