Brisbane Fashion Festival 2023

Brisbane Fashion Festival 2023

A journal post from the owner and designer Sara.  

How do I even begin to start this journal post? Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would attend a fashion show, let alone participate in one of the leading fashion shows of Brisbane – the Brisbane Fashion Festival 2023. 

Let’s take it back a little, as you may know Desert Lily Vintage started back in 2013 after the birth of my eldest son, Hunter. It began as a Vintage reselling business. All those years ago I understood the fashion cycle and how all the vintage styles from previous eras would repeat over and over (sometimes like a poorly cooked dinner). It was also this time that I was learning how to sew and would make light alterations to vintage clothing to make them more desirable. I began by lifting hems, mending, and fixing damaged clothing to make it ready for selling. As my sewing skills evolved over time and my fascination for the craftsmanship of constructing clothing, I continued with my Studies in Fashion Design. 

Let’s fast forward to the beginning of 2023, I decided it was time to dream big and set some outrageous goals for myself. Can you guess what that goal was? Yes, participate in a Queensland fashion show. So, when this goal actualised on the 23rd of August in the Hancock Prospecting Next Generation Showcase, I could not have imagined how it exceeded every expectation I ever had. 

The lead up to the show was spent curating old designs, creating new designs with our 2IC and Creative Director, Charlotte, (you will find out more about her in another journal post) working on collaborations for shoes and accessories that could be used in the show. As the weeks counted down, I completed the designs one by one, as well as working on a special garment for the performer for the show (Wave) opening. I was almost ready. Sunday four days before the show it was time to high tale it to Brisbane for the model and performer fittings and prepare me for the show. This time was spent with my sister, who had travelled from Perth and my girlfriends who had travelled from out of the state and around Brisbane to be there as a support. 

With all the preparations complete and my stress levels at fever pitch it was time for the show. On arrival it was a flurry of event co-ordinators walking around with clipboards, directing staff and volunteers, volunteers ironing garments, models in makeup chairs with artists working on their canvas and designers looking as wide eyed as me. After a quick meet up with my tribe of women, who were all looking glamorous in their Desert Lily Vintage designs and a supporting word of encouragement and cuddle, I was off to meet up with Wave, the performer to help with final touches and the commencement of the show. 

With the backstage lights dimming and the show commencing all I could do was watch the show from a tv screen backstage. During this time I could not help but feel like I was watching a Dior or Alexander McQueen documentary, it was the most surreal experience. Desert Lily Vintage was one of 14 or so different designers and in a 3-minute run of a 1 and a half showcase it felt like that moment went like a blur. 

Overall the night was a wonderful success and I am so grateful for the people that I have met, some I now call friends and for the experience of participating in one of the most prestigious fashion events of the season – Brisbane Fashion Festival.


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Desert Lily Vintage would like to acknowledge the true custodians of this land Gureng Gureng Country where we work and live. We would like to pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.