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A model walks the runway for Empire Rose. Picture: Matt Jelonek/The West Australian

Where the prior two designer capsules at this year's Perth Fashion Festival showcased labels closer to infancy, the third and final instalment was a celebration of some of WA's established and well-loved designers.

The aim of the game for Designer Capsule #3 was relaxed elegance, with soft tailoring, texture and a contemporary edge ruling the runway as three labels sent their latest wares out at Fashion Paramount at the WA Museum.


First cab off the rank was cult label Empire Rose, whose latest collection lived up to its name Tribal Meets Technicolour.

Flowing silk tunics were adorned in high-voltage patterns ranging from tie dye, paint splatters and abstract shapes, while the rest of the styling had more of a tribal flavour with piled beaded necklaces and hair-like accessories from Mt Lawley store Behind the Monkey.

The models' own hair was swept up into an array of wacky styles with the addition of thigh-grazing ponytail extensions, sparkly pom-poms, feathers and glitter - almost, but not quite, upstaging the fashion itself.

Next up was Nikki Loueza, which presented its first collaborative collection between original designer Nicole Hardie and Isobel Macaulay of pinchandspoon fame.

Titled Black and White, the collection was inspired by the film Edward Scissorhands and featured barefoot models wearing structured but soft dresses, stretch harem pants and long button-ups in tonal shades.

The draping, gathering and panelling of the garments looked Grecian at times and Utilitarian at others, and the contemporary vibe of the clothes was complemented with jewellery from Helena Bogucki design.

Last but not least was Breathless, which presented perhaps the most diverse collection of the three designers.

Jacquard peplum shorts-suits shared the runway with stiff, sheer coat dresses, A-line frocks with ruffled collars, layered tulle skirts and capri pants.

The colour palette was kept simple - navy, black, champagne, berry red, pale lemon, white and khaki with a splash of zebra print acting as a surprise towards the end.

The West Australian

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