Designers vie for top award
Nominees for most innovative designer honour Jaime Lee Major, Lydia Tsvetnenko, Lara Kovacevich and Nikolina Ergic. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

With the 18th annual WA Fashion Awards set to take over the State Theatre Centre tonight, all eyes will be on three prominent Perth labels to see who takes out the top honour - most innovative designer of the year.

But with each of the teams nominated in the category wildly different, it is anyone's guess who will win.

While it is the second time the duo behind One Fell Swoop have been up for the gong - they won the title in 2012 - they will have competition this year from newer labels, including Jaime Lee Major and Zhivago.

The awards celebrate the success of local fashion talent last year and represent the end of an exciting year for burgeoning designers, with Major's flamboyant show at last year's Perth Fashion Festival dubbed one of the best in the event's history.

The boundary-pushing designer, who had a career highlight when New Zealand songstress Kimbra wore one of her designs to the Grammys last year, said her nomination was a nice gesture.

"Perth has been so supportive, so it's nice to be recognised in my home town," Major, who now splits her time between WA and Bali, said.

Zhivago pair Lydia Tsvetnenko and Lara Kovacevich's edgy designs have also attracted the gaze of celebrities, with Lady Gaga, Dannii Minogue and Mel B all stepping out in their structural pieces in recent months.

Their nomination comes just two years after they launched the label and were up for an emerging designer award at the 2012 WAFAs, a fact not lost on Kovacevich.

"It feels like not much time has passed but in other ways it feels like a lifetime ago," she said.

Nikolina Ergic, who co-designs One Fell Swoop's draped, ethereal creations with Daniel Romanin, said their second nomination felt different because they had grown over the two years.

"Every time you do a new range you have to evolve so (our style) is always changing," Ergic said.

Zhivago and One Fell Swoop will be showing at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival later this month.

The West Australian

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