focus on FASHION
No longer satisfied with life on the margins of high fashion, Cairns’ fashionistas are a force to be reckoned with. Last week they struck another blow for recognition when attendance at the inaugural Eye on Fashion event went way beyond initial expectations.
About 150 guests accepted an open invitation from cairnseye magazine, the Hilton Cairns and Myer to attend an informal evening featuring a preview of Karen Walker’s new Hi There label and samples of Dior’s fragrances and new-season colours. The event follows the success of Essence – an eye on fashion, an annual fashion extravaganza launched in 2006 that has attracted appearances by designers such as Wayne Cooper and Peter Morrissey.
Hilton Cairns general manager Guy Hutchinson believes the city is ready for a “stylish and ground-breaking celebration of style that resonates in the minds of guests as one of the region’s parties of the year”.
It’s an opinion shared by cairnseye editor Lauren Dor who says Cairns is no longer satisfied with an image of just T-shirts and boardies.
“Last year’s Essence was a huge success,” she says. “Its big appeal was the quality. You don’t often get a chance to see such high-quality fashion in Cairns.”
The 2007 show also featured meals by celebrity chef Jimmy Shu, entertainment by singer Michael Cormick, a charity auction, a give-away diamond worth $4000 courtesy of Hardy Brothers jewellers and a display of the racing industry’s most prized trophy, the Melbourne Cup. And about $28,000 was raised for the Leukaemia Foundation. The new monthly Eye on Fashion events, held in the Hilton’s 6 Degrees bar and lounge, respond to the strength of local fashion interest demonstrated by Essence. Although they will run in the lead-up to the next major extravaganza in October, each function will be organised as an individual occasion in itself.
“Every Eye on Fashion will be uniquely styled,” Hilton Cairns marketing executive Gail Morrow says. “The idea is to provide a relaxed and social setting as well as fantastic fashion ideas.”
The events will be themed differently every time, featuring anything from perfume nights to a beauty treatment event, Gail says.
“They are a great way for people who share a love of fashion to get together and there is no entry charge so anyone can turn up and get involved,” she says. “We’re hoping men and women of all ages will come along.”
Myer store manager Donna Green says Eye on Fashion is intended to pioneer a different format for showcasing fashion, accessories and cosmetics to the people of Cairns. The inclusion of a make-up station at the first Eye on Fashion highlighted a more interactive approach.
“We had Dior Cosmetics represented to provide colour advice and touch-up the guest’s make-up during the evening,” Donna says. “We will also have interactive cosmetic presentations at future events and we intend to continue showing different fashion brands including, where possible, advanced samples.”
Donna says the Myer team is excited to be partnering with the Hilton and cairnseye to present these special events. Another regular aspect of Eye on Fashion, according to Gail, will be staff from the fashion departments of Myer Cairns interacting with guests.
“Guests can talk with the people from Myer and ask their fashion advice,” she explains.
Representatives from the Hilton Cairns will also be on hand to answer questions and assist with informal introductions. As for the 2008 Essence extravaganza, plans are already under way.
“We’ve started planning earlier this year for the 2008 event,” Gail says. “The main focus is to put on a really slick fashion show.” While Gail is reluctant to identify special guests just yet, she says big-name designers will attend. To join the email database for invitations to Eye on Fashion events or for more information contact Gail Morrow, ph: 4052 6753.
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