When I was invited to attend the Cross Conscious Eco Fashion event, a collaboration between the third years students of Whitehouse Institute of Design and the Australian Red Cross, I had already decided I would clear my social calendar, even thought the event fell on my birthday. I was honoured to be invited and looked forward to a fashionable birthday night out and did not want to miss the event for the world, celebrating my thirty first birthday would take a back seat to this exciting opportunity.
Even the host was wearing red to promote the Australian Red Cross
When I arrived at the historic building that housed the Whitehouse Institute of Design, the vacant space that I had seen the previous week when I attended the exclusive preview, was magically transformed into an almost jazz lounge feel complete with red mood lighting, indie and live music, and a stylish crowd donned mostly in black and grey. I could see splashes of red had made its way on to some of the guests, glad some had listened to the PR request of the night and embracing the colour as a way of showing their support for the Red Cross.
The bright vacant space was transformed into an intimate venue fit for a fashion show
So with a wonderful friend by my side, Megan O’Malley, founder of Rex Loves Vintage and my sidekick for the non-profit sustainable fashion organisation Future Threads Project, we were gushing over the art, the music, the fashion whilst slowly sipping a couple of glasses of delicious white wine.
Megan O'Malley of Rex Loves Vintage and Eco Warrior Princess founder Jennifer Nini
We made the rounds to chat to some of the event coordinators and key PR people that I had met the previous week, all third year students at the Whitehouse Institute of Design, talented, passionate and fabulous people including Mindy Ho, Belinda Hook and Elliott Garnaut. Their excitement was contagious and we left them to go and find our seats, crossing our fingers and hoping for a fantastic show devoid of any major runway problems.
Third year Whitehouse Institute of Design student Elliott Garnaut looking very dapper
We found our VIP seats front row and truth be told, is the first time I have ever been seated front row. I must have taken what felt like a hundred photos of the seat with my name on it! I felt so lucky to be there witnessing a fashion show that I truly believed in. And when I opened the gift, I was glad to see that it followed the same eco concepts the students had in mind, a product from Australian natural skincare range, Sukin and several discount vouchers to Boost Juice.
Eco Warrior Princess founder Jennifer Nini's front row seat
When the Vivienne and Chadwick models came down the run way, including Jesinta Campbell of Miss Universe Australia fame and TV presenter, I was struck at how modern the upcycled and re-purposed fashion looked, the blue and red colour palette perfect for the urban denim theme of the event. The unique creations by labels Godwin Charli, Olga de Polga, Ameca Calleja, Yesterday’s Virgins, Jimi’s Voodoo, El and Tino and Res Denim were avant garde, special and one of a kind. The upcycled tartan jacket created by Godwin Charli that I had seen during my exclusive preview, was I felt the stand out piece of the show, a timeless well-made blazer blending modern charm with a vintage sensibility. If it was made to fit a woman of 5’2 stature, I would have bought it for myself!
That Godwin Charli unique tartan creation that made my heart skip a beat
Bringing back tartan
Socks with open toed shoes, great for winter
Afterwards I had the chance to meet the stunning Jesinta Campbell and she was as beautiful up close as she was strutting glamourously down the runway. She was warm, approachable with such a genuine laugh, I liked her instantly. I congratulated her on a wonderful show, for being the show’s ambassador and using her name and success to raise awareness of sustainable fashion and promote the Red Cross charity.
The gorgeous Jesinta Campbell, Miss Universe Australia, TV presenter and model
Stepping into the Thread Shed, the pop-up shop offering second hand, vintage items and loads of second hand jeans and selling the upcycled and re-purposed we just eyed on the runway, took all of what little self control I had not to wipe the shop clean! I remember leaving hoping that there were lots of people that did not have as much self control and spent up big to help raise money for charity as all the profits were going to the Australian Red Cross.
Denim on denim at the Thread Shed
It took self control not spend up big at the Thread Shed
Over all, the third year students planning and preparation paid off and they executed a wonderfully successful eco fashion event with an amazing turn out. Successful even in spite of a music malfunction during the show. I was thrilled to be there in the name of sustainable fashion, watching the rising stars of Australia’s fashion industry getting a taste of the limelight and celebrating an amazing thirty something birthday.