Fashion Awards @ home

Western Australian Fashion Awards,

Illustrator, Pippa McManus - finalist in the Creative Edge category
Last night at Queen St's swanky Venn Gallery, Style Circle announced the 2012 finalists for the annual WA Fashion Awards, affectionately known to industry folks as the WAFAs.

Across nine categories the awards recognise designers, models, bloggers, boutiques and "creatives" alike.
[Note: the quotation marks above denote my concern/distaste/skepticism at having just ONE category to encompass everything from stylists to illustrators to hair & makeup and photographers]

But, if you want to hear me whinge about this for hours - you'll have to call me.
'Cause right now is about my favourite picks to win for 2012.

Most Innovative Designer

via Fashionising, Alex Mansour - Hot Pixel

Garth Cook
Currently making his home in the uber-cool One40William development, Garth uses the space as a sort of studio slash retail space and is possibly most well known [now] for his bedazzled trucker caps featured in this years Perth Fashion Festival (Designer Capsule 2).
Why would you say Garth Cook is innovative?
"I think my aesthetic is modern and clean. It try to keep cutting simple yet thoughtful [pieces] by thinking about the person wearing the garment. 
I think the label is innovative because I strive for continuous improvement by challenging myself each season with fabrics and cutting while staying true to the idea behind the brand.

How does Garth explain the concept behind his label?
 The idea behind the brand is to create an original idea that is exciting yet wearable and to the highest of quality. It’s also directed to women that love fashion and don't want to follow a trend or wear the same thing that every one else does. 
A individual statement of dress."

 It's only a matter of time until this talented homegrown designer really hits the big time on an international level.

Designer for Tomorrow

via. Steph Audino Facebook
Steph Audino
When asking Steph about the intention behind her label she said, 
"the Steph Audino aesthetic is to make girls feel and look beautiful, offering flattering silhouettes with also a touch of glamorous and luxurious feel to each piece."

And how does she feel about her nomination?
 "to be a part of Perth Fashion Festival was such a big achievement for me and to be nominated for Designer for Tomorrow has topped my PFF experience. I am so excited about the nomination and happy that Perth loves my work[!]"

Fine Details

Photographer - Chantel Concei, Model - Chanel Caldwell 

Sewellery by Teagan Sewell
Having already won a WAFA in 2010 in the Creative Edge category, this year Teagan has been nominated in an entirely different category, Fine Details, showing she's not only a talented stylist but also a skilled designer. Teagan created Sewellery when she discovered a lack of jewellery when it came to bold, statement pieces - and so a gap in the market was filled.
Elegant, gilded and distinctively brooding - can she win a second WAFA for the trophy case this year?

Runway Model of the Year

Gabrielle Sullivan
Possibly one of my favourite models [like ever].
Everything a runway model should be and more; tall, interesting features, the kind of body clothes are meant to be worn on. 
What does modelling mean to Gabby?
"I am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given ... I have travelled to New York, Sydney and Asia and I have had such amazing experiences, learnt so much and have discovered myself. But modelling in Perth will always be my favourite place in the world. The people in Perth are like no other and treat us [models] like real human beings and that means so much!"

And how do you feel about your nomination?
"Being nominated for [Mercedes Benz] Runway Model of the Year is an honour and it is such a privilege to be recognised in such a small city with so many talented models. I cannot thank the people who vote for me enough, thank you all for believing in me[!]"

Hot New Talent
(and Runway Model of the Year - overachiever)

Grady Wulff
With her gorgeous, athletic figure and legs past most people's shoulders Grady was made for this industry and WA is standing up to take notice.
Grady tells us a little bit about her journey with modelling so far,
"To look back now on how far I have come is surreal. I never expected to be the face of any label nor walking for some of the world's best, but thanks to my agency I have! I love the whole concept of modeling from the adrenalin rush that results from 20 second changes in shows, to the friends and connections you make. I have loved every moment."

And her reaction to her two nominations?
 "I am so honoured to be nominated for the [Hatch] Hot New Talent, and [Mercedes Benz] Runway Model of the Year categories and thank everyone who had the faith in me from the start."

Creative Edge

via. Emily Howlett Fashion Stylist Facebook

Emily Howlett
Lucky me got to spend the day with Ms Howlett earlier this week and took the opportunity to grill her just a little,
“I’m so honoured and flattered to be nominated for a WAFA, no matter whether I win or lose. No one-day is ever the same for me, and every job brings a new challenge. Sometimes it feels like I’m still just playing dress-ups, but I get to do it for a living, I feel so lucky to be able to go to work everyday and to do something I love.”

also... Creative Edge
(because I love them both, but really, how are you meant to fairly compare an illustrator and a stylist..?)

via. the Workable Fixative
Pippa McManus
One of the most talented fashion illustrators in this country, let alone Western Australia. She's drawn for everything from WA designers Zhivago, to Perth Fashion Festival to fashion retailer Sportsgirl. Her amazing exhibition "A is for Arizona" earlier this year featured the A to Z of Pip's most loved fashion models, from B is for Bambi [Northwood-Blyth] to L is for Lindsey [Wixon] to Z is for Zuzanna [Bijoch]. Right now Pippa is based at 140 William, her studio open to the public 3 days a week with a new exhibition set to open in December.

Best Dressed Boutique

via. Hatch Facebook

Without a doubt, this is where to go for the very best of WA fashion all in the one place. Bernice Sara Swim & Resort, Empire Rose, Kim Barton, Steph Audino, Tindale, Wild Horses and Zhivago are only the start. Store Manager, Tenika Jakovich, is almost always on hand to help a brother out - whether you're eyeing of those shimmering navy leather Zhivago shorts, or deciding which bright and bubbly Kim Barton piece you want next - it's the best way to support local industry and your own wardrobe all at the same time.

So, now you know.
We won't find out the crowned winners until January next year, but if you were going to the TAB I'd say these guys would have pretty good odds.

xx Elle




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