It was a dash of New York cool and a pinch of Melbourne's favourite colour as Perth crossed over to the dark side last night.
Here’s how the final day of PFF 2012 went down, blow-by-bubbly-blow:
Ending on a sexy, black note
A collection of black dresses by Perth's best designers closed this year's fashion festival.
7.01pm: Either I’m about to stumble on to the set of Eyes Wide Shut 2 or into a Masonic Lodge AGM as I’ve clearly missed the masquerade memo for finale night - Giving Back is the New Black. All I can see making their way inside Government House is either a large group of very well dressed burglars with tulle, chiffon and lace balaclavas or the well shod or fashion weary troops of this year’s Fashion Festival.
7.05pm: The red carpet is teeming with actors dressed as Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour and an eccentrically dressed gent with a suspicious accent and ironic facial hair who I’m pretty sure I saw at a cabaret bar in New York recently.
7.10pm: The VIPS are out in fashionable force tonight, you can’t swing a Mulberry Alexa without hitting Bree Maddox, Basil and Amy Zempilas, Aurelio Costarella, Zara Bryson, blogger Josie Clough, illustrator Pippa McManus and Zhivago designer Lara Kovacevich who looks like she’s just been chilling on the set of Gossip Girl and shooting the breeze with Lady Gaga with her high-collared gown complete with full lace mask.
7.30pm: We are ushered down stairs for the final night of Champagne, the strongest Voddie cocktails this side of Moscow and canapés, thankfully Lisa Scaffidi’s handsome hand bag is back on her arm tonight as she can’t see through her mask.
8.35pm: And so the show begins. Tonight 17 WA designers will each showcase a black gown which will then be auctioned for the Ready to Work charity which assists disadvantaged and disabled women in finding employment. As the lights dim and the drumming boys begin someone’s phone rings and Carly Rae Jepsen makes a cameo as the first gown moves through the crowd.
8.36pm: Ae’lkemi is the first designer cab off the rank. As top model Sarah Pauley saunters along the catwalk looking like fiery red-headed Praying Mantis wearing not a lot more than knickers and lace the crowd’s jaw goes slack.
8.45pm: The hair and makeup would make Morticia A. Addams very proud – voluminous beehives, smoky eyes and deep plum lips set off the Reny Kestel designed head wear and masks.
8.47pm: Oh dear, someone’s added an extra ‘L’ to the Ellery sign.
8.50pm: Fantastic show – a great production thanks to Jacqui Brown and a wonderful seating plan as everyone was treated to the f-row experience as the models walked through the aisles.
8.52pm: Lord Mayor Scaffidi takes the stage to say thanks to the PFF team, her stylist Ivanna Fontana and the bloggers for helping start and continue “#brandWA”.
ah Perth I love your Parmi-at-the-pub meets Paris style
8.57pm: Tonya McCusker (aka Perth’s Princess Di) takes to the stage. She says she’s a big fan of Ae’lkemi but she’s disappointed she had to decline to wear the sheer black option tonight as “it probably won’t be appropriate for a Governor’s wife”.
9.10pm: We’re being treated to surprise palate cleansing show full of colour to lighten the mood. The extra light is causing mayhem on the runway with models almost colliding and slipping over.
9.15pm: A photographer in the wings, who has captured the attention of the ladies all week probably for his resemblance to a character from Puberty Blues, is distractingly handsome as the models practically giggle as they approach where he is shooting from.
9.24pm: Ending with the pop of colour and Noiseworks blaring from the speakers – ah Perth I love your Parmi-at-the-pub meets Paris style.
9.30pm: Nine News reporter Tracy Vo, who has just returned home to Perth from Sydney, loved the bright colours Zhivago are rocking for spring/summer – fingers crossed we see her in neon green on our TV screens soon.
9.45pm: Back downstairs to air kiss and congratulate everyone involved in the 14th Festival – great event, great diversity in shows, looks and media coverage, great vibe – well done PFF.
“I’m not going to dive into a glass of Champagne, I’m going home to dive straight into bed!” director Mariella Harvey-Hanrahan tells WAtoday.com.au on her way out the gates of Government House.