Event Showcase | Fashion & Fundraising - Avant Garde Ball

When Bowie Wong (an internationally acclaimed Australian fashion designer) approached the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation about being involved with them in some way, the Foundation was excited.

When This Space, an event management agency based in Sydney, were approached by the Foundation to help develop a wider event strategy around their flagship event… something new and exciting for the charity happened – the Avant-Garde Ball!
12-months in the making, the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s Avant Garde Ball, is a great example of what happens when passionate people, with skills and expertise to give, come together for a common cause. In this case, it was to raise much needed funding and awareness for Cure Brain Cancer. 
In this event showcase we take a look at how fashion and fundraising were combined to create a spectacular event for 700 guests….
Avant-garde; adjective. Favouring or introducing new and experimental ideas and methods.

The Charity

Cure Brain Cancer is the leading organisation for brain cancer research.  Brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer.
Life expectancy after a diagnosis isn’t great either, and the Foundation is currently on a time-critical mission to increase five-year survival from the current 20% to 50% by 2023. 
Hosting events such as the Avant Garde Ball are critical to Cure Brain Cancer’s ongoing fundraising efforts and go towards funding innovative research and patient care. 

The Event

700 guests were invited to support the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation at a gala event at the Royal Hall of Industries on a hot evening in September 2018. 
We were delighted to be guests of This Space on the night – and can testify that it was an amazing evening! 

The Theme

The theme was avant-garde  - a clear nod to the type of research needed to find a cure. From the dress code to the Bowie Wong fashion collection designed specifically for the night – the event designers, caterers and all those involved nailed the theme.  

The Fashion Element

Prior to the event, Bowie Wong (an internationally acclaimed Australian fashion designer) approached Cure Brain Cancer about being involved in some way. In the pre-event production period, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and This Space met with Bowie to work out what his involvement might look like. This led to Bowie kindly offering to create an Haute Couture collection with the Foundation’s crane logo as the centre of his designs. This was his way of raising awareness for this much needed cause.
The Fashion Collection produced by Bowie Wong for the event was revealed in a full production catwalk show. In addition, one of his garments was auctioned off during the night and up for grabs in the live auction were tickets to Paris to see Bowie Wong’s latest collection revealed.  

Avant Garde Ball | Bowie Wong Fashion Show

The Event Production

The entire event space looked fantastic, but one of the most impressive elements was the fashion show. On arrival, guests were greeted to a floor plan with a wide centre aisle and an overhead hanging installation which looked amazing. The theatrics however were stepped up a notch when all guests were seated and the installation was lowered and transformed into an 18m raised catwalk! 

Avant Garde Ball | Cat Walk Production
Ceiling feature lowered to become an 18m cat walk!

Other fashionista elements included a red carpet and media wall on arrival and the “Avant Garde Me” make-up area where guests could get an on-theme make-over on the night.

Avant Garde Ball | Creative Elements

The Food 

With the support of Pearl Catering, Christine Manfield was engaged to design a menu for the evening. Focusing on the use of “brain food” produce, Christine created a delicious menu that featured dishes like Spanish mackerel, yuzu, radish, turnips and ginger with black garlic vinaigrette. 
For dessert, Christine proclaimed that brain food was replaced with sugar and fat – because that’s what makes a great dessert!

The Entertainment

In addition to the amazing fashion parade, entertainment included the sultry (and outstanding!) tones of Megan Washington and post-dinner, Jonny Ruffo (and band) had the dance floor pumping.

The Fundraising 

This ball is all about raising funds and awareness so that important research can be conducted and those staggering statistics can be tackled head on.
Tickets to the dinner play a large part in covering costs of the event and go towards the charity itself. Other important elements included a silent auction, live auction (including a car, international holidays and of course, one of Bowie’s couture garments) and cash donations pledged on the night. 

Final note…

A big thank you to the team at This Space for inviting us to experience this amazing event. This Space’s involvement included all creative services, all pre-production, negotiation with event supporters, creatively producing the Bowie Wong runway show and full event management and show calling on the night.
We feel privileged to have attend this event and learnt more about Cure Brain Cancer throughout the evening. All of the suppliers and supporters who gave their time, resources, skills and products to this event don’t do so to make huge margins, they do so to show their support…
To support Cure Brain Cancer Foundation in your own way, go to: http://www.curebraincancer.org.au/


Suppliers involved on the evening included:
Event Management | This Space
AV & Production | NW Group (Haycom Sydney)
Catering | Pearl Catering (with menu design by Christine Manfield)
Audio | JPJ Audio