Why the fashion industry needs something to “torque” about…

Image courtesy of http://nic-nakcastle.blogspot.com/2011/11/torque-town-hall.html?spref=fb

Image courtesy of http://nic-nakcastle.blogspot.com/2011/11/torque-town-hall.html?spref=fb

Fashion Torque recently celebrated a “Invitation only” 1st birthday party at Melbourne Town Hall for their live chat show which recently celebrated a year in operation.

Photo courtesy of Irish Rivera: Left: Philip Boon & Jenny Bannister

Photo courtesy of Irish Rivera: Left: Philip Boon & Jenny Bannister

Fashion Torque’s co-hosts, the wonderful iconic fashion designer Jenny Bannister and the most stylish man in Melbourne, super celebrity stylist, Philip Boon have managed to create a wonderful opportunity for the industry to come together monthly to hear industry expert guest speakers discuss their area of expertise. And it’s a truly fascinating experience. Philip Boon has always been extremely mindful not to ‘bore’ people, and always wanted it to be interesting to people outside of the fashion industry.

Image courtesy of http://nic-nakcastle.blogspot.com/2011/11/torque-town-hall.html?spref=fb

Image courtesy of http://nic-nakcastle.blogspot.com/2011/11/torque-town-hall.html?spref=fb

Whilst, Jenny Bannister always wanted to ensure it was a ‘free’ event for the industry to come together to network without people having to fork out expensive membership fees. This consideration they show their audience is just the reason why they are such a big hit.  And come together they do. The crowds do come in great anticipation.

Fashion Torque front row: Left: Candice De Ville, Phoebes Garland, Dean Hewitt, Suzanne Carbone

Fashion Torque front row: Left: Candice De Ville, Phoebes Garland, Dean Hewitt, Suzanne Carbone

I was utterly thrilled and humbled to receive an invitation to this wonderful event, despite living in Sydney, which had some of Australia’s finest panelists all getting together to recap on some of the topics.  Boring it was not! It was fascinating to hear from all the panelists.  Front row, was The Age’s columnist,  Postcode 3000, Suzanne Carbone, the archival couture expert and owner of Madam Virtue & Co, the devine Dean Hewitt, myself, along with beautiful fashionista & Fashion Exposed Editor, Sacha Strebe and blogger of Stylexicon, Anthony Capon, Project Runway winner, Kara Baker, the striking Candice Deville, who specialises in vintage, fashion designer Gwendolynne Burkin, while Blogger, Jane Hayes, of The Little Black Dress fame, Kyra Pybus of Pybus P.R, Daniel Dykes from Fashionising.com, along with many others of Australia’s leading talent.

The evening kicked off with a very cheeky and humorous rendition of Madonna’s “Vogue” from Dean Drieberg which had the audience loving his rap element and was a great way to kick start the show. Held on the balcony of the town hall, it gave the evening a hint of glamour and class. And then out came the devine hosts, Jenny and Philip.

But aside all the festivities,  I walked away feeling in complete awe and amazement at what Philip Boon and Jenny Bannister have created for the fashion industry and why it’s needed. The Sydney fashion industry is known mainly for celebration of exclusiveness and A-list parties and truth be told it’s all froth and bubble with very little substance.

Image courtesy of Kellie Dene - Left: Dean Hewitt & Jenny Bannister

Image courtesy of Kellie Dene – Left: Dean Hewitt & Jenny Bannister

I found it utterly refreshing and far more enjoyable building lasting friendships through Fashion Torque of some very talented people, who have not only amazing talent but “keep it real” with their wonderful tales of honesty about their own shortcomings and hardships about the industry, but with an incredible supportiveness of each other.  The Fashion Torque crowd are one of the most genuine and down to earth people I have ever meet. Their instant friendliness and warmth to outsiders, even from rival cities is utterly infectious and gives me a strong sense of walking away wanting to be a better person.

No one should be shy about attending Fashion Torque on their own,  as they will be greeted with such warmth from these hosts who have such impeccable manners. The entire night I felt like I was treated like a queen, with them always looking out for me and the gorgeous Dean Hewitt ever so attentive. As a Sydney sider, I call upon every big wig in the fashion industry in Sydney to use their connections to help bring Fashion Torque to a more global level. This offers, not only emerging designers a fantastic opportunity to mingle with industry experts, but also for the general public to watch these amazing hosts in play and their guests. This industry is tough for anyone working in it, even for the established players and it’s not getting any easier with the influx of overseas chain stores.  To have a chance to network with some very talented like minded people, not be scrutinised, gain inspiration and have a few drinks and have some fun is something that is dearly needed.

Image courtesy of Kellie Dene: Left: Sarah Wilcocks - Style Melbourne, Sacha Strebe, editor of Fashion Exposed Online & Stylexicon, Candice Deville - founder of Candice Deville, Phoebe Garland - Garland & Garland Fashion & Dean Hewitt - co-founder,  Madam Virtue & Co.

Image courtesy of Kellie Dene: Left: Sarah Wilcocks – Style Melbourne, Sacha Strebe, editor of Fashion Exposed Online & Stylexicon, Candice Deville – founder of Candice Deville, Phoebe Garland – Garland & Garland Fashion & Dean Hewitt – co-founder, Madam Virtue & Co.

Bravo Jenny Bannister & Philip Boon, you are both credits to the Fashion Industry.
Thank you for getting us all together. xx

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