Ae’lkemi designer Alvin Fernandez, who was given his first runway show at STYLEAID in 1999 and hasn’t missed a year since, was one of 12 designers fitting their runway models at Crown Perth yesterday.

“STYLEAID and the team gave me my first opportunity to have my first runway so I’m always really appreciative,” he said.

Fernandez now debuts his couture collection at each STYLEAID and with one gown so far clocking up 30 hours of beading just on its hip pieces, the new collection is a world apart from the daywear that was on his first runway.

But he admits he still gets nervous before every show.

“It’s very scary,” he said.

“You live in a bubble for months; everything else around it doesn’t seem relevant and I still get nervous. But on the night it’s a really good feeling, the adrenaline kicks in and you go with the flow.”

August 5 will mark the 19th annual show for STYLEAID, which has raised $1.45 million for the WA AIDS Council and been among the first runways for WA models and actresses, including Gemma Ward, Nicole Trunfio and Emma Booth.

Designers joining Fernandez at the Crown Perth event will include other well-known local labels such as One Fell Swoop and Zhivago, as well as newcomers making their STYLEAID debut, including Jonte, HoodedWept and Chalice.

STYLEAID event manager Mark Reid said it had been exciting to see the WA fashion industry grow over the years to the point where we could support an all-local line-up on the event’s runway.

“When it first started we were doing Australian and New Zealand designers,” he said.

“But the beauty of STYLEAID now is that the past 10 years we have had a strong enough industry that we can support WA designers.”Read more at:formal dresses melbourne | formal dresses adelaide