Fashion tips with Haili Z: Perth Fashion Festival, behind the seams

By Haili Z
Oct. 4, 2012 at 5:04 a.m.

A cobalt blue touch on Garth Cook's runway look.

A cobalt blue touch on Garth Cook's runway look.

I traded Texas for Australia this fall to get an exclusive look at the Perth Fashion Week backstage. I exclusively cover the runway from the front row and get a peek at all of the looks before they hit the runway for Perth Fashion Festival's Designer Capsule 2 featuring looks from up and coming Australian designers Kim Barton, Steph Audino, and Garth Cook.

The designers are all located in Perth but the fashion is sure to go global with the extraordinary work they present for the showcase at the Fashion Paramount Western Australian Museum.

As I walk into the backstage lounge to get a peek at each of the designer's lines. It is chaotic. Models get their make up done, each designer arranges shoes to each outfit, assistants and volunteers steam the looks, and the arrangement of Kim Barton's accessories - headbands, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces - lie in a bright assortment right in the middle of the room.

Steph Audino's line is subtle, reflecting the colors of the ocean and the scenes of the beach - the sole inspiration to her spring 2013 line.

Audino is calm and holds herself together before her big show and is completely put together - not always how you receive a designer before their creations are brought to life on the runway.

The creations are beautiful combining purples, blacks, and creams for the earthy feel of the beach but the colors of the water at twilight. The line is completely wearable by women for cocktail and evening apparel.

If I had to select a favorite, I would pick an elegant black sequin piece followed in a gorgeous train of sheer fabric.

Kim Barton is another designer. Barton's designs are amazing, focused and already presented as a brand. Think Kate Spade. Barton is on this level.

With a line focused on the inspiration of a nostalgic 1970s feel and kaleidoscope themes, Barton is ready to be presented in department stores as a ready-to-wear line. The line of bright, fun and whimsical accessories add a lovely feel to structured pieces on the runway.

Absolutely loving the trend of socks worn under heels as Barton presented it on the runway with shoes from Betts - a shoe store in Perth.

Garth Cook is making a name for himself in Australia. His line is futuristic and glitter adds a little something to each piece as well as touches of cobalt blue and green to gray and black.

The line looks great pieced with staple pieces like black tights and high black wedges or heels.

The pieces can be fun or structured, depending on the look you're going for. This line is completely versatile.

For images on each designer, check out the main website for Perth Fashion Festival. For other behind the scenes images, check out or

Haili Pue is the president of All Ze Details. Visit her web site at



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