It is said, that Hobsons Bay is an ‘Industrial Heartland.’
I would counter, that while this is true, the creatives of Hobsons Bay have ensured that art is an industry unto itself.
The 2018 Art & Industry Festival kicked off in true style on Friday night (Nov 16), with its IF: Industrial Fashion event.
The Williamstown Town Hall – ever the versatile space – was transformed once again; a runway extending from the stage, surrounded by a sold-out crowd.
London, New York, Paris…. Hobsons Bay – Fashion has a new home!
IF Director, Donna Jackson took to the catwalk, singing the praises of the designers involved. Her passion for her peers, her community and her festival, evident with her warmly delivered speech. The newly appointed Mayor of Hobsons Bay, Jonathon Marsden, was also on hand to offer his blessings.
As the lights went down and the room fell silent with anticipation, creativity took centre stage….
Inspiration can come in many forms, but adding industry to the world of fashion is pure genius. O-rings and cable ties have never looked so good. Anna Kolusniewski, from Aa is for Art in South Kingsville, is a renowned costume designer and art teacher. Her designs were Gatsby meets industry and the results were exquisite! Intricately linked bottle tops, feather-dusters reborn as race-worthy head wear – Anna’s imagination paved the way for high glamour, on a Bunnings-budget.
Betty Ennis, the brains behind bettybossyboots, drew inspiration ‘from the industry and structures surrounding her Spotswood workshop.” Her boots may be made for walking, but models served up Betty’s designs in a different way – carrying each pair down the runway on a silver platter. If ever shoes were worthy of such transportation, it was these. Bespoke, hand-crafted, “handsome shoes, for interesting people….”
Stephanie England created an ethereal design, finding inspiration in Council grid maps. Hand painted, delicate white fabric, overlayed with jewelled highlights. Jewels of the West virtually glided down the catwalk.
Alex Kowal gave Hi Vis a reworking – fluorescent panels, patched together in a 60’s style shift. A trench coat so bright, but so right.
From tyre dresses, to rope-y gowns – from film-spool frocks, to denim guilty pleasures. Everything from pipelines and houses of a bygone era, offered inspiration to these incredibly gifted designers.
Music, dance and a quartet of barber shop Metro workers rounded out the night beautifully, with a constant supply of entertainment. The whole show wrapped up with a Wooly-Western-Bulldogs Spectacular – courtesy of The Loom Room.
Donna and her team have provided Hobsons Bay with another show-stopping event, worth waiting two years for! Another platform for local creatives – the Art & Industry Festival is what is possible when communities come together to celebrate each other. This network of artists and industry leaders are finding unique and wonderful ways to support each other, forging unexpected bonds. These bonds serve to strengthen our community for many years to come.
*To enjoy what remains of the 2018 Festival, check out the program.
*Photos provided by Lindy Allen and Kerrie Gottliebsen