Scary but Beautiful
The hightlights from Perth Fashion Week's opening show by Ruth TarvydasPT0M0S 620 349
Not necessarily how to tan and bejewel our nether regions or conduct ourselves in relationships, but when it comes to showcasing fashion – the district that is referred to as the "Jersey Shore" of the UK has hit the nail on the head.
While the tumultuous relationship between Mark Wright and Lauren Goodger was a good wake-up call for those stuck on the Mr Big/Carrie Bradshaw fantasy, the provincial city northeast of London really knows a thing or two about "pimping out" its goods and services to spin a profit and raise a profile.
"When it comes to showcasing fashion – the district that is referred to as the "Jersey Shore" of the UK has hit the nail on the head."
Recently the county which is home to an estimated 1.74 million people, much like Perth, and made famous by the reality series The Only Way Is Essex hosted its very own Fashion Week.
New designer and The Only Way Is Essex star Amy Childs was a PR dream for the recent Essex Fashion Week.
However, rather than a full five-day schedule the entire event opened and closed in one day.
The fashionable folk crammed an extended fashion show, live performances, a red carpet and an after party into just a few hours.
The result was a resounding success for organisers and the Essex fashion scene, thanks to a mere $77 entry fee and the high-profile stars (or overly publicised depending on your opinion of reality television) of the TV show, like ditzy but lovable Amy Childs who launched her first fashion collection.
Striking a pose at Perth Fashion Week
Perth's fashion-hungry set poured into the Convention Centre to check out the opening of Fashion Week. Photo: Matthew Tompsett
The inaugural Perth Fashion Week kicked off last night and while it was touted as a trade show (an event usually reserved for buyers and media to scout trends and snap up looks for the upcoming seasons), PFW's front row was packed with the general public.
Not just any GA crowd, mind you, because front row tickets for PFW cost $350, which gets you uninterrupted views of the clothes horses coming down the catwalk and couple of pre-show champagnes.
If you have a spare $165 for the after parties you can continue the buzz which you get from the creativity on display inside the spacious warehouse style showroom.
Queen Bee of flashy fashion, Ruth Tarvydas, kicked off proceedings last night with her spring/summer 2012/13 collection Dark Angel. In typical Tarvydas style there was plenty of sparkle, thigh (and higher) splits, flesh and glitter hairspray.
Westfield stylist and Australian fashion stalwart Donny Galella told me that while registration fees were common for industry and public, events selling the front row wasn't.
"Front row tickets are generally reserved for sponsors, influential media, bloggers, celebrities and industry heavyweights," he said.
When asked what he would expect from shows whose ticket prices were the same as the average week's rent, Galella said he'd go homeless for something that would satisfy his creativity.
"When I attend a fashion show, I want to walk out feeling inspired. It should be more than just a 'fashion show', it should be a production, almost like seeing a good theatre. I expect amazing lighting and staging, good music and most importantly fabulous collections. I want to see fashion forward trends, new production techniques and clever craftsmanship."
While this year's PFW events may not be huge money-spinners at least they are an attempt to promote the passion for fashion Perth so obviously has.
Besides, we're supposed to be living in "boom town" right? Now is as good a time as any to bring out the glad rags which many did last night at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre for the Tarvydas Dark Angel show.
SPOTTED: Socialite Rhonda Wyllie, Elle Boutique owners Wendy Marshall and Natasha Marshall Donnelly, The Court Hotel owner and unofficial Tarvydas ambassador Bree Day, The Amazing Race finalist and West Coast Eagles WAG Renae Wauhop, Miss Universe 2012 hopeful Sunny Lungan, Channel Nine presenter Angela Tsun, Western Force fullback Patrick Dellit and Channel Seven personality Mark Gibson.
SIPPED: The Driftwood Estate bubbles were flowing inside the Karma Beach Fashion Bar before and after the show.
SNACKED ON: While there were no cater waiters there were muffins on sale.
SO GOOD: Perth Fashion Week director Sylvia Giacci's vision to boost the profile of Perth and WA's fashion talents.
SO NOT: The 9pm show ran almost 45 minutes late causing some frustration in the "frow" (see "front row" in the fashion dictionary) "I'm not going to the after party, I need to get some sleep before work tomorrow," pretty young things echoed.
So locals/visitors/FIFOs etc what do you think, does Perth need to follow the lead of sister cities like Essex when it comes to the promotion of our creative industries and personalities?
Follow Jenna Clarke on Twitter @JennaMClarke
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