Catwalk attracts the cream
Catwalk attracts the cream

The Telstra Perth Fashion Festival has widened its scope and this year's schedule will include the biggest showing of national and international designers.

Some of Australia's leading names in fashion, including Alex Perry and Camilla Franks, will present their latest collections at the 16th local celebration of fashion, which will feature 46 events over six days from September 17.

Caftan queen Franks will showcase her vibrant spring-summer 2014 collection In the Name of the Tribe at Fashion Paramount's new home at the Perth Concert Hall on September 20.

"I am really excited to show the collection in Perth because we have never done it there before," Sydney-based Franks told The West Australian.

"Perth really celebrates the brand."

Backstage preparations for festival launch. Picture: Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

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King of the catwalk Perry heads to Perth for one of his first official engagements with Myer since moving his brand from David Jones.

He will attend the annual Myer Fashion Lunch at the State Reception Centre on September 18.

Cult New Zealand labels Nom*D and Zambesi will feature in group show 3,300 Miles Apart alongside WA mainstays One Fell Swoop and Morrison on September 18 at Fashion Paramount, and opening the festival will be a partnership between FIDe Fashion Weeks and the Asian Couture Federation called International Runway - Beyond Imagination.

The opening night show will present two leading Asian couture designers, Sebastian Gunawan and Michael Cinco, along with Perth's own Ae'lkemi at the new purpose-built venue in front of the WA cultural institution on September 17.

Festival founder and director Mariella Harvey-Hanrahan said working with bigger designers, particularly global designers, would provide opportunities to raise the festival's local profile, elevate WA designers and provide a compelling reason for more national and international designers to come to show in WA.

Leading WA label Flannel will present a solo show on September 18 where it will also show its successful menswear designs for the first time.

Perth Fashion Festival launch at Perth Concert Hall. Picture: Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

While Flannel is experiencing expanding commercial success in the US and Europe, John Lawrence, who owns the label with his designer wife Kristy with whom he co-designs menswear, said it was important not to forget your roots.

"This is where we started, and with our big customer base and loyal following throughout our stores it is just super important to expose them to what we are doing and give them something back that they can come along to and enjoy and be a part of," Lawrence said.

The legacy of Ruth Tarvydas will be honoured with a retrospective runway show at Ascot Racecourse on September 19 in front of the festival's biggest audience and featuring "that" red dress Rebecca Twigley wore to the Brownlow Medal count in 2004. Twigley, now Judd, will attend and walk in the Tarvydas show as homage to the late designer.

At yesterday's launch at the Perth Concert Hall, Harvey-Hanrahan also announced the festival's inaugural swimwear series, which will kick off in November with three runway shows, including Australia's plus-size supermodel Robyn Lawley bringing her acclaimed swimwear line to Perth.

Backstage at Perth Fashion Festival launch at Perth Concert Hall. Picture: Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

The West Australian

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