Frocking the suburbs


APRIL 5, 2013

The Urban Couture event has again showcased the Western Australian fashion industry at Joondalup in Perth’s outer north, but participants and onlookers say the event could be promoted better.

Urban Couture, which finished recently, featured WA designers, stylists, make-up artists and photographers.

Naomi Campbell, a model living near Joondalup, participated in several of Urban Couture’s runway shows.

“It’s a good chance for me to show off my work and what I love doing in a way that’s literally closer to home,” Campbell said.

But Campbell said Urban Couture could have been marketed more successfully to attract a bigger audience.

“People have missed it because it wasn’t promoted well enough in advance,” she said.

“It’s something you hear about the day before or the day of.”

Despite concerns over the event’s promotion, Campbell said she was grateful for Urban Couture and the opportunity to network.

“A while ago I was definitely at a crossroads with whether or not to continue on with modelling or to focus on something more scientific career-wise and this has definitely helped me make the decision to continue on with modelling, so in that respect I owe a lot to Urban Couture,” she said.

Fashion blogger Jordana Ripp said it was a pleasant change to see a fashion event in an outer suburb.

“Perth Fashion Festival runs various events throughout the year based in Perth so it’s nice to have the Urban Couture festival as a separate calendar event bringing its own unique take on creativity, fashion and design display,” Ripp said.

However, she said 2013 was the first time she had heard of Urban Couture, and that it needed more media coverage to generate interest and be successful.

“It would be great to see more of the local media and larger media networks being involved,” she said.

“Quality and creativity of the shows, the beautiful designs on display and the fact that each event was free would certainly attract a wider audience if the festival was able to gain further media exposure.”

Ryan Clark, who was in the audience at the final runway show, said Joondalup was not usually known for its fashion scene.

“[Urban Couture] gives Joondalup a new face,” Mr Clark said.

Director of Fox Feet Fashion Agency Marty Collister represented a number of designers in last year’s Urban Couture.

Collister said the lack of marketing of the event last year meant there was not a big enough audience.

“Last year when we were there we were asked to make 150 gift bags and we came back with about 80 of them,” she said.

Collister said the location also meant she could not gather enough support to participate again this year.

“Being in Joondalup, there were a few issues with getting the crowd down there,” she said.

“It was part of the Joondalup Festival so we didn’t get as big a crowd as we had hoped for.”

For the first time in its three years, Urban Couture also held events outside the Joondalup CBD such as at The Breakwater bar and the Aquarium of Western Australia.

Collister said holding events at these locations was definitely a good thing and a sign of Urban Couture’s growth.

“Having the show down at AQWA, space-wise I’m not sure how that went, but image-wise some of the things they’ve put on Facebook look absolutely amazing,” she said.

The City of Joondalup, which organised the event, was contacted for comment.

Photos: Carys Garland

Categories: Arts, Fashion

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