Models Millicent Lambert & Georgia Pansini in Flannel. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

There are enjoyable fashion parades, and then there are truly memorable fashion events - and Flannel designer Kristy Lawrence created the latter at last night's sold-out Perth Fashion Festival dinner at the WA Museum.

Outside the museum foyer, the more than 200 guests were greeted by two vintage cars - a hint of the retro-themed night that lay ahead.

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As they moved into the elegant surrounds of Hackett Hall, the dinner guests were confronted by an exquisite 1920s-themed scenario that included a working bar designed by Jane Becker serving French champagne, lounge areas decorated with Flannel homewares and dotted with palm trees, a three-piece jazz band and more models wearing garments from the label's spring-summer Neronis collection.

A three-course meal served at long communal tables was punctuated by two parades directed by former Vogue Australia fashion editor Meg Gray, who had flown from Sydney for the event.

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"We didn't want to do a standard runway presentation," Lawrence said of the lamp-lit, jazz-inspired evening.

"I wanted to create the sort of vibe where people could get up from their table, move to the lounge area, and mingle with other guests."

Lawrence said the Neronis collection was inspired by a 1920s circus girl whose wardrobe needed to take her from day into night.

"For the day this girl would wear lots of cute little dresses and shorts, and then in her evening life she would go to lots of intimate dinners, so she would need to dress in beautiful evening gowns," Lawrence said.

The collection featured feminine lace-edge shorts, slinky evening gowns, tiered skirts, pretty sequinned tops and simple singlet dresses in neutral and pastel hues.

Woven into the models' hair were strands of pearls from Broome-based pearling company Arrow.

Adding to the 1920s flapper vibe were the fringed kimono tops and drop-waisted dresses in the collection.

Lawrence's label, which began as a homewares and lifestyle label, has gone from strength to strength in recent years.

In November the designer will travel to Venice Beach in California to open her first American store, which will nestle along some of the coolest brands in European fashion, including Vanessa Bruno and cult Swedish brand Acne.


The West Australian

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