Ingham Daily Press

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Italian Festival: Homegrown talent to shine at hair and fashion show

WITH less than a week to go, the 2021 Australian-Italian Festival NQIB Hair and Fashion Extravaganza is shaping up to be a night not to be missed.

The curtain raiser event scheduled for Friday 4 June will kick off the jam-packed weekend of festivities at Tyto Parklands.

The show is set to be a magical night showcasing a collaboration of local talent in the hair and fashion industry, including a fashion parade by local boutiques, iLove, Lisa Maree and Menz; and a runway display of creative hair design by local hairdressing salons, Maddie’s Hair Bar, Justine’s Hair Design and Ladah Hair.

This year’s show is centred around the theme of sustainability and will feature a new competition category in sustainable evening wear which will be judged on the night.

At her first year at the helm, Hair and Fashion Show Coordinator, Jenna Fighera said the show will have a slightly different look and feel from years gone by with a new venue, concept, and format.

She said: ‘Those attending can expect a bit of a shake up from the traditional show.

‘Not only is it in a new venue under a marquee at Tyto Parklands and a new time of Friday night, but the show has also been condensed, and we are going for a more cocktail party vibe that caters for both women and men.

‘People can expect to be entertained by the likes of incredibly talented locals in hairdressing, design, music and dance, and use it as an excuse to get dressed up for a night out.

‘The night will conclude with an after party where those who want to continue on can do so and dance the night away.’

Adding to the changes, is the competition category of sustainable evening wear opened to both secondary school students and adults, where designers are to create a new after-five garment solely from upcycling and repurposing pre-loved fabrics and clothing.

Mrs Fighera said: ‘Due to my passion in sustainable wear as well as the festival’s goal of working towards a more sustainable event, I thought we could hone in on this as it is such a global topic within the fashion industry.

‘Recycling and upcycling are such a big part of sustainability as it isn’t relying on the use of new textiles, therefore reducing our global footprint while also maintaining the longevity of pre-loved clothing.’

This is the first time the show will incorporate sustainable fashion categories which included a series of workshops led by local fashion designer, Trish Bellero and facilitated through a secondary school’s program with Ingham State High School in the lead up to the event.

A teacher by trade, Mrs Fighera said: ‘Having a background in education, I thought the best way to get some traction with this category would be to go to the schools for workshops.

‘I thought there’d be no better person to assist with this than Trish Bellero, being such a successful and renowned designer who was born and bred in our little town.

‘Trish jumped at the idea and was a wealth of knowledge when it came to not only drawing ideas from the students but bringing those ideas to life with them.

‘We ran one workshop in term one which was more based around drawing inspiration and in term two the workshops were more hands on.

‘After leaving the sessions, I think the students were very inspired.’

Hair and Fashion Show Coordinator, Jenna Fighera alongside local fashion designer, Trish Bellero conducted a series of sustainable fashion workshops with Ingham State High School students who will be entering their designs in the sustainable evening wear category. Photo by Ingham State High School.

With sustainability being the general focus for the entire festival this year, organisers are trying to use more sustainable practices, moving towards a more ecologically focused event in the future.

Mrs Fighera said: ‘Our decorations are also minimal and from Mother Nature, integrating native greenery seeing as we are surrounded by the beautiful Tyto wetlands.

Mrs Fighera has a history with the event, winning the Evening Wear category in 2017.

She said: ‘It was from that moment I knew that if there was a voluntary role in Ingham that I’d like to be involved in, it would be the hair and fashion show, as fashion is and has always been a big passion of mine.’

As preparations continue this week, Mrs Fighera said there has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes in the coordination of the event, securing entertainment, organising run sheets, writing scripts, planning decorations and the list goes on.

She said: ‘The committee and I have been working diligently at ensuring the night runs smoothly.

‘Rehearsal will start next week, however, there have been model fittings in the works over the past week, designers working on their competition categories over the past few months, singing and dance rehearsals for our acts on the night.

‘The hairdressers have been working tirelessly on their showcases between planning, making their headpieces, costuming, makeup and choreography.

‘It has taken months in the making and is truly inspiring to see everything coming together, and what my committee, the fashion houses and hair salons have accomplished for this community event so far.

Ingham born and bred herself, Mrs Fighera said that she did not have to look too far to create the show, as Ingham was home to a great variety of talent and praised the generosity of those in the show.

‘All of the acts and showcases you see on the night are not only local but voluntary.

‘So many people have given up so much of their time to provide a wonderful night out and it is truly amazing to see there are still so many willing to contribute to our community.

‘Seeing as we were affected so much by COVID and went two years between shows, I wanted to keep it local and promote as many local businesses and talents as possible.’

The list of local talent doesn’t stop there with the shows hosts also Ingham locals, with Hinchinbrook’s very own MP, Nick Dametto and Abegowrie College teacher, Maddyn White giving their time to present the evening adding both charm and grace to the already stellar extravaganza.

Tickets are $45 and still available until Wednesday at or the Festival Office, Herbert Street, Ingham.

Event starts with pre-show drinks from 6 pm followed by show at 7 pm.

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