The uptake of technology and social media use is growing; we can now more easily than ever watch a Gucci runway show live from Rome in our lounge room from our handheld devices.

We can comment and feel part of something that was once so exclusive you would need to wait for the next month’s edition of the international magazines for those first glimpses.

Hungry fast fashion followers can obtain firsthand shots of the latest European garments, making it hard for local fashion events to generate the same kind of attention or appeal. Fashion industry professionals, fashion students and fashion lovers want to be moved at events. Not only do they want to be visually stimulated and inspired, they also want to connect meaningfully, have great conversations and continue learning when attending events.

From my experience working in the fashion industry, I see that once design students have left university and completed their studies, they no longer have the same forum or space to come together to meet, learn and exchange. While it is enjoyable attending a luxury VIP opening night for a fashion event, an evening of air kissing and cameras clicking to instantly load images onto social media just leaves the bulk of the industry feeling a little empty.

The main questions I am asked every week, sometimes daily, are: do you know where I can manufacture my fashion? Do you know any pattern makers? Where can I buy sew-in labels? Do you know anyone who can do grading? It seems the student and graduate questions about business start-ups and career options never get answered. As an industry we need to keep asking questions, making the contacts, collaborating and building each other up.

This was a trigger point for me – we need a space and an area for these talented, creative fashion souls to network and collaborate. It prompted me to build, for the first time, an entire Brisbane Fashion Month to try to fill some of the knowledge sharing gaps experienced by those working in the industry.

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Our fashion industry in Queensland is unique; it is unlike the rest of Australia. The sheer diversity between regional Queensland and urban Brisbane in terms of climate and lifestyle means our fashion is a plethora of everything – from stunning Indigenous felt work and resort style attire to more glamourous Gold Cost sequin red-carpet gala gowns. Where is the forum to showcase this? We should be proud of our craziness in the Sunshine State where we embrace colour and are unconcerned if heavy jackets are not included in the young designers’ winter fashion collection!

Be it designer, model, fashion photographer, seamstress, patternmaker, hair and make-up artists, videographer or the retail fashion sector – the Queensland fashion industry is large and the people working in it deserve an opportunity where they can collaborate and showcase the work they are so passionate about.

Brisbane Fashion Month is a month-long fashion showcase which aims to bring the Queensland fashion industry together.

It will run from Saturday 1 October until Monday 31 October 2016.

Carly Vidal-Wallace

 

Photo credit: Daniel Sangermani