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Rise To The Runway; rising stars & shining creativity

Ready to dive into a world of fashion, talent, and creativity like never before? Join us as we take you on a journey through the mesmerizing world of Rise to the Runway 2023, an event that's shaping the future of Australia's emerging talent in the fashion scene!

Hello, fashion enthusiasts! Here at The Australian Fashion Platform, we're all about celebrating and supporting emerging talents in the industry. We had the privilege of attending and covering the media for the spectacular 2nd year of Rise to the Runway, an event that continues to shine a spotlight on Australia's up-and-coming fashion stars. From the glitz and glamour to the innovative designs, we're here to share the fashion secrets of this remarkable evening with our audience.

Widya Swastika wearing runner up design from Olly McKenzie

Rise to the Runway: Elevating Aspiring Talent

Rise to the Runway is a pivotal incubator event that provides a springboard for fashion design students, models, and creative teams. Guided by experienced industry professionals, it's the ultimate platform for nurturing budding fashion careers. This year's panel of judges comprises influential names in the fashion world:

Rise to the runway's Summer Brown with Sher Lo and Resh Ramasamy

Summer Brown: The Visionary Behind the Event

Summer Brown, the visionary behind this venture, is driven by a profound mission. With a career spanning three decades in the Australian fashion industry, she has cultivated a reputation for supporting, showcasing, and nurturing emerging talents. Her dedication is matched only by her passion for instigating positive change.

Our mission is to fund an early intervention teen relationship program to educate young men and women on the red flags of abusive, manipulative, and controlling behavior.

Summer's commitment extends to empowering young people to establish healthy boundaries within their relationships and equipping them with the skills to seek assistance in threatening situations. She strives to provide them with tools and behavioral techniques to address and rectify unhealthy behavior within relationships.

Through her work in the fashion industry, Summer embodies her mission to support the industry's future while also championing a cause that extends beyond the runway, making a meaningful impact on the lives of young individuals.

Summer brings tribes together to help with this mission and creates a platform abundant of experienced team to help her achieve this.

Judges Michelle Lee Aslin, Michael Dunn, Jude Kingston

Enter stage right; Meet the 2023 judges

With three decades of experience in the global retail and fashion industry, is a highly sought-after expert. She began her career in retail buying, moved into senior roles with leading fashion brands, and is a featured guest speaker at New York Fashion Week. As the Founding Director of Mind Your Fashion, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting Mental Health in the Fashion and Creative Industries, she's driving positive change through The Mind your Fashion Mental Wellness Program.

An academic and university lecturer with over a decade of experience, is also an allied health practitioner, a published author, and an animal rights activist. Resh collaborates internationally with scholars from the UK, US, India, and Pakistan on various projects and publications. Beyond his academic endeavors, Resh is a trained dancer, model, and stylist, and a prominent figure in the Brisbane social scene. He is a fashion enthusiast who challenges conventional notions, advocating for diversity and inclusivity in the fashion world, especially for models of color and those with disabilities.

A self-taught designer with over four decades of experience, embarked on her remarkable career after a Commerce degree from the University of Melbourne. Her journey began as an assistant fashion buyer in Singapore in the early '80s, propelling her into the world of fashion and product merchandising. She thrived in Asia, working in Singapore, Hong Kong, and traveling to fashion capitals worldwide. Sher's achievements include merchandise development, line procurement, and marketing for over 200 stores, along with significant licensing deals.

In 2004, Sher moved to Brisbane and later founded ANANNASA in 2014, a resort wear label inspired by her love for pineapples and the Indian subcontinent. She champions slow fashion and the work of artisans, evident in her designs featuring intricate beadwork, embroidery, and upcycling from vintage fabrics. ANANNASA has expanded its presence in Australia and beyond.

Sher is dedicated to giving back to society and serves on the board of directors for HUMANS FOR HUMANITY, an NGO in India founded by Anurag Chauhan, focused on educating women about menstrual hygiene, providing sanitary napkins, and offering workshops for biodegradable alternatives.

Judges Jasmine Kratz, Sher Lo and Resh Ramasamy

In a decade-long career in the fashion and modeling world, Michael shines as a beacon of artistry and commitment. His work, marked by grace, poise, and innate style, has graced runways and garnered recognition. Notably, he was named one of the best-dressed males by the Gold Coast Bulletin in 2018 and has contributed to DQ Magazine as a stylist and journalist.

Michael's impact extends beyond publications; he's known for his collaboration with Hannah Croly in curating fashionable menswear looks for the Bond University charity fashion show, Angels with Wings, in 2017. He's a multiple sash holder at Fashions on the Field events, with top placements across various prestigious races, showcasing his illustrious and expansive career.

A renowned model from the 70s and 80s, earned fame gracing the covers of magazines like Pix, People, and Post. In 1980, she was named Cover Girl of the Year. Beyond modeling, she delved into swimwear design, captivating the industry for over four decades. Her work includes iconic appearances in commercials like "Come on Aussie, Come On" and hosting on live TV and radio.

Michelle's versatile career also involves organizing fashion parades for nightclubs, promotions for events like car and boat shows, and collaborations with brands such as Malibu, XXXX, Harley Davidson, and Porsche. She's known for her costume designs, which have been featured in various organizations, including the Bearettes Cheerleaders and the Queensland Reds.

Michelle's enduring passion for swimwear design caters to custom orders for special events, cruises, and holiday outfits, ensuring her lasting success and a loyal clientele.

Just returned from New York Fashion Week, Jasmine is a visionary entrepreneur behind the coveted fashion empire, Belle Le Chic. With an innate passion for style, Jasmine seamlessly combines creativity, business acumen, and a love for travel.

Belle Le Chic offers a curated collection of contemporary fashion pieces, covering a wide spectrum of styles. Jasmine also supports business owners and entrepreneurs through her website development and branding company, Inspired Impact. She is passionate about opening doors for up and coming designers and models, providing them with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to showcase their talent on prestigious fashion week stages across the globe.

Meet the Maestro: Kristina Savka

Leading us through this captivating fashion journey was the charming Master of Ceremonies, Kristina Savka. Her wit and charisma added an extra layer of sparkle to the evening, making it an unforgettable experience

With a three-decade career in the Australian fashion industry, Kristina Savka has left an enduring mark. She's known for dressing women and freelancing as a designer, fit specialist, and manufacturer. Specializing in bridal design and styling, she transitioned into fashion training in 2000. Today, she focuses on styling workshops, helping women achieve a personal style transformation. Kristina is a multi-disciplinary artist, offering a comprehensive package to create a unique Signature Style. Her greatest joy lies in witnessing women discover their own Signature Style, an empowering transformation that she nurtures.

Isabelle Kratz, Nova Sarkis, Rebecca Pask, Rhiannon Walters, Chelsea Mayer

Unveiling the Rising Stars

The highlight of the evening was the astounding talent displayed by both designers and models. In the fast-paced world of fashion, it takes hard work, determination, and a sprinkle of magic to make a name for yourself. But these entrants and participants demonstrated that they possess the qualities required to make it big in the industry. - Rebecca Pask, Australian fashion

And the Categories Were...

As we eagerly awaited the results, the tension in the air was palpable. Let's delve into each category and unveil the winners, but we must say, so many were very deserving, we are happy we weren't in the judges hotseat for the night!

1. First Nation Designs:

Celebrating the rich tapestry of indigenous fashion. The winners in this category beautifully blended tradition with modern aesthetics, paying homage to their cultural roots.

Winner: Eris Chen @storeofxu worn by Roxanne O'dea

Runner up: Nathalie Coronado Quispe worn by Ida Saraswati

Roxanne Odea model

2. Reinvented Streetwear:

Transforming everyday wear into something extraordinary. These designers took classic streetwear staples and reimagined them into innovative and edgy pieces

Winner: Julie Valetic @houseofjaise worn by Ranti Zapart

Runner up: Heaven Arici @9d.esigns worn by Luke Cunningham

Ranti Zapart Model

3. Met Gala Inspired Wearable Art:

Where fashion becomes art, and art becomes fashion. The runway came alive with avant-garde creations inspired by the iconic Met Gala.

Winner: Teddy McRitchie @teddymcritchiedesign worn by Ellie Sabato

Runner up: Olga McKenzie @ollymac worn by Widya Swastika

Ellie Sabato Model

4. A Day at the Races:

Fashion that's all about style and sophistication. Entrants in this category brought elegance and flair to the forefront, showcasing designs fit for prestigious racecourses.

Winner: Tayla McFarlane @_7roses worn by Tayla McFarlane

Runner up: Julie Valetic @houseofjaise worn by Ella Corbett

Tayla Mcfarlane Model and designer

5. Surfers Paradise Vibes:

The sun, sea, and style - the epitome of coastal chic. Designers captured the essence of the Australian coastal lifestyle, offering a refreshing take on beachwear and resort fashion.

Winner: Annette Love @ppfl_aus worn by Ida Saraswati

Runner up: Tayla McFarlane @_7roses worn by Nova Sarkis

Ida Saraswati model

6. Ethical Bride.

Embracing sustainability in bridal fashion. The ethical bride category presented eco-conscious and breathtaking gowns and ensembles.

Winner: Tayla McFarlane @_7roses worn by Chelsea Mayer

Runner up: Priscila Septian @priscilaseptian worn by Widya Swastika

Chelsea Mayer and Tayla MC Farlane

The winners in each category left us in awe, and we can't wait to see these rising stars make their mark on the fashion world!

Rise to the Runway 2023 was a night of glitz, glamour, and boundless talent. The Australian Fashion Platform is proud to be the media coverage of this event that champions the industry's future. We're here to support, uplift, and celebrate the extraordinary talents that the Australian fashion scene has to offer. Cheers to another year of fashion brilliance! Until next time, fashion-forward friends!

Hungry for more?

Go check out the link from the awesome TITOMEDIA for all the event images from the night

Image credits from entire Blog post: Rise to the runway event photographer: @titomedia

That's wrap! We absolutely loved covering this event, keep your eye out to find our Australian Fashion Roving reporter team out and about at a fashion event near you!

Also stay tuned as we are launching STAGE 2 of the Australian Fashion Platform APP very soon, all we can say right now is you will want to get involved!

We are the one stop tech shop that supports the industry to provide an ecosystem to connect brands with customers, and creatives and models to events and clients...... stay tuned for more!

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Blog contributor,

Rebecca Pask - CSO Australian Fashion

Always fashionable,

The Australian Fashion Platform


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