To celebrate the first birthday of Fashion Torque, Australia’s only live fashion chat show, stylist Philip Boon and designer Jenny Bannister hosted an invite only show at the Melbourne Town Hall. The show covered all the guests, topics and highlights that shaped Fashion Torque in 2011.


Fashion Torque is a fantastic initiative, which allows those interested in fashion to not only meet some of Australia’s most interesting and talented fashion personalities, but also learn about the industry from a range of experts, all in an interactive and relaxed setting.


Guests were dressed in bright and stylish attire to fit the dress code of colourful cocktail. The talented Dean Drieberg opened the show singing Madonna classic ‘Vogue’.


The following topics were covered, with comments by fashion industry experts:


The Australian fashion industry and whether they are supportive of emerging designers

–       Designer Anthony Capon – As an emerging designer it’s hard to get support from the industry.

–       Designers Gavin Lowes and Becky Chua from Neo Dia – Australian companies such as Sportsgirl are doing a good job of exposing the average consumer to emerging designers.

–       Designer Gwendolyn Burkin – Spoke about her experience in the fashion industry and how it has changed.


The new glamour

–      Candice de Ville – Anyone can inject glamour into their life you just have to make an effort.

 Is the Internet adding to or hurting retail?

–      Daniel P Dykes from Fashionising – Big at the moment is the buying of content and opinion. This however, could compromise the integrity of online fashion.


Knock-off or product development?

–      Designer Kara Baker – It used to be a tradition in the ragtrade to copy the designs of others. It was a license to print money and people weren’t interested in the integrity of design.


The new retail

–      Jamie Cooper buyer for Calvin Klein, Mulberry – Need to be consistent with brand from store to garments, however hard for smaller businesses to maintain this. Said it was important to work in store and get to know customers and their likes and dislikes.


Level of service in Australia

–      Stylist and blogger Cecylia Kee – spoke about her experience in retail and said it was important to learn the most about the role you are working in and not take things for granted as you will generally have to start in the industry at the bottom.


Androgyny in design

–      Designer Anthony Capon – His androgyness personal style is reflected in his label A. Concept. The looser and fluid pieces his designs for el at are worn by men and women of different sizes.


Where is menswear going?

–       Designer Shandor Gancs – The owner of Leopold said customers are keen to customise their looks and now want a point of difference.

–       Dean Drieberg – Believed that Melbourne had a great range of menswear to suit every taste.


Fashion Journalism

–       Writer Sarah Wilcocks – Said not to worry about qualifications, just start writing. Now there is the platform through the Internet to get your work out their for free.


Doramania – addiction to owning fur

–      Discussed whether PETA’s campaigns were effective in stopping people from buying fur.


Will colour sell?

–      Fashion Agent Phoebe Garland – Colour is very important in ranges, as an agent, she said she didn’t get enough samples in different colours. Most retailers want to see too much black.



–       Blogger Sacha Strebe – Said there was a saturation of personal style blogs. You need to offer a point of difference if you want to start blog that will get read.

–       Blogger Phoebe Montague – We are seeing the maturation of the blogging industry in Australia. You need to offer a personality, knowledge and writing strength to do well.

Spring Racing Carnival

– Milliner Kerrie Stanley – Need to find ways to do stand out in the market. Offered hiring of her pieces which did well during Spring Racing Season and recently started a Youtube channel.



Thank you Philip and Jenny for hosting such a wonderful and educating evening! All the best to Fashion Torque for 2012!



Hosted by Philip and Jenny on the last Thursday of every month at Globe Café in Prahran, Fashion Torque is a must visit for those keen to learn more about the industry.



Check out the pictures from the event courtesy of Couturing and!




About The Author

Lisa Teh

Lisa Teh is the Editor-in-chief of, one of Australia's top fashion, beauty and lifestyle resources. She has worked on campaigns with brands including David Jones, Myer, Mecca Cosmetica, Simone Perele, Lenovo and L'Oreal. She recently appeared in Couturing's exclusive Australian Fashion Week reality web series, The Frow, alongside top industry names including Toni Maticevski and Maybelline Creative Director Nigel Stanislaus.

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