Fashfest - Night Two

Fashfest - Behind the scenes

RiotAct - 04 May 2014

Fashfest Finale

The 2014 FASHFEST runway shows came to a spectacular end last night with a sold out show and a standing room tickets opened up to accommodate the crowds that flocked in, despite the bitter cold!

Over the past four nights we’ve seen a huge variety of designs aimed at different markets.

We have perpetually Five, providing “kids clothes for adults” as my friend Grant puts it. The show was a testament to the playfulness of the brand, with models jumping around, and even walking backwards down the runway. The designer Mitch Thompson even made his appearance at the end of the show on roller skates, much to the delight of the cheering crowd.

We’ve seen a slew of environmentally conscious brands like Purepod, Hanny-d Creations, Character and Audrey Blue. These brands challenged the audience to think more mindfully about their clothing choices and the repercussions those choices have here in Australia and across the globe. Audrey Blue even sent models down the runway sporting political slogans such as “this arse is fairtrade” and “I am a boat person too”.

Character designs featured mature models in their show, each of whom received a round of applause as she paraded down the catwalk. I wondered if this perhaps indicated the audience’s distaste for the fetishisation of youth that so often occurs in the fashion industry, and a sense of relief that older women can be just as fashion forward and bold as their younger counterparts.

But FASHFEST organisers had saved some of the best shows until last, with beautiful and wearable designs coming from SZN, Karen Lee, All eyes on Us and 4 Minutes 33 last night. Hijab House showed modest yet sleek and fashion forward designs for young Muslim women, including beautifully wrapped head scarves. The cherry on top of the fashion cake was the final show, Corr Blimey. This duo showcased a collection of edgy, sculptural pieces accessorised with cage-like jewellery from Silver Atom.

If you didn’t get a chance to make it to one of the shows, or if you’re keen to see the garments up close, FASHFEST will be holding a trade show today at East Hotel in Kingston from 11am-3pm.

Did you get to FASHFEST? Which was your favourite show?

Toni Magazine

This year Perpetually Five made a departure from their crazy colour palette, pairing it back to muted tones with a splash of their signature orange. The collection was still very much Perpetually Five, but showed a label that could keep to a strong design aesthetic while continuing to evolve. Designer Mitch’s appearance on the runway was a victorious skate around the runway, uniting the crowd in his spirit of fun.


Fashfest 2014 - Night Two Recap

After last night’s brilliant opener, the hype aroundFashfest 2014 continued to build with guests stepping out for another spectacular night of local fashion!

While the VIPs enjoyed a back-stage tour, the rest of the guests made sure socialising was in full swing with fashionistas chatting about whose designs they were most excited to see on the catwalk. 'The Ultimate Selfie' photo-booth had people posing as did the media wall, again lit with camera flashes for stylish snaps.

Getting off to another cheeky start was SWIMWEAR, by Eleanor Gates-Stuart and Jemima Parker, had models strutting the runway dressed once more in a collaboration between digital printing and fashion design. This time the colourful bikinis, tankinis and full piece bathers were accessorised with lab coats, laboratory glasses and fancy ruffled fabric additions. We loved the models’ teased high hair and fierce makeup - it totally completed the look.

Next, a new selection of the CIT Fashion Graduatesshowcased their creativity with innovative and somewhat out-there designs. We saw a fantastic a head-to-toe denim concept with intricate detailing using light and dark wash denims draped over one another to create a modern chic look. Other highlights included an old 'Victorian' look with lots of lace and flared sleeves, and old 'Victorian' look with lots of lace and flared sleeves,and an edgy duffle and cotton sleeveless dress over a mesh body suit.

These stand-out additions to the runway definitely gets us excited to see what these new designers have in store for their full collections after graduating!

G.Ginchy and a fabulous collection using black, a gorgeous plum colour and Peter Pan collars was next to hit the runway. A feminine and sophisticated collection of streamlined pencil skirts, and slightly flaired pants and blouses were mixed with on-trend crop tops, lots of lace and buttoning for detail. The standout piece was a gorgeous lace 1920s style dress worn by international model and the Face of Fashfest, Belinda Riding.

Next up was Recollection, by designer Philipa Soutberg, who draws inspiration mainly from her travels throughout our Australian country. Using her memories of places and colours, Recollection is a true reflection of versatility and comfort. The models showed that each outfit could be worn with ease and gave you chance to be stylish while on-the-move.

Tonight we saw men’s fashion hit an all time high with new kids on the block, Braddon Tailors, showcasing their stuff for the first time on the Fashfest runway. The perfectly tailored men's suits looked very sharp in a mixture of colours, prints and textures while the ladies suits were more demure but still looked strong and polished.

Skis and all, MONT - the stylish outdoor adventure label - showcased some of their latest hiking, skiing and casual weekend wear. The models made hiking boots and thick socks look stylish and paired them with colourful weather resistant jackets and chic black safety goggles. We all felt the cold a little bit more at that point and instantly wanted to be wearing what they were!

To top off a fantastic evening was Perpetually Five, and what a finale it was! The quirky, colourful and perfectly matching outfits by designer Mitchell Thompson were brilliant! He used a colour pallete of orange, black and white with a circled pattern for this latest collection and each outfit was a standout. We especially loved the men's shorts suit.

The entertainment of this last show didn't stop at the designs - the models jumped in tune with each other as they walked the runway which was a vibrant change, they even walked backwards down the catwalk before Mitchell made his way around the runway on a pair of skates and popped a confetti bomb.

The after party featuring live music and a fantastic atmosphere followed the show tonight giving guests the opportunity to mingle with the designers and discuss their favourite looks from the runway. Now, Night Two is now complete and we can't wait to find out what Night Three has in store for us!

Close Voyage - 02 May 2014

Fashfest 2014 Night 2 - Runway Rundown

o one thought Canberra was big enough or cool enough to have its own major annual fashion festival, but Canberrans know better.Canberra’s becoming a more exciting place to live in all the time, especially because of its fast growing fashion scene, thanks to FASHFEST, Canberra’s own ‘fashion week’ of sorts.

FASHFEST 2014 Night 2 showcased a diverse range of local designers. Highlights for me included elaborate head wear by BM Designs, peter pan collar heaven at G.Ginchy (very Alexa Chung), and beautiful suits from Braddon Tailors. Perhaps the most anticipated show of the night was Perpetually Five‘s second collection for FASHFEST, and it did not disappoint. Black, white and orange is so on point for me. More on that later!

The Canberran - 02 May 2014

Fashfest Night Two - Recap

Last night, the Canberra faithful made their way back in droves to Canberra Airport for another serving of the best in local fashion design at Fashfest 2014. After some absolutely stand-out pieces on Opening Night, there was definitely a buzz in the air prior to the models strutting their stuff with another eight collections set to warm up the chilly air.

Strap yourselves in… here comes another recap from the fabulous Top Notch!

Always fun and energetic, the crowd was not disappointed as models, through choreographed jumps showcased a collection of spots, dots, black, white and orange. The trademark quirkiness was there in the men’s collection with oversized jackets and long shorts and accessories, but the new women’s pieces, while retaining the fun showed a maturity in design that could immediately translate into work or play wear.

We liked: the choreographed runway jumps, the pops of orange amongst the monochrome, the release of womenswear and Mitch Thompson on roller skates.

Lost Four Words - 03 May 2014

Fashfest Night Two - Fun and Frivolity

It was ‘guys’ night out’ last night with Braddon Tailors and Perpetually Five showing some great corporate and casual styles for the man in the city (or anywhere for that matter).

We'll see you there!

Red Magpie - 3 May 2014

Fashfest Day 2 - The Scientist

 No rest for the wicked: it’s onwards, upwards and beyond to the wonderful world of science in Fashfest land. The second evening of Canberra’s leading fashion event pulled even more new designers and sartorially-savvy attendees out of the woodwork. Tonight’s theme, The Scientist, saw a great deal of nodding to our city’s rich history of scientific research, from CSIRO to the Shine Dome to Questacon. As per day one, we begin our story with swimwear.


Perpetually Five

C: Monochrome googly-eye prints with splashes of neon orange. Longline double-breasted jackets with tailored shorts or cropped trousers with turned-up cuffs. 2D bowties. Lady-like skirts, both of the fit-and-flare and pencil variety, teamed with crisp white shirts. A duster jacket that looked as if it had been half-dipped in print, leaving the top a rich black. I can describe the clothes, and tell you that every single piece was both beautifully finished and highly covetable – but that doesn’t really tell you everything you need to know about Perpetually Five, does it?

G: When I was in primary school we performed a musical, Kids in Space, which had a mad scientist in it. The scientist had this song: perpetual motion, going round and round, perpetual motion, what a beautiful sound! Now anyone who knows anything about perpetual motion knows that it’s physically impossible in practice, but in the land of children’s musicals anything is possible.

This is what I thought of as I watched Perpetually Five close Thursday night’s show. I also thought of 101 Dalmations, cartoon amoebas, Adventure Time, kodoma in Princess Mononoke, and, thanks to the models, Eric Wareheim’s music video for MGMT’s ‘The Youth’.

The point that I am trying to illustrate is that designer Mitch Thompson has this phenomenal ability to not only do to fashion what Dr. Seuss did to kids’ books, but to warm a few hundred hearts with childish glee. That, and he can whiz onstage and rollerblade around as an alternative to taking a bow. Definitely a highlight of Fashfest.

Canberra City News

Fashfest 2014: Night Two from the Seats

IT’S not just the clothes. It’s the live, original music, choreography, lighting, sound and the theatrical production that makes Fashfest an experience and an event. This is no ordinary fashion show and the second night proved that over and over.

Where to begin? Or shall we start at the end when designer Mitch Thompson from label Perpetually Five zipped around the rectangular shaped runway on roller skates to the delight of guests? Mitch’s designs departed from bright colours this year but were as fun as ever. This new collection, created with fabric featuring black and white ‘googly eyes’, is utterly charming and in 2014 Mitch has designed for women, not just men. The mono look was far from bland, with fluoro orange socks and bow ties adding pops of colour. This designer will never grow up and Canberra doesn’t want him to.

Each night of this four-day fashion showstopper surprises.

This year, for the first time, Fashfest has taken on an enormous challenge and designed its own line of contemporary swimwear—featuring an urban edge—in collaboration with Jets Digital and British fashion designer Shelley Campton, who now calls Canberra home.

The patterns on the swimwear last night celebrated ‘The Scientist’ theme and were designed by Eleanor Gates-Stuart, an artist-in-residence at CSIRO, and Jemima Parker, an emerging artist and screen-printer. The colours were sensational, the designs detailed and innovative and the collection all the more intriguing with some models also wearing lab coats and lab glasses. As one guest said: ‘Who needs leopard skin and animal prints when you can have science patterns?’

Fashfest is committed to helping the fashion industry grow and that starts with supporting those about to graduate from the Canberra Institute of Technology. These students are the next generation of Australian fashion professionals and nine designers launched work on the catwalk last night. The diversity was mind boggling and included long, flowing, feminine designs, sculptural looks and even sci-fi influences.

A highlight of the night was BM Designs, with designer Barb Mickelson launching not just her artistic and amazing hats but a stylish and graceful line of dresses and accessories that commanded attention. Each look was absolutely perfect. This is a designer to keep your eye on and one to go to when you need to stand out in the crowd at the races.

Grape, black and a bit of lace formed the next collection on the runway, launched by new designer Gina Poulakis from G.Ginchy, who specialises in creating garments for petite women who want to look curvaceous and fulsome. The aesthetic is feminine and graceful and last night’s designs looked sensational with Octavia Shoes, a high-fashion footwear label with a strong reputation for classic, sexy wedge shoes.

Often with the design the delight is in the detail and Philipa Soutberg’s very Australiana collection was no exception. This line of clothing is relaxed and easy-to-wear with a colour palette that reflects this country’s unique natural environment. Ochre, greys and browns feature and several pieces are enhanced with a ‘rabbit proof fence’ design, including a pair of funky leggings and an ‘easy-to-wear anywhere’ dress.

Men were not forgotten at the show with upmarket suits and ties by Braddon Tailors, owned by the very fashionable Pip Morgan and Tarun Charker. These lads also showcased some of the casual attire coming out of their Cotters Crossing label, still made with sensational fabrics and incredible attention to detail.

Then it was time for the climbing ropes, ice picks and skiis. Colourful gear by Mont Adventure Equipment kept models toasty warm in the cool airport venue. Asher Crawford, Miss Universe Finalist (2010), Olympian Alicia Coutts and international actor and model Liam Hall sported bright yellow, purple and red jackets. Mont is one of Canberra’s longest standing and most successful labels.

The company has never wavered from its high-performance outdoor apparel that is comfortable, fashionable and reliable when put to the test in the world’s harshest environments.

The after party rocked with guests spilling into the bar area to toast Canberra fashion and a great night out. Fashfest continues tonight and tomorrow night, with tickets available on www.fashfest.com.au

Ink & Leathers


Night two of Fashfest 2014 is done and dusted, but what a fantastic night it was. The talent on display last night was mesmerizing, and the crowd could sense that they were in for a truly remarkable experience of what Canberra has to offer.

Once again the Fashfest team went above and beyond, providing a world-class event that I know that they are proud of, and with good reason. Everything ran smoothly, everything looked amazing, and the atmosphere never dropped once. Thank you so much for all your amazing work.

I was delighted to meet two local ladies, sitting beside me in the front row, who were there as a treat for themselves for the second year in a row. If you read this, thanks for your company and conversation, and it was lovely to meet you both.

Once again there were eight different collections shown, with two shows showcasing the work of multiple designers at once. All of the collections were interesting and showcased real talent. That said, my personal favourites were Braddon TailorsG. Ginchy and of course Perpetually Five

Perpetually Five – Mitch Thompson's collection stole the night with it's amazing tailoring, restrained colour pallet and pure energy. This show was a delight to watch. Models jumped and walked backwards, the inspiration was the childhood craft staple the 'Googly Eye', and Mitch took his bow ON ROLLER SKATES! A fantastic show and a great close to the night.

Tomorrow we have Night Three - The Philosopher. Once again I'll have more front-row snaps, and next week I'll be doing in-depth reviews of the Menswear collections from Fashfest 2014.

The Sydney Morning Herald - 1 May 2014

Fashfest Models are Dressed for the Chill

As Fashfest rolled into its second night, some models were luckier than others on the catwalk, which is housed in notoriously chilly headquarters near the airport.

While the show again opened with swimwear, created by local visual artists and designers, Canberra label Mont Adventure Equipment featured clothing far more fitted to the outside climate.

The brand’s founder Andrew Montgomery first started creating his own products out of his bedroom in 1981.

“When I started the business, I just had a small bedsit in O’Connor and I was doing everything in that,” he said.


Mont was involved in the inaugural Fashfest last year, as an add on to the swimwear segment, and this is the first time they’ve presented a full collection.

Mont’s runway show featured clothing for the cooler weather, including mountaineering jackets and ski-wear.

“We’re not really in mainstream fashion, but one of the things that draws us to Fashfest is whilst we’re designing for bushwalking, travelling, skiing and climbing, there’s also a big crossover there – they’re great for general cold weather use,” he said.

When Montgomery started the business 30 years ago he never expected to still be in business by now, nor did he ever imagine his designs would be hitting the runway.

The brand’s products are far more at home in some of the toughest conditions in the world.

“We’ve supplied a lot of expeditions of people doing trips to Antarctica, North Pole, we’ve had our down jackets and sleeping bags on Everest several times, as well as other major Himalayan peaks,” he said.

“That’s part of the thing that draws us to the industry, is designing top end gear.”

Mont’s range was worn on the runway by three of Fashfest’s guest models – former Miss Universe finalist Asher Crawford, Olympian Alicia Coutts and international actor and model Liam Hall.

Thursday night also saw other labels the catwalk including Braddon Tailors, G. Ginchy, Recollection and BM Designs.

Perpetually Five's designer Mitchell Thompson was one of the more relaxed backstage before the show, having also been at Fashfest last year.

"I'm like a veteran now so I kind of know what to expect. I'm kind of relaxed," he said.

"I'm happy with my collection and I think it'll be a show stopper."

His fun and quirky collection featured a range of monochrome pieces, incorporating a pop of orange.

Win News

Backyard Opera

Steven Wright on Fashfest Canberra

Canberra’s growing creative hub makes its mark on Australian Fashion with Fashfest. BYO caught up with Producer Steven Wright to find out more about behind the scenes.

Can you describe what you're looking for when selecting designers to showcase at the event? Are there certain criteria that need to be met? 

We have an open application policy which means any designer who meets the criteria can apply. The applications go through an independent industry panel of fashion experts to be ranked and recommendations are put forward to FASHFEST. Final selections are then made the FASHFEST Executive. This gives our application and selection processes a transparency that is second to none. We select designers on their current standing in the industry (most of our designers have established labels) and provide support to those who have potential. Part of our role is to support and build the industry. We do so by offering professional workshops and mentoring in all aspects of the industry, from model management and public relations to finishes, fit and supply chain management.

In your opinion, how important is diversity in fashion? Is diversity a key difference between FASHFEST and something like Mercedes Benz Fashion Week? 

Diversity is not just important in fashion it IS fashion. It is the ability of an individual to find something that reflects their personality, communicates them as a person and makes them feel great. This is a wonderful thing. Diversity and individuality is what makes the fashion industry tick. Diversity is vitally important to FASHFEST. We make it a point to reflect contemporary Australian society in everything we do. This is why you will see mature models, ethnically diverse models and models with non-traditional body shapes walk the catwalk in 2014. It’s also why you will see designers who target a wide range of age groups and body shapes. One of our designers, for example, caters to women 60 years and above. This is one of the key differences in what we do as an organisation and other events. 

Name a few local designers that we should keep our eyes on, and briefly mention what it is about them that make them unique.

Rockstars and Royalty www.rockstarsandroyalty.com.au

Their aesthetic is a mix between Marie Antoinette and Debby Harry. Designer Vicky Kidd-Gallichan has a background in sculpture so she designs her garments using a structural technique similar to architecture, which is a strong foundation overlayed to create the final product. Her three-dimensional garments are stunning and were a stand-out last year. I’m more than a little excited for her new collection.

Perpetually Five www.perpetuallyfive.com/ 

The Perpetually Five aesthetic is fun, joy and creativity all rolled into one. Designer Mitch Thompson was that weird kid you see at school who turns out to be a genius. He uses digital printing techniques and non-traditional fabrics to re-fashion the boring side of menswear into something that celebrates weird kids everywhere.

Hijab House http://hijabhouseonline.com.au/

This is one of the most exciting labels to have as part of FASHFEST in 2014. This is what makes Australia great—a diverse, exciting and culturally appropriate label such as Hijab House. The aesthetic is sleek and modern—urban clothing for a young and diverse group of Muslim women. The garments are fashion forward, modest, stylish and beautifully made. They inspire confidence and a pride in their consumer which makes me happy.

What other creative/fashion events can Canberra look forward to this year? 

Canberra is full of creative fashion events. Every week offers something new and exciting, including  fashion. There are great weekly events at the innovative pop-up shop Three Little Birds and Little Boy Blue (www.facebook.com/threelittlebirdsandlittleboyblue) and always something happening fashion wise at Lonsdale Street Traders (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/a-guide-to-lonsdale-street-traders-20130214-2efzo.html). My two favourite boutiques, Assemblage Project (www.hercanberra.com.au/index.php/2013/08/27/assemblage-project/ ) and Department of the Exterior (www.hercanberra.com.au/index.php/2012/11/05/retail-review- supply innovative designs that go from the latest fabric technology to the attractiveness of pit-bulls. In April we are all heading to the fashion-specific designer twilight market Hustle&Scout (hustleandscout.com.au/) to find something great to wear at FASHFEST. At Hustle&Scout FASHFEST will be hosting a live photo shoot with Haus Models, bringing food and fashion together as part of the The Forage (www.facebook.com/theforageat ). 

We have just had Art not Apart ( http://newacton.com.au/ana) and are about to finish You are Here (youareherecanberra.com.au/). The creativity never ends. Later this year, after we have all recovered from FASHFEST, we will relax at the Truffle Festival (trufflefestival.com.au/) with a new batch of Canberra craft beers (http://www.zierholz.com.au/) and local wines (http://edenroadwines.com.au/).

Anything else that you'd like to add?

FASHFEST is like nothing you have ever experienced. It is a bespoke, innovative and completely designed fashion experience. We talk a big game because we deliver a big event. Canberra has grown out of the “I visited it when I was 10” mentality and become a fully formed creative hub that is fully capable of flexing its muscles. I have worked in fashion for more than a decade and FASHFEST is totally new and totally outside of the traditional fashion system. I invite anyone to come to the event and see for themselves. Canberra is cold in April and May so, bring a jacket.

Canberra Times - 28 April 2014

Fashfest 2014 - Fast Forward

Three Little Birds and Little Boy Blue

Susan Dlouhy of SZN and Mitch Thompson of Perpetually Five

W: facebook.com/threelittlebirdsandlittleboyblue

Fresh from graduating out of CIT's fashion design course and straight onto showcasing their collection on the Fashfest runway, Susan Dlouhy of SZN and Mitch Thompson of Perpetually Five show no signs of slowing down with the establishment of NewActon's Hotel Hotel Marketplace pop-up store Three Little Birds and Little Boy Blue.

Also featuring fellow designer Gina Poulakis of G.Ginchy and vintage hunter Netti Vonthehoff of April's Caravan, Three Little Birds and Little Boy Blue is a space where they can sell their garments and work on their commissions and collections in their down time.

"After Fashfest Mitch and I started looking for a joint space where we could showcase working and selling at the same time," Dlouhy says.

"I spoke to some guys at Hotel Hotel and that was how I was introduced to the pop-up space."

"Working within the precinct you very much feed off of the creativity that's happening within the space and that vibe. It's just oozing from everywhere you look," Poulakis says.

Mitch says Fashfest was a valuable stepping stone into the industry that made a name for his label and gave him the exposure to build recognition and direct sales.

"The main thing about Fashfest is having a connection with all the other creatives around Canberra. It's opened up an opportunity to talk to other people, get to know them and spread your ideas," he says.

"Fashfest was my first big fashion show and I thought because I got so much PR out of it last year that this year it would be less, but that's not the case, it's still helping my business grow."

For Dlouhy, being involved in Fashfest and Three Little Birds and Little Boy Blue is a great vehicle for developing a network of relationships based around an appreciation of fashion.

"It's a hard thing to convert a typical Canberran into thinking about their engagement in fashion. I find about 80 per cent of people still see the space as an installation and you have to fashion educate them," Dlouhy says.

"Every day I get into conversations about how we got here, the manufacturing industry in Australia, about policy, sizing standards, self-confidence and body issues, trends, material use, colours, and all these crazy things, which is great because you don't get that in normal retail stores.

"People are surprised that this is even happening in Canberra."

Hustle & Scout Advertisement


Ink & Leathers - 4 April 2014

Fashfest 2014 - Designer Profile: Perpetually Five

Perpetually Five is a Canberra based and made Menswear label which challenges our conceptions of what is age-appropriate, and celebrates the ingenuity and freedom of a spirit that is young at heart. I was lucky enough to meet with designer Mitchell Thompson at the 'Three birds and little Boy Blue' pop-up store/studio this Tuesday past, and to gain a little more of an insight into what Perpetually Five is all about, and what we can expect for Fashfest 2014.


What I love about Perpetually Five is the feeling of celebration in all the garments that Mitch creates. In a lot of up and coming menswear labels there is a real move away from the idea of the uniform, and of corporate dress versus casual. While talking with Mitch he pointed out that a lot of what he makes could realistically be either men's or women's clothes, and could also be quite dressy or very casual, depending on how the garments themselves were styled and who was wearing them. 

Perpetually Five is official runway alumni for Fashfest, and it is clear to see why. With striking designs and eye catching fabrics, most of which Mitch designs himself, Perpetually Five is an energetic and engaging label that really makes you want to try on the clothes. And, in exciting news for any female fans of the label out there, in this year's show Mitch will be introducing a selection of women’s wear. 

I asked Mitch what can we expect from Perpetually Five at Fashfest 2014. Obviously he wasn't giving much away, but he did share that he had based the whole collection around an easily-recognizable childhood object, and that the collection would be largely monochromatic. Furthermore, Belinda Rider, the face of Fashfest 2014, will be walking for Perpetually Five this year.

The Perpetually Five 2014 collection will be shown on Thursday May first, and Mitch promises that this year's collection will still be a lot of fun, and quite a show. 
Fashfest 2014 will be held at the award-winning Canberra Airport, 29 April to 3 May, Brindabella Park. It’s an amazing space—raw, industrial and intriguing. Tickets on sale now through www.fashfest.com.au

Heat Storm - 26 March 2014

Perpetually Five Part Two


Part two of my collaboration with Perpetually Five and FASHFEST involves a certain adorable koala-print jumper. I wanted to play up the fun factor of the piece by shooting it in the arcade at Belconnen Mall, and I got even more into the spirit by donning the teenage uniform of denim shorts, sneakers and mid-rise school socks.

FYI arcades are an ideal place to shoot as they're full of kids who don't judge you for being a weird grown up who likes to hang out on the floor drinking red Fanta slushies. Definitely need to start doing this more often.

Anywho, Perpetually Five will be showing at FASHFEST on 31 May, and you can get your tickets at fashfest.com. I myself am super keen to see what they will be showing and what fun touches they will be adding this year!

Photography is of course by the gorgeous and endlessly talented Closet Voyage.

Closet Voyage - 24 March 2014



Being a tomboy could may well be what I'm best at doing in life, so dressing appropriately for tree climbing and mud pie making is paramount. Who says you can't be an adult that climbs trees and makes mud pies? Just be Perpetually Five.

Yes, that was my (clever) attempt at segueing  into talking about these fabulous shorts byCanberra Fashion Designer, Mitch Thompson. His label is Perpetually Five. Why? Because you should just be if that's what you want. I remember, with all the vividness of afavourite childhood candy, Mitch's graduating collection shown at CIT Kinetic Parade in 2012 - a slew of printed men's pieces made from children's imaginative drawings of paper ducks, purple seahorses and florescent cows. Two years later, he's continued on with those same brilliant ideas and expanded his pieces to jumpers, t-shirts and headbands (printed with miniatures of his own face).

So of course, I was thinking, why should be boys have all the cool thing? Just like when I was a kid, running after my male cousins for their clothes, I jealously horde menswearwhere I can. These shorts by Perpetually Five had my eyes lit up like an RC robot on full batteries. They're roomy (for the tree climbing), structured just right and remind me ofkindergarten handkerchiefs with the name tags ironed on.

Perpetually Five will be showing at this year's FASHFESTCanberra's biggest annual fashion event held over four nights from 30 April to 3 May 2014 with different designers every night! Get your tickets here before they sell out! Also, read my blog post detailing all the types of tickets up for grabs. Also get all the news on FASHFEST's twitter and facebook!


Heat Storm - 24 March 2014

Perpetually Five Part One


This is part one of a number of looks Jiawa from Closet Voyage shot for me over the weekend using Perpetually Five's pieces. Mitch Thompson is the designer, and his was one of my favourite shows from last year's FASFEST, showcasing a collection filled with bright, child-like prints and wacky styling.

I thought I'd tone the pants down a little here for a beachy look with crazy printed thongs and a plain cut-off crop top.

Mitch will be showing at FASFEST again this year, you can get your tickets at fashfest.com if you want to see what he comes up with next!

Stay tuned for more Perpetually Five coming up on the blog this week xx

Your Fake Tan Is Falling Off - 11 March 2014

Men of Style

My name is Mitch Thompson 

I am a fashion designe

My Favourite word is ‘probably’

My Favourite Scents are salt and vinegar chips

I am inspired by colour

My outlook on politics is – I don’t like the Liberal Party or the Labour Party, I just like to party.

I would describe my look as quirky

I can’t live without picking my nose

The song that I can’t stop listening to right now is Bloc Party Ratchet

My Instagram account has 203 followers

I have never had coffee

My all time favourite read is Zac Attack: Hanson's Little Brother

One food I cannot live without is chicken

I buy most of my wardrobe from eBay

My place of relaxation is my bed

My favourite beverage is Captain Morgan’s and dry

My favourite place in the world is Portugal

I do not have a tattoo

My celebrity doppelgänger is Ryan Gosling

My friends call me KillerCloserCobra

When I was a child I was a little shit

I own 19 pairs of jeans

I have an obsession with clothes

My favourite colour is blue

I own too many t-shirts

My relationship status is single

People don’t know that I killed Mufasa

I have a fear of growing up

My pet peeve is people who do not indicate.

I believe in most things, but I don’t believe in rude people.

My all time favourite sound is the first bite of a carrot

Miley Cyrus should give me a million dollars

Maybe I should change careers and be an armature roller blader.

My favourite Friends character is Phoebe

Kanye and Kim called their child North West I would call my child Felix.

I am passionate about fashion

My favourite animal is a giraffe

Last night I dreamt that I had the strangest dream. I sailed away in a little old boat to China.

One word to describe me would be ‘an idiot’

You should never leave the house in Ugg Boots, Crocs or 3-quarter cargo pants.

Canberra Times - 15 January 2014

NewActon pop-up store continues Canberra's Melbournesque makeover

Everything about NewActon is so fiendishly new, avant-garde and up-to-the-minute. And so the mind is boggled a little by the sudden emergence there of a space celebrating the 1950s and 1960s.

“Shall I turn the music down?” Suzan Dlouhy wondered as she began Tuesday’s guided tour of Three little birds & little boy blue. And the music she was worried about was by those stars of long ago Little Richard and Roy Orbison. They were warbling on an olde vinyl platter spinning on a period, wood-cased Astor record player.

The mind’s bogglings as one crosses the threshold of the “creative hub” are caused in part by the fact that to get to it, to step into the 1950s, one has just ascended the dashingly 21st century staircase of the Hotel Hotel in the Nishi building.  To go in to Three little birds & little boy blue and into the embrace of songs from a prehistoric hit parade is to feel the shock of the old.

But it is great fun. We associate NewActon with a kind of Melbournesque trendiness and sure enough this new (it opened on Monday) “pop-up shop” may be the first to pop up in Canberra.


“This,” Dlouhy explained (speaking loudly to be heard above Orbison’s Almost 18, a hymn to his girl friend who has barely reached the age of consent) “is a creative hub.”

“It’s been designed and styled by owner of April’s Caravan, Janette (Netty) VontheHoff. So the idea is that it’s a little mini-house [set in a spacious, sunlight-lit space on Hotel Hotel’s foyer level]. She’s recreated a vintage,  1950s style household within the space.”

“We [the five tenants] expect to be here two or three months. Pop-ups like this usually occupy a space that’s in transition. There’s a lot of them in Melbourne and Sydney. It’s like you get in retail hubs and there’s a gap in tenancies and you find local artists invited in to have somewhere they wouldn’t normally have to showcase their stuff. So it’s usually  an opportunity for local people to get a foot in the door.”

The occupants of the pop-up shop are fashion designer Gina Poulakis of label G. Ginchy, fashion designer Dlouhy of label SZN, and the owner of April’s Caravan, Janette (Netty) VontheHoff. They’re the three little birds. The little boy is fashion designer Mitch Thompson of label Perpetually Five. Artist and designer Jodie Cunningham will also work from the space.

All five have their own very distinctive spaces, within the shop, where they ply their various crafts and sit among the things, all on sale, that they’ve made and/or collected. So for example Dlouhy sits at a discreetly fabulous 1950s Husqvarna sewing machine (made in Sweden). It is as dear to her, you can tell from the way she sings its praises, as a Stradivarius violin is to a virtuoso fiddler.

And so for example Gina Poulakis works in the “kitchen” of the “mini-house” furnished with the kitchen artefacts of the 1950s. The star of the latter (and perhaps the star of the whole space) is a freshly-painted (an authentic pale, custardy cream) Hallstrom refrigerator of the 1950s. In working order (Dlouhy opened it to show cold drinks within) it has some of the noble, bulbous qualities of the very first Holden motor cars.

Dlouhy’s own space is, she laughs, the mini-house’s “garden”.

“Yes,” she explained at the next stop on our tour (speaking above Little Richard admitting I brought it all on myself) “this next space is mine.”

“I’m using [to make unique clothes] a mixture of sustainability techniques and using fabrics that have been given to me. Vintage fabrics and from around the world.”

One “futuristic dress” that almost brought a blush to this reporter’s cheek, is a black leather creation “made completely from recycled leather scraps”. Dlouhy imagines it being worn on-stage by an in-your-face female rock-star.

Certainly Roy Orbison’s aforementioned teenage girl friend would never have worn such as thing for the song has this thumbnail sketch of her:

Full skirt, don't flirt, ballerina shoes

Pin slips, two lips that never sing the blues.

“So my space is the outdoor garden,” Dlouhy explained, pointing out the fake lawn (Astroturf) beneath our feet, “the hanging baskets, the wicker furniture”.

“It’s all to simulate me [and her stylish old Husqvarna] being outside because I’m the sunshine character here. And you should see [through her glass wall] the sunset here over Parliament House. It’s amazing. It’s beautiful.”

And in the two or three months in the evanescent “pop-up shop” that she and the others will enjoy the view of the sunset, there are to be all sorts of novel activities not normally associated with a normal shop. For example on Saturdays at 2pm there will an informal “In the Lounge Room With…” get together at which a chosen creative artist is invited to sit near the Astor and talk and play.

Thinking Fashion Australia - 20 December 2013

The Future Fashion Stars... Of Canberra

I thought I would sneak in just one more style post before the end of the year!

As many of you know, I lived in Canberra for five years and despite having a reputation for being riddled with roundabouts and politicians, there is actually quite a thriving creative scene there. It’s just not overt like it is in Sydney. There are quiet afternoon gigs in hidden galleries, backyard BBQ’s become jam sessions and fashionistas flock to local art centres. It’s not ‘in your face’ but make no mistake, Canberra’s style scene is on the rise.

Last year they held their own Fashion Festival for the first time (watch out Melbourne!) and have more recently introduced a seasonal market called Hustle & Scout.

In many ways, Hustle & Scout is just like your typical market, but is dedicated to offering ‘one of a kind’ pieces that might be upcycled, recycled, vintage, eco friendly or just part of an emerging fashion label from the region.

They held a market last weekend and have already announced one for April, so in the spirit of supporting my former hometown, here is a snapshot of three of the best rising labels from the capital.


A label created by the super talented Suzan Dlouhy, SZN is all about exploring the most straightforward ways to make a garment and challenges our culture of mass production. Suzan says she has always been a collector and that sustainability is at the heart of the label, although she does occasionally deviate to incorporate diverse material inspiration.

Perpetually Five

The stunning shot at the top of the page is one of this label’s creations. A menswear line from Mitchell Thompson, Perpetually Five is all about moving away from the standard suits and into something more vibrant and new. Inspired by a child’s imagination, it builds a bridge between being fun, smart and sophisticated.


Jade Sargent is the brains behind this ‘occasion wear’ line which specialises in race wear and millinery. Its point of difference, is that it is committed to bringing zero waste pattern making to Australia. SOVATA came about its name, as ‘Ovata’ is the botanical term for the Jade plant. Innovative in more ways than one!

Your Fake Tan is Falling Off - 16 October 2013

Global Local editorial.


This guy right here is my friend Alex, we go way back. He’s a musician and for a while I’ve been telling him to do some modelling. His band recently got picked up by an American label and so in between his crazy tour schedule he had some down time and we decided to shoot.

The shoot features product by an amazing up and coming label Perpetually Five. What I particularly love about their product is the crazy colour combinations and childlike patterns and prints. We’re obsessed with colour, print and the clashing of textures.

Let us know what you think. 

Tweet us at twitter.com/gerry_wilton

Instagram us @gerry_wilton

City News - 02 May 2013

Sell-out Fashfest doesn’t disappoint

IN the depths of the Brindabella Business Park, a beautiful stranger leads us into a huge, industrial building with a red-lit entrance. 

Inside, DJs spin dubstep, shirtless men serve lollies and guests walk the red carpet. Above it all, there’s an unmistakable air of anticipation – the inaugural Fashfest had finally begun.

A 400-strong crowd of Canberra’s most stylish turned up in their finest for last night’s opening, with a sprinkling of celebrities and high-profile locals. But it wasn’t entirely who you’d expect – Deputy Opposition Leader Alistair Coe and Brumbies star David Pocock were among those who couldn’t resist a sneak peek of the exciting fashion festival. (Some locals were reportedly so excited, they were lining up a good hour before the doors were due to open.)

As guests sipped champagne and settled into their seats,  a pre-show visual of youth culture in 1970s Canberra – a vision of mullets, cigarettes and short-shorts – was shown as heavy dubstep pounded.

Opening the show was swimwear label Baku, and curly-haired, sun kissed models wearing bright bikinis and puffa jackets strutted down the runway, blowing air kisses and winking to the crowd. As models walked, a live soundtrack was provided by talented singer Xavier Dunn and DJ James Erskine, of local electronica group Shot Gun Cubs.

Hunter slowed things down with moody models drifting dreamily across the runway. Oriental-print cropped jackets, loose-fitting trousers and tartan-printed outfits were key pieces.

A standout was menswear label Perpetually Five, whose colourfully printed suits were young and playful – geometric patterns clashed with stripes worn with clear, plastic suit jackets. There were moments of brilliance, as the male models’ grim demeanour artfully contrasted with the bright, fun suits they were wearing. Each carried a balloon which they let slip out of their hands at the end of the show.

Womenswear label Lisa T was infused with a feminine, ethereal element, as statuesque models wore floor-length, two-toned coral gowns and gorgeous Little Red Riding Hood-esque jackets with sequin detail and fur-lined hoods.

WND.LND had models with princess-leia style buns and deep red lips dramatically strutting down the catwalk wearing black veils, sheer dresses and jackets with the word “Virgin” scrawled across the back.

And bringing a spectacular finale was bridal labelRockstars and Royalty, whose colourful gowns came in sequinned, jewelled and floral appliqué . A  disco ball-style gown stunned and shimmered across the runway while a sweet-heart busted, cream dress with jewelled detail at the bust and waist was a standout, sending a few brides-to-be reaching for their iphones. Face of Fashfest Anneliese Seubert made an appearance on the runway, rocking a show-stopping gold and green sequinned gown, looking every inch the supermodel.


Red Magpie - 03 May 2013


From the very beginning of Fashfest, the emphasis has been on local people, local history and local pride. Every person involved, from makeup to designers to hair to tunes, is connected to Canberra. Co-founders Clint and Andrea Hutchinson might have pulled up the proverbial megaphone to Canberra-naysayers, but the best part about this hugely achieved fashion event is that it’s showing Canberrans how much we have to be proud of.

As a pre-show lead-in, film snippets of iconic Canberra scenes from the 1970s and 80s played on the triple-screen backdrop to the catwalk, taken from the National Film and Sound Archive and put together by By George Studios. Musical duo Shotgun Cubs subtly guided the varying tone of each parade, and I was shocked to realise that vocalist Xavier Dunn was singing live—it was so incredibly effective that I initially assumed the vocals were pre-recorded and already digitalised.

As for the fashion? Let Elly Freer’s excellent photography and my enthusiastic words show you.

One of the many things I love about Mitchell Thompson’s designs is that they give grown men the opportunity to wear dinosaur print pants. His Fashfest collection used not only playtime extravaganza prints but also loads of clear raincoat plastic. Puddles ahoy! Save Perpetually Five’s duck patterns and Crayola shorts for a rainy day, but don’t forget to greet your afterschool partner-in-crime with a jellyfish high-five like the models did.

Once / Twice Blog - 02 May 2013


The first night of the inaugural Canberra Fash Fest kicked of with some of the Capital’s most playful designers. The raw industrial space was filled to the brim with the well dressed and a whole lot of fun runway outfits to poke our eyes at. We crushed hard over Hunter, Lisa. T, Perpetually Five and WND.LND. It’s safe to say that these young designers are sure to influence the style of Canberra’s fashion savvy. 

Well, gentlefolk and fashion fans, finally we are off and running with FashFest. We’ve just returned from the premiere evening where the first five designers showed their wares on the airports most fashionable runway. So, what did we find? What can you expect? How did it go?

Well, a sea of colourful, swirling lights greeted Canberra’s fashionistas as they made their way to a part of the airport not accustomed to such colour and shape. The broad ramp leading to the entry of No. 3 Molonglo gave a feeling of grandeur, as attendants confirmed revellers’tickets prior to even reaching the front entrance.

Inside, the massive Wednesday-night crowd mimicked the frenzy of the outside lights as they snacked on hors d’oeuvres from Shorty’s and drank from the bar manned by Canberra’s new kids from EightySix Restaurant.  Familiar faces from Canberra’s design scene over the years soaked up the excitement of our city’s first real crack at a multi-evening fashion event, while a crop of bright young things checked out who-was-who while dressed with a mix of elegance and adventure.

But not for long.  Shortly before 8.30 guests were asked to take their place, admitted to the seating area in order of the cost of their tickets (quite appropriately really, when one hosts a show at an airport!). Before we knew it (and through a pretty herculean effort by the ushers) everyone had their seats.

The lights darkened and it was show time.

Fittingly, we were treated to a montage of scenes celebrating the Centenary of Canberra via the four large video screens at rear of the catwalk. After a few minutes we were in the dark again.  Local electronic and vocal duo Shotgun Cubs kicked into action and would go on to supply 45 minutes of amazing musical accompaniment.

Now, it was finally time for Canberra’s fashion to take centre stage.

Perpetually Five

Boys in shorts and colourful patterns, accented by transparent umbrellas, bright red suitcases and balloons.

What we liked: What’s not to love?  If Canberra’s men dressed like this the Public Service would be a happier place.

Her Canberra - 02 May 2013


It was obvious as soon as we walked in the door at around 7:15pm…this was going to be big. The massive Canberra Airport space was already packed with beautiful people sipping champagne, having photos taken with shirtless young lads emblazoned with the FASHFEST logo, and revelling in the red carpet atmosphere. Forget that whole big city fashionably late thing, Canberra audiences are punctual, dammit, and we were excited.

No. 3 Molonglo Drive, Brindabella Business Park, may be just 500 metres from the main entrance of the airport, but it was a world away from the usual commuter bustle. Its massive atrium provided a magnificent setting for Canberra’s first four-day festival of fashion, and it wasn’t until we glimpsed the hundreds of seats waiting to be filled by fashion fans that we truly understood just what a feat Clint and Andrea Hutchison and their team had pulled off.

It’s no secret that the ZOO Advertising Team know their stuff, and they’ve brought together every single thing they know about branding and production into FASHFEST – the bar, the programs, the music (performed live last night by James Erskine and Xavier Dunn of Shotgun Cubs), the red carpet area – every aspect had been considered. This was a professional show and an impressive debut for the Festival.

Drinks were sipped, canapes were consumed, cheeks were air-kissed and before we knew it, it was time for the show. A video retrospective of fashion from By George using the National Film and Sound Archives collection set the scene (expect a different montage each night), and then it was all about the fashion.

Models alternately stalked, swaggered or floated along the catwalk, depending on the vibe of the brand they wore – each label’s identity was impressively separate – and that extended to hair and makeup. Baku was cheeky and flirty; Hunter was understated and ethereal; Perpetually Five streetwise and playful; Lisa T whimsical (think Red Riding Hood making her glamorous way through the wood to grandma’s); WND-LND quirky-regal; and Rockstars and Royalty living up to the brand with their combination of floaty, detail-rich dresses with teased hair and bright lips.

It became very obvious that Canberra is not only home to great fashion, we also grow some beautiful girls…and although they were all pretty amazing, it was not hard to see why Anneliese Seubert has achieved international fame. She literally glided down the runway, and those feline features were truly captivating. Total girl crush.

But back to the fashion. What did the brands showcase? What were our favourites? Editor, Amanda Whitley, and Fashion Editor, Fiona Keary, give you the lowdown.

City News - 01 May 2013

A NEW event such as Fashfest always brings expectations and hype. But what if you’re a newcomer to the fashion festival scene? “CityNews” fashion writer LAURA EDWARDS shares a few “unspoken rules” to help prep you for one of the most exciting events of the year.

Rule # 1: Play it cool

While there’s usually always a bar at fashion festivals, most guests’ cocktail glasses rarely touch their well glossed lips. The key is to sip, not slurp. Stumbling and slurring before being seated isn’t ever in vogue. If your glass isn’t empty at the end of cocktail hour – which for this particular event, is actually one and a half – you’ve done well. And what of eating? Those canape trays usually go untouched, but there’s nothing chic about a grumbling stomach. Reach for those mini-quiches – just don’t spill any on your ensemble!

Rule # 2: Smile – just a little

Seasoned fashion week attendees will know a smile in the front row is about as rare as a model over a size 10. It just doesn’t seem to “go” with fashion. But this is an exciting event, so let’s break the trend with a little animation. Skip the angry face and show some teeth – or at the very least, a placid, mona-lisa smile will do. At the end of the show, a simple golf clap is the appropriate amount of enthusiasm to show – use “oohs” and “aahs” sparingly.

Rule # 3: Don’t go all Anna Wintour

Then there’s the perennially tough, but arguably most important question – what to wear? Fashion festivals always seem to conjure up images of fur coats and dark sunglasses, but don’t go OTT – this is Canberra after all, home of the chic and understated look. If you’re unsure, stick to just one item on trend – whether that be studded ankle boots, leather pants, a faux-fur vest, a graphic-print shirt, or a cool trench. Do rug up – as it is a raw, industrial space there won’t be any heaters. Leave the sunglasses at home.

Rule # 4: Schmooze

And finally, the after party – typically known as the part where models skulk around and men run after them. Fashfest is running its at Tongue and Groove, which has a more relaxed, friendly atmosphere. But if you thought it was the time to kick off your heels, you thought wrong.  Schmooze with others from the event – you never know what fabulous people you may meet. It’s far more interesting than sulking in the corner and muttering: “I can’t believe she’s wearing that!”

FASHFEST will be held at 7pm for 8.30pm start, at 3 Molonglo Drive, Brindabella Business Park, Canberra Airport. Parking is free. Pre-show drinks on arrival (cash bar). Fashion parade and live performances by musical artists and DJs. After party for each night at Tongue and Groove in Civic. 

HERE’S an overview of the Fashfest program (May 1-4), night by night:

Night 1

Designers: Baku, Hunter, Lisa T, Perpetually Five, WND.LND, Rockstars and Royalty.

As this is opening night, it’s sure to have a buzz. There’s a great mix of designers here, from the pink wedding dresses of Rockstars and Royalty to the playful and feminine WND.LND. A particular highlight will be quirky label Lisa T – expect lots of rebellious studs and tough leather. Sure to steam up the catwalk will be swimwear label Baku, offering a collection of glamorous separates, exotic cut-outs and sleek one pieces. A talking point will be the colourful and quirky suits from menswear label Perpetually Five.

Night 2

Designers: Jennifer Aniela, Sovata, Purepod, Andie Meredith, Gabrielle Everitt, Sofia Polak, Baku, Sarah Joseph Couture.


Expect some amazing couture dresses and flowy, feminine pieces from this set of designers. Sarah Joseph Couture will have a huge presence on the catwalk with her dramatic gowns, while Sovata will keep things colourful. Timeless, feminine pieces from women’s wear label Annie Meredith and gorgeous frocks from Sofia Polak are sure to stun.


Night 3

Designers: SZN, Edition, Dissonance, Karen Lee, 4 Minutes 33, Baku, They Lied! We Can Fly, A Concept.


Expect tonight’s designers to really push the boundaries between fashion and wearable art. Highlights include label SZN, using recycled materials for a creative touch; Edition, exploring “the meaning of place” through fashion and Karen Lee, which uses one-off pieces destined for scrap, adding unusual twists.


Night 4

Designers: Corr Blimey, Aperiodic, U.L.E, M&TM & E4 Collaboration, Scarlette, Shekudo, Baku, Material by Product.


If you were lucky enough to score tickets to closing night, expect it to go off with a big bang. Designers tonight will help to ensure there’s a colourful exit, with quirky label Aperiodic sure to stun with its futuristic, richly layered designs and Corr Blimey’s geometric and structural garments. Watch out for the luxurious designs of Material by Product and Scarlette’s graphic, two-dimensional garments. After it’s all over, toast a glass and start planning for next year’s event!

Models Thomas Arbant Zadier, wearing Perpetually Five, and Erica Foster, wearing Rockstars and Royalty. Hair by Chad Wijayatilake, Form Haircutters and makeup by Bindi Kelly and Kylie Bersinic. Photography by Andrew Campbell


Canberra Style Magazine - 29 April 2013

Though his ethos is forever young, Mitch Thompson’s label is growing at a rapid rate – even though he only graduated from CIT’s Fashion Design course last year.

“Each year, the graduate class puts on a big parade, and our parade was called ‘Kinetic’,” he says. “We got in touch with Zoo, because they did all the advertising for it…Clint came to the parade and they were a big part, and they liked all our stuff – and asked us back to Fashfest.”

Thompson is happy – and a little overwhelmed – that’s he’s been invited to a major event like Fashfest.

“Right after graduating, to get into a big fashion week parade is a big deal… it’s just really good for my label, because it’s only just starting,” he says.

Thompson’s label, Perpetually Five, aims to bring the brighter side of life to the often stilted world of fashion by employing brash colours and unconventional materials like 

PVC perspex.

“I see fashion as sort of a serious industry, especially over the last few years, most of the designers are coming out and getting a lot of press for black-on-black aesthetics, and 

I just like to bring colour and put a more fun side,” he says.

Not only does he aim to ensure his garments are fun, Thompson wants the design process itself to be fun.

“I design my own prints, and what I did, I went to a primary school and did a kind of a Mr Squiggle drawing with the kids, and that’s where my patterns developed from,” he says. “It’s just giving a quirky, fun style to menswear, and taking traditional pieces and making them more fun.”

Fashion design, Thompson believes, is the logical extension of his long-held desire to own a clothing store.“I thought, 'what better step to make your own clothes and make what you like'. You always search around, and can’t find exactly what you want. So I thought, I can make the clothes, or design them myself.”

Perpetually Five - Daniel Spellman.jpg

Once /Twice Blog - 21 April 2013


two flâneur types, four Canberra designers and a 24 hour trip to shoot. One amazing fashion festival is coming to Canberra so we thought we’d show you a little bit of what to look forward to. Fashfest Canberra is almost here! 

Canberra Times - 04 April 2013

Haute new heights for Canberra couture 

Canberra’s inaugural fashion festival event Fashfest is set to reach haute new heights when it takes off at Canberra Airport on May 1 for four days of Champagne and couture fuelled catwalk fun.

The Canberran equivalent to the Fashion Weeks staged in Sydney and Melbourne will take place at 3 Molonglo Drive in Brindabella - the brand-new 35,000 square metre office block at the Canberra Airport.

Organisers Clinton and Andrea Hutchinson and the 30 designers involved are looking forward to taking over the modern industrial building which will be converted to five-star office accommodation in 2014.

Over four nights the space will be remade to stage four separate fashion shows with after parties to follow. An array of colourful, structural garments can be expected to float down the catwalk alongside one of kind, eco-friendly creations for both men and women during the Capital’s first ever fashion marathon.


Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron said the event was long overdue.

“After 100 years we believe it is time for Canberra to step up and take its place on the global stage as a national capital of which Australians can be justifiably proud,” Mr Byron said.

“It’s time to shed Canberra’s big country town image. Having a world-class airport and a world-class fashion show demonstrate how far this city has come and how much it has to offer.

“The very staging of this show speaks volumes about the sophistication and maturity of our city. It says we have arrived.”

As a partner in Fashfest, Mr Bryon praised the “local Canberra entrepreneurship and vision” that was driving the event noting that while it would have a new location in 2014, it would continue to enjoy the Canberra Airport’s support.

“We are committed to Fashfest for the long haul - not just 2013 - but in in the years to come,” Mr Byron said.

Wearing a gown by local label 4 Minutes 33, Fashfest ambassador Anneliese Seubert led a procession of models through the airport’s new Western Concourse on Thursday to officially launch the event to a crowd of eager bloggers, fashion watchers and supporters.

The venue announcement comes days after it was confirmed Canberra born and raised Project Runway winner Anthony Capon will be returning home for Fashfest to showcase his wares prior to his international debut at Paris Fashion Week.  

If creativity has a name it would be Mitchell Thompson. The menswear designer and 2012 CIT graduate is in the midst of putting the finishing touches and flourishes on his collection which will open the event on May 1.

Rather than work with a graphic designer for his label Perpetually Five, Mr Thompson engaged the help of the year two and three students at Campbell Primary School.

“The inspiration comes from the kids who played Mr Squiggle at school so I’ve incorporated their drawings of ducks, giraffes and other colourful things into the patterns of the suits, shirts and pants,” he said.

Tickets for Fashfest are available now through Moshtix. 


The Canberran - 04 December 2012

CIT Fashion Graduates: KINETIC 2012

Style and Belco Mall do not particularly strike us as mutual concepts.  Typically, larger shopping centres tend to overreach, telling us how fashionable they are which inevitably ends up an exercise in self-delusion. Certainly though, Westfield Belconnen should be saluted for hosting a wonderful event last Saturday night (1 December): The 2012 graduating students of a CIT Bachelor of Design (Fashion Design) held a parade which demonstrated the skills and talent developed over the last three years.

Mercifully, there was not one pair of trackie dacks to be seen.

This was more than a gathering at the main stage of the mall.  Guests weaved down a concrete tunnel to a large storage area somewhere in the belly of Belco. The stark space had been transformed into a fashion show hall with a large square runway and seats on either side, dark lighting, a VIP drink bar and large round lanterns in the centre.

It was great to see not just the family and friends come in support of the designers but also the members of industry, buyers and lovers of fashion to enjoy the show. The night’s guest speaker Anthony Capon who graduated from CIT in 2005 and went on to win the second season of Project Runway in 2007 – a local boy made good.

Now to the designers: the show featured seven young graduates whose collections were inspired by a range of concepts: children’s imagination, old buildings in Melbourne, minimal waste, dance movement and music in 3D form. These themes were clearly represented in not just the designs, but the movement of the models, hair and make up, and the music chosen for each collection. There was gentle draping, clever cutting, sheer panels, translucent sequins and amazing patterns.

The highlight of the show would have to be Mitchell Thompson and his labelPerpetually Five. There was a great mix between neutrals and funky prints, chaps, funky suits, brightly coloured socks (and especially the Perspex raincoat…).

All-in-all it was a fantastic evening.  We thank CIT and the Kinetic crew for having us along, and look forward to future success from the class of 2012.