Canberra Fashion

Interview with Fashfest Co-Founders, Clint & Andrea Hutchinson

Now in it’s fifth year, Fashfest is set to wow guests again with what we know will be a stunning show filled with outstanding creativity and talent. We sat down with co-founders (and husband and wife duo) Clint & Andrea Hutchinson to find out all about the 2017 event.

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What are your individual roles as co-founders of Fashfest?

I’m the CEO and Andrea is the Managing Director and Model Director. We’ve expanded our roles this year and are both Festival Directors. We’re loving getting into the creative input for each show, elevating them so guests are guaranteed a unique experience. We concentrate on this every year so guests don’t feel they’ve ‘been there, done that’. They need to know that FASHFEST is a new experience every time they come.

How will this year’s event differ from previous years?

FASHFEST has stepped up several notches and has new and exciting components.

We’re holding our first ever show featuring the work of artists from 12 remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres, 8 from the Northern Territory. Designers (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) will use the specialised textiles created at these special art centres to create high-end bold and vibrant fashion. This is the first time this has been done. The show is being organised by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation.

Also new is an emphasis on New Zealand designers. We’re showcasing some of New Zealand’s biggest exports, including amazing labels curated by Momento Dezigns who will roll out beautiful pieces by fashion designer Trelise Cooper and two of her auxiliary labels, Coop and Cooper. Momento will also showcase Sabatini, an upmarket label for women who want sexy, natural, easy-care knit dressing. The New Zealand label Nyne, will showcase the ‘image 18’ collection drawing inspiration from Andy Warhol’s polaroid-based portrait series.

Also for the first time, is a FASHFEST show by Raw Australia, featuring some sensational labels curated under the theme ‘I Am Woman Hear Me RAW’. Labels include Bird Skin, Bianca Pavlic the Label, Ellavanna and Kiira.

And last, but not least, tiny models will grace the catwalk in two shows, one for NOMIKO and the other for retail store Tip You’re It!

In terms of designers, models, makeup artists, production crew, musicians and film makers etc – how many people does it take to make a show like this happen?

It takes hundreds to make FASFHEST happen. Literally hundreds. We have a core team of about 20, more than 50 designers all up, more than 150 models, 15 musicians and DJs, sound and lighting experts, interior design experts, hair and makeup creatives, front-of house managers, back-of-house managers, production crew, a small army of volunteers and more. We figure we had more than 500 people involved in the event last year.

Do you both get really involved in the selection of the artists who send in an application to be in Fashfest?

Both Andrea and I work closely with our core team members on all major decisions. With designers, for example, Andrea is on the judging panel. I work closely on the music and video side of things.

What are the requirements that you look for in an application?

FASHFEST has always been a platform for creatives of all types to showcase their work, so diversity and quality are the name of the game. Before FASHFEST, Canberra was the only capital city to not have its own annual red-carpet fashion event. Unreal.

We are conscious, in selecting creatives, that we inject new blood each year to keep life interesting. But we’re also conscious that guests are keen to see all-time favs return. On the music side, for example, this includes returning artists like Magnifik Feat, NeonHoney, Kirklandd and Soul Sisters. On the fashion design side, this includes designers such as Karen Lee, Zilpah Tart, Charly Thorn and Braddon Tailors.

What’s next for Fashfest (apart from killing it at the upcoming 2017 event!)?

Stay tuned!

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For the full program and ticket sales, head to: www.fashfest.com.au And don’t forget the amazing after parties at QT Canberra.

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