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Mariella s Diary: PFF Wrap-up
Mariella's Diary: PFF Wrap-up

Waking up on the final day of Perth Fashion Festival is bittersweet; I'm relieved we've made it to the last day in one piece yet sad because the festival is over for another year. After so much planning and preparation, highs and lows, it's hard to believe it's all over.

Perth defies categorisation; we may be low on population, but we are diverse and rich in culture and a hotbed of creative talent that is fast establishing us as a fashion destination.

I love that the people of Perth have embraced the festival and it was such a thrill to see the city come alive over the past week, so from that perspective I don't want it to be over. On the other hand, my feet are dying to be in flats and I am in desperate need of a good night's sleep.

My favourite festival moments: I loved the Myer Fashion Luncheon at the State Reception Centre; staging a stunning fashion event with our city as the picturesque backdrop is always world class, despite the raging storm that was taking place outside.

The best afterparty of the festival would have to have been Morrison's at the Art Gallery of Western Australia on day two.

They had a fantastic crowd, great ambience and the perfect fusion of fashion and art. I was also touched by Richard Poulson's speech where he thanked and acknowledged the work PFF does for designers.

Organising the festival can be a thankless task so it was nice to hear such kind words.

Best new initiatives - I'm torn between two. The first was Restyle on the Runway with vision-impaired sisters Erin and Claire McGlew taking to the runway with their guide dogs. This was an Australian first and very much a personal favourite of mine as we are making fashion more inclusive.

The second was An Evening with Flannel on Monday night. The show was absolutely stunning on all fronts; Kristy Lawrence's magnificent designs and the truly unique setting she created made for a new, world-class inspiring fashion experience.

Other highlights include the tribal-inspired hair by Brad Ngata for Empire Rose at the Designer Capsule 3 show and the gold glittering eyebrows by Lauren Wood's make-up team for ae'lkemi.

Best new venue went to Brookfield Place where we hosted Fashionably Loud, our fusion of music and fashion with San Cisco and a parade styled by Zara Bryson.

My favourite new international ambassador has to be the stunning Marie Choo, who wholeheartedly embraced our beautiful city and is returning home to Singapore with a suitcase full of WA designer purchases.

With all the highs there were also some lows; the worst day was definitely Freaky Friday with the torrential rain and hammering winds. Despite the weather, our outdoor events attracted huge crowds and highlighted that Perth is full of diehard fashion lovers!

And of course with fashion there are always some classic diva moments with guests demanding to be in the front row and the snide comments from ill-informed naysayers who don't realise the dedication and long hours that go into delivering the week that is PFF.

It's been a hugely successful festival and already we are considering ideas for 2013.

We aim to really put Perth on the world fashion map. Each year we've increased attendance, increased fashion retail revenue and increased public awareness of the festival.

As a not-for-profit organisation I think we've done exceptionally well given the restraints we have and next year we'll be looking to grow the festival even further.