QT Fashion Week and Awards

Backstage Pass with Anna Hulm

I arrived at QT Fashion Week and Awards just as the Up and Coming High Tea was beginning. I am lucky enough to work for Anna Hulm, one of Australia’s best emerging designers selected for the runway event. This meant I had a backstage pass to all the action!

After organising the final backstage preparations for the show, we had a champagne toast for our hard work preparing for the show the day before. We were glad that the last minute sewing, de-tagging and sourcing of 15 pairs of shoes for the models was over, and we could sit back and relax.

Miisha Collection opened the runway show once all the guests were settled in the Grand Ballroom. The collection was a perfect mix of lace and leather, creating a luxe futuristic look. There was plenty of lace worked over fitted, sometimes sheer pencil skirts, teamed with sexy bralettes in a bold monochrome colour scheme. Strategically placed peekaboo panel cut outs were combined with perfectly with contoured slim silhouettes painting a desirable illusion. To describe the collection in three words, I would say: sexy, elegant and timeless.

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Next, Anna’s dresses took over the runway. In her collection, bouquet, cherry blossom and abstract paintings by famous artists such as Cezanne, Klimt and Van Gough are printed onto soft silks which drape the body with breathtaking movement and flow.

Working in the store with Anna, I have seen women with different shapes, sizes and complexions instantly feel beautiful and confident when they slip into her silk dresses. Women light up when they wear Anna’s inclusive designs, because simultaneously feeling elegant and comfortable is such a rarity. You could feel the model’s confidence as the luxurious silk dresses billowed freely behind them, while they glided down the runway in their opulent velvet shoes.

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The next collection was Lucid. Magenta and blue colours were swirled through dream like aquatic prints. Bright pink and orange were colour blocked in shift dresses which had a perfect fusion of cocktail and corporate appeal. It was the dream collection for the working girl who knows how to party.

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In the final show, the models transformed into Amazonian soldiers as Mariam Seddiq’s designs hit the runway. The embellishment, soft suiting, bold shoulders and powerful draping stole the show. The collection was edgy yet feminine, and it was so refreshing to see the models look empowered and sexy without being revealing. As Beyonce, Run the World pumped throughout the ballroom her lyrics rung true, “My persuasion can build a nation. Endless power, with our love we can devour.”

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I ran into Mariam backstage after the show and she complemented my leather gloves! I knew they had been a big risk to wear. So when she asked me where I found them, I instantly forgot about all of the mini cupcakes I had left behind on the high tea table due to my lack of grip. I am also one of the only non- superheroes in the modern age that has been quoted saying, “I wish I was getting more wear out of my cape.” So when Mariam swung on her classic, yet futuristic black cape and glided out of the backstage room, my jaw dropped and I really fell in love. Yes, I have started saving for an upgrade to Mariam’s Antoinette Cape!

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Thank you to QT Fashion Week and Awards for choosing four inspiring designers, who all presented an array of creative designs. It is so important that the fashion industry continues to support emerging designers, so that fashion continues to innovate and evolve. These days, so much fashion is at our fingertips. One day you can wear a lace pencil skirt and bralette set, the next, a work of art vibrantly printed onto a silk maxi dress. Aquatic octopus prints to work or a bejewelled cape on Saturday night! The fashion world is your oyster!

Caitlin Bennet

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