Now, in it’s 19th year, the annual Telstra Perth Fashion Festival has showcased yet another fine array of pieces from the collections of some of Perth’s most esteemed emerging and established designers. Collectively, the designers celebrated the contribution of women in the fashion and creative industries, and embraced the diversity of the female form. Though the Opening Night’s runway show was not only a presentation, but a celebration of the powerful women in fashion, as well as the immense creative talents that Perth boasts. Albus Lumen opened the night with his most recent collection. Full of dynamic, minimalist creations designed for the modern woman, his collection delivered ethereal and ambient beauty. There was an inclusion of both day and evening wear pieces, from elegant slim fitting gowns, to meticulously tailored jackets and trousers, that were all unified through a consistent colour palette of white, ivory and beige hues. Alice McCall has been long renowned for her attention to fine detail, and her latest collection is a testament to her highly sophisticated and elite creativity. There was a large presence of floral patterns in her designs that were rich in detail and ultra-feminine. One of the standout pieces from last night’s show was a tasselled cocktail dress with drop sleeves. The intricacy of this design in particular was immense, and featured an appearance similar to the techniques of the French fashion house, Balmain. Newcomer, Christopher Esber, was welcomed last night through a delivery of his latest collection. Traditional forms were executed with modern finesse; one particular piece stood out for it’s bold construction of a modest silk slip that was enhanced through the inclusion of a dramatic, lattice dress, which possessed a unique sculptural design. Meanwhile, another look that can only be lovingly described as ‘businesswoman chic,’ reworked the humble, double-breasted business coat, by transforming it into an exceptionally crafted dress. In stark contrast to the pieces of the other designers, Empire Rose showcased an alternative feminine; stark with brazen, ferocious attitude, and unafraid to embrace the wilder things in life. Throughout recent years, fashion has become noticeably androgynous, something that evidently materialised in Empire Rose’s creations. Their latest designs created an intersection between masculine and feminine, with sequined blouses and romantic tulle skirts that were dramatically juxtaposed with flannel compliments. One of Australia’s most highly esteemed fashion labels, Bec + Bridge were a highly anticipated presence at this year’s show. Youthful lace playsuits, and richly ruffled cocktail dresses romanticised modern feminine beauty. The evening concluded on a dramatic note, with the presentation of Monster Alphabet’s latest designs. Their collection was marvellously lustful, carnal and libidinous—something that can largely be accredited to their use of sheer fabrics that provocatively revealed the models’ bodies. While black was the only colour used in their pieces, dull they were not. Highly intricate textures and forms were indicative of the atelier craftsmanship that had been invested into the production of each design. Overall, the Opening Night runway show was an exceptional experience, and the perfect way to open one of the most important weeks in Perth’s fashion industry. From the looks that were displayed at the launch, it is clearly evident that the bar for elite, cutting edge fashion has been set higher than ever.