Fashfest Day Four—THE VISIONARY | Red Magpie

Photo:   Martin Ollman

Here's an awesomely insightful review of SZN's FASHFEST 2014 collection, I must admit they've left me gushing! This is what blogging tag team Georgia Kartas and Cheney Brew from Red Magpie had to say about last Saturday night:

C: I love SZN. There, I said it. And it’s a surprise to nobody, given that SZN was the first Canberra-designed-and-made label I introduced into my wardrobe, and the label I chose to wear two out of the four nights of Fashfest. Although I’ve been lucky enough to wear a lot of SZN, and I’m familiar with her previous collections, I was still full of anticipation before the show. This is because Suzan Dlouhy often lets the materials she’s collected inform the design – and what those particular materials will be, and what they will inspire, is always a bit of a surprise. She’s kind of like a cooler Maria von Trapp (and I have the SZN high-waisted shorts and swing top made from a vintage curtain to prove it).

This year’s Fashfest collection was based on the idea of “prodigal twins”, matching sets of items that differed only in one element, usually colour or fabric type. The fabrics themselves, light denim, dark jersey and splashes of striped print, were from sources that ranged from usual (offcuts from the designs of 4:33), to the thrifty (Tiny’s Green Shed recycling centre), to the awesomely unexpected (Suzan’s mechanic). The finished, minimalist, Japanese-influenced shapes showed how easily items could be transformed from day to evening wear, from tough to elegant, just by switching a patched denim hooded jacket for a version in black and grey jersey.

G: This is where it starts to get tough—my notes turn into one indecipherable heart monitor line of excitement. Suzan Dlouhy is one of the only designers I know who crosses fashion genres like some kind of time travelling chameleon, and her Fashfest collection took us to a not-too-distant dystopian future where you have to be a street savvy urbanite to survive.

But if you’re not street savvy, you can fake it ‘til you make it with hooded jackets, boxing shorts, two-piece cropped swing sets, and a whole lot of puzzled-together denim. Papier-mâché-like black leggings and jail-stripe chambray t-shirts are also a must. And let’s not forget a totally sheer black maxi gown either.

So here’s the SZN motto for survival: have sass, be fierce, and have some mad fighting skills up your deconstructed denim sleeve. Or at the very least, get some intense battle music going as your background music.

To read more about the other designers on the night, head here.