A Review of Telstra Perth Fashion Festival’s International Runway Show

The Telstra Perth Fashion Festival is a quintessential element of Perth’s cultural calendar. Arising from humble beginnings, the festival has now hosted countless reputable Australian and International fashion greats, ranging from Alex Perry to Dion Lee. The fashion community is often portrayed as infallible and out of reach, only for the rich, famous or privileged. Pelican was given the rare opportunity to break this stereotype going behind the scenes on the Tuesday night showing of International Runway: BLOOM; showcasing home-grown talent Rebecca Paterson’s work on label 33 Poets alongside Indonesian designer Malik Moestaram’s latest collection.

The two designers stem from very divergent backgrounds, but were somehow able to marry their very unique styles to create an incredibly complementary show. BLOOM really drove the inspiration behind both collections. Malik Moestaram’s work was laced with beautifully hand-sewn floral applique, whilst 33 Poets accessorised with a variety of Australian flora. A certain ethereal beauty transcended throughout both collections, enhancing each garments’ individual craftsmanship.

Malik Moestaram was first to walk. Modest fashion was transformed from an archaic and traditional creative restriction to an empowering, maximalist statement. Garments were loosely fitted, yet meticulously sculpted to compliment the female form. Each piece was highly decorated, presenting a strong impression upon first glance and an even stronger one upon second inspection. The stand out piece came around three-quarters of the way through the show in the form of a completely embellished gold jacket: simply captivating. Despite the fact that Malik Moestaram’s work holds traditional dress in high stead; this collection gave a sense of independence, authority, and pride. Women are able to speak their mind through their wardrobe when wearing these pieces; an exciting prospect.

Rebecca Paterson, the local queen of punk fashion, stole the show in the second half with her latest collection for 33 Poets. Victorian grunge was channelled through texturized, painted and ripped fabrics. The colour palette was monochromatic with a few dramatic hints of burgundy on more sexualised pieces. 33 Poets’ take on this season’s biggest trend – the pantsuit – was stand out. Beauty looks included dramatic highlighter, elongated earrings, and well-executed teased updos, giving a nod to the typical young Australian culture of nonchalant, over-the-top drama. This was an outstanding collection that really highlighted the incredible talent that Western Australia hosts.

Both collections were done justice through the exceptional professionalism of the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival partnering sponsors. UWA Photography Club Committee Member Anthony Poletto captured this on film pre-show. The L’Oreal team presented beautifully ethereal and dramatic looks for both shows, enhancing the already outstanding calibre of models from Australian agency Vivien’s Models. Caroline Lefebvre (Vivien’s), a redheaded beauty, made a strong impact, portraying the dramatic attitude of 33 Poets through well-executed end-runway poses and a striking catwalk walk. One to watch for the future.

Both 33 Poets and Malik Moestaram have head designers that embody their brands and have mastered the art of communication through textile. Collaborations are a challenge, a bit like matching two different prints seamlessly within an outfit, but Malik and Rebecca really pulled this show off.

Brodie Kelly

Brodie lives by the ethos, ‘whenever leaving the house, always make sure you’re wearing confidence and courage, and the rest will follow’.

Photography by Anthony Poletto