By Laura Green
After months of hard work from an impressive bunch of designers, models, marketing, communications, managing, and media teams, the culmination of WA Born was an extraordinary display of blood, sweat, and creativity. Teensoul went backstage to give you a sneak peek into life behind the scenes.
I wander through a labyrinth of studio lights, glittering fabrics, brightly adorned models, and bustling managers. I breathe it all in; the familiar feeling of being backstage at a show. I jostle through a sea of bodies, lost in the chaos that is eerily shushed as the lights dim. I can practically hear the pounding hearts of each member of the crew, waiting in anticipation. Then, the lights, the music, the intensity of the watching crowd all overlapped as the show began.
This is the moment the Colosoul team has been anticipating for months. It’s the unity of hundreds of creative types and the organisation’s finest team leaders and volunteers.
The show is opened by contemporary dancers which set the scene of surreal and fluid creativity, before models are sent out on their perfectly rehearsed cues, the intense rehearsal of which I viewed from morning until that night.
As I wandered around backstage, it was apparent that WA Born was the result of months of labour and love from many aspiring young designers, to execute what Assistant Communications Director, Douglas Ireland, has described as; “the culmination of a lot of months of hard work.”
It was clear that others felt the same. Throughout the day, an infectious enthusiasm had been permeating the atmosphere, and so I sat down with some models, designers, and organisers to understand the show’s happenings.
One aspect most unique to a show like this was the distinctive stories of each individual. Soft-spoken model, Caillyn, enjoyed the sense of community, saying, “You meet, network, and connect with so many people,” with an excited smile. Down to earth Petrea, striking in her bold looks, candidly spoke about the issue of body image in the modelling industry, and that it “Shouldn’t be about conforming.” She appreciated Colosoul’s encouragement of individual growth, as well as Kelvin, another model who appreciates the soulfulness of Colosoul, affirming, “You’re so free to express yourself.” The individuality of each model was outstanding in its own way and it’s fantastic to see this shine through when they’re given the opportunity.
When speaking of the night ahead, they all expressed a desire to showcase the designers’ work to the best of their ability.
“I’m excited to showcase the designers’ ranges,” Caillyn said.
Petrea placed importance on the artistry involved: “I really like seeing upcoming designers. I’m always looking out for ‘out of the box’ fashion.”
It seems that the sense of community and self-expression is a token of Colosoul’s growing name, and that others are drawn to the organisation, and especially to WA Born for the same reasons.
“I’m excited to see a lot of creative people come together – the designers and the guests,” said Douglas. He really emphasised that, “Everyone coming values the arts,” which certainly rang true with former ‘My Kitchen Rules’ contestant, Jordan Bruno, the ambassador and MC for the night, who brought his own perspective of the arts, which he first began to appreciate through a love of cooking. He recognised the designers as “pioneers of the future” in fashion, and loved the “vast opportunities” brought to them by the event.
“I’m most excited to see the emerging talent,” he expressed, and it was clear that he and everyone else was blown away by the talent that came down the runway that night.
Ella Vanna by Daniella Gitto brought an immediate and electrifying black-and-gold elegance to opening of the show, including dramatic ruffles, gold embroidery, patterned, and off-the-shoulder puffed sleeves reminiscent of 16th Century European nobility, varnished with a modern twist.
Kate Hannah’s self-titled line followed with a quirky 1960s vibe, incorporating loose sheer fabrics and zingy psychedelic satins draped loosely across the models with childlike charm.
Daphne Wong’s eye-catching theatrical geometric creations hung like true art on her models. From white geometric-cut pant-suits to khaki felt oblong dresses, Wong’s creations captured the audience’s eyes with vivacity and daring.
Koi Girl brought an incredible fusion of the classic Japanese kimono with quirky vintage textiles to create charming and extraordinary ensembles.
Cherileen Bull’s Machere Couture featured rumpled cotton beach dresses, with plaited belts, silky satin camisoles, and elegant ruffle skirts, harmonised by their serene off-white colour palette. Luckily, I was able to catch up with Cherileen, who spoke of her line as, “Something to do with summer – beachwear come cocktail,” and she certainly succeeded.
“Doors are opening for me; I’m really excited that I’m showcasing in time for summer,” exclaimed Cherileen when asked what she found unique about the show. She said that its importance lies in, “Being a part of it, supporting a really great cause, and seeing everybody enjoy it.”
In the spirit of the event, I asked what advice she would give to others looking to join the competitive creative industry. She answered me with the enthusiasm that had been unceasing throughout the day, and said, “Go for it. Give it your all. Don’t let the downs stop you from going up. Have your goal in mind always.”
What a whirlwind day for the Colosoul group, which reflects Cherileen’s sentiments exactly; there will be no stopping the creative minds showcased that night.
Photography credit: Lepak Media