It’s FASHFEST week! Are you ready for 3 nights of fashion and fun?
Canberra designer Karen Lee is gearing up for her 5th year at FASHFEST. As one of the original designers to show at FASHFEST, she says the backstage vibe is a highlight of FASHFEST. We talked to Karen about being a designer in Canberra.
How has being involved with FASHFEST changed the way you design?
This is my fifth year at FASHFEST. I’ve been with the event since the beginning. The evolution of the event has changed what I put on the FASHFEST catwalk. In the beginning the shows were more promotional, partly because they were in Winter. With the show moving to September, and aligning with the international fashion calendar, I can launch my spring collections at FASHFEST.
What has inspired your 2017 Fashfest collection and can you give us any hints on what we might see on the catwalk?
This year inspiration has come from a local land mark—a building built in the late 1950s which reflects its surroundings and modernism of the time. Guests will see sculptured silhouettes contrasted with soft draped silhouettes on the catwalk.
Canberra offers so much inspiration
What inspired your career in the fashion industry and what would your advice be for a designer looking to get into the industry?
I wanted a career change and wanted to do something creative. For me that was fashion.
My advise is to work for someone else in the industry first to make sure it’s what you want to do. Many don’t realise it, but fashion is a lot of hard work and it’s time consuming. I’d also advise young designers entering the industry to be honest with customers and always aspire to create something beautiful and unique.
How does living in Canberra inspire your work and business?
I’m inspired by how living in Canberra is so easy. There’s no traffic, so I’m in my shop space in Assemblage Project, in Braddon, within 15 minutes. I’m also inspired by the weather, especially when it’s freezing cold outside but the sun is shining. It makes you happy. And I love how Canberra offers so much inspiration and love living where so much is changing for the better.
Do you have a Fashfest highlight or memory you would like to share?
Getting phone calls the week of FASHFEST from persons very much involved in the event saying ‘I need something to wear that matches … (no names!)’
Another highlight is the backstage vibe before a show. It’s exhilarating.
Karen Lee will be showing her Spring collection on the closing night of FASHFEST at the 9:00pm show.
If you want the full pre-show backstage experience, we recommend getting the VIP Experience Package for FASHFEST 2017 – front row seats and a pre-show backstage tour.
FASHFEST will be held from 28 to 30 September, with two shows each night at the National Convention Centre, Canberra. See the FASHFEST website for the full program and ticket information.