What it’s like to attend #STYLEAID
Every Australian city hosts fund raisers and fashion balls for charity during the winter months. Perth Fashion Blogger JoAnn Goh, aka The Glam Whisperer, headed off to Perth’s biggest fashion-based fundraiser STYLEAID. Running since 1998, Style Aid showcases the newest fashion ranges from local and international designers to raise money for the Aids Council of Western Australia. It’s now one of the biggest fashion events of the Perth Social Scene. Here’s what it’s like going to STYLAID, as Jo shares with us how it felt going to STYLEAID for the first time. Photos: courtesy Ryan Ammon.
#Deciding to Go to STYLEAID
When Andi Lewin from Fashion Addicted Panda suggested we go to STYLEAID, I have to admit my bank account groaned at the $275 required for a ticket. Considering VIP tickets were $400 and that proceeds were going to the Aids Council of Western Australia, we convinced ourselves that it was a worthwhile spend. After all, as a fashion event, that’s the least of your costs, considering all those other essentials such as hair, manicures and outfit!
Had the bank account been willing, we would have opted for the VIP tickets. Who would willingly say no to attending a pre-show welcome party at LaVie Champagne Bar? Mingling with VIP’s? And getting to enter the event via the red carpet?! Not to mention getting into the VIP after party! All in the name of a good cause, of course! Sadly, the budget didn’t stretch that far and we were happy just to be there. Your first time at a big event is always fun, at very least memorable, no matter what. #theseticketsbetterbegood!
Every good ball has a theme and for 2016, STYLEAID’s theme was Tarot.
So there we were, all glammed up with Perth’s finest, in time to watch the red carpet arrivals. We so enjoyed watching the arrivals, taking in what everyone was wearing and seeing who rocked up with whom.
There was a long queue on the red carpet while everyone had their photo taken against the media board. There were quite a few celebrities including newbies Bachelor Australia contestants Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon. They both wore very low plunging necklines. Megan Marx wore a white Natalie Rolt gown and Tiffany wore a sparkly number by Ruth Tarvydas. Both were styled by Melanie Pool from Australian Fashionistas.
Socialite Samantha Wyllie wore this amazing Aelkemi white embroidered gown. Here’s a shot of her from Aelkemi’s Instagram page.
Her dress was very popular and her look a real head-turner. It was great to see a lot of support for local designers. Many wore Aelkemi. (I did too.) Others were in Zhivago, Jonte, Ruth Tarvydas and Aurelio Costarella.
#STYLEAID: What Went Down
Everyone was at their most glamourous and friendly best. It was a lovely, unpretentious atmosphere, red carpet notwithstanding. #nofakes
I think I’ve hardly ever been impressed with the food at big functions and but at least the dessert was delicious. Between courses, we watched a runway parade by participating designers. There were big cheers by the crowd for local designers such as Jonte, Aelkemi and Hooded Wept. I guess most of us have watched their journey from the beginning and it was so nice to see them grow to where they are now. My personal runway stand outs were Jonte, Aelkemi, Wild Horses and Missoni from the Varga Girls.
Everyone was having fun with people dancing in their seats when the models from Zhivago strutted down the catwalk to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck – an unusual song choice for the runway but one that faithfully nods to their rock and roll glamour aesthetic.
When the auctions started, I had to admit I wondered where I was for a moment. MC Drag Queen “Crystal Chanelier” called the bids with fellow drag queens pointing out the bidders. I thought I must be in Connections, Perth favourite gay hang out.
Mark Reid, the founder of STYLEAID spoke about his personal journey of being HIV positive and how diagnosis led to him to starting STYLEAID. As well as raising funds for the cause, he wanted to remove the stigma and shame associated with HIV that he had himself experienced, while keeping his illness a secret from his partner and family for a while.
#STYLEAID: The Verdict
Drag queens, dancing, impersonators, Tarot Card readings and loads of fun ensued.
Everyone said they really enjoyed themselves. I spoke to someone called Mandy who said that it was one of the best balls she’d ever attended. It was a diverse crowd that included fashionistas, socialites, businessmen, professionals, hairdressers, beauticians, real estate agents and everyone who just wanted to have a good night out and support a worthwhile cause at the same time. Even though it was a hugely prestigious event on the social calendar, it wasn’t painfully pretentious and people just seemed to enjoy each other’s company.
It was a great night, a great cause and I was seated with great people. Shoutouts to photographer Tristan Judd, designer Jonté, model Kelly Holmes and fashion blogger Edwina Chee, to name just a few. Now that I’ve been, I now know what it’s all about, so that element of excitement won’t be there in future. But it’s a great way to support the local fashion industry who are supporting the Aids Council of Western Australia. You have to go at least once!!!!!
To see what Jo wore to STYLEAID, head over to The Glam Whisperer.