Agent Provocateur has arrived in Perth with a substantial concession space in David Jones Hay Street. The original destination for saucy smalls, AP's aesthetic is a unique combination of lace delicacies and in-your-face raunch, a contrast I actually quite enjoy. Beyond the pasties and paddles is expertly cut, often innovative lingerie in beautiful fabrics which really needs to be tried to be appreciated. It's not quite the same as shopping in one of their velvet lined boutiques (put the blinkers on and ignore the shapewear department next door), but the generous fitting room is pretty flash and the pink-clad ladies will be more than happy to help you find something you feel sexy in. Expect to start a wishlist.
Agent Provocateur Perth
Level 2 Lingerie Department, David Jones
Hay Street, Perth
(08) 9325 1278
Hannah Cummuskey's considered and very wearable layers were accessorised with face bags and awesome hombre perspex - a collection that felt highly contemporary with a unique edge.
Lucy Aboagye's hauntingly beautiful ravaged couture showed enormous technical skill, restraint and maturity in design, drawing spontaneous applause from the audience. Lucy has been selected to partake in the 2014 Hyogo Banshu textiles program and will be traveling to Japan to develop her own textiles - congratulations, can't wait to see what you come up with!
Jessica Moro's sculptural cutting was set off by an unusual but highly successful colour palette.
Cordelia Gibbs captured what should probably be our national costume and heightened it to a serious fashion state. Her own 'Life in Wool' informed a knit heavy range that drew inspiration from rural Australian workwear without a hint of irony. Very clever, very relevant.
Kezia Soedjono melded something of Swan Lake with 80's bridal in striking white tulle abstractions, designed to engage the tactile, as well as visual, senses.
Laura Vlais explored Dia de los Muertos - dangerous cliche territory - with nary a sugar skull in sight. Heavy cotton lace against organza with sparing pops of colour made this collection sophisticated and exciting.
Shahira Salih's bold use of colour and volume was uplifting - this striped balloon dress was particularly successful.
Gautam Kapoor's collection of intricate print and distorted silhouette was equal parts bizarre and amazing. While I can't imagine the gold kneepads will take off the red dress with the extended front is one of the most exciting (and elegant) new ideas I've seen in a long time - definitely one to watch.
Well done Curtin fashion grads 2013, the industry will be lucky to have you!
Beauty product from Mecca Cosmetica & Kit Cosmetics, bag by The Luxe Project, jellies by Melissa
Sharing some summer beauty favourites in the latest Xpress fashion supplement, pick up a copy where you get your streetpress in Perth and check out the retro roadtrip editorial by Monica Morales with the Shift Creative team! Makeup for me is low key (I can't stand the idea of visible foundation or having to touch up during the day so the BB/CC revolution is actually revolutionary) and even moreso in summer (when it's 35degrees the main aim in sun protected, cool-calm-and-collected). Mecca is really hitting the mark with their home range - this tinted suncream is the best I've ever used and the ponytail holders are perfect for pretending you're not having a lazy hair day.
A few weeks ago a selection of industry guests were lured down to Fremantle and into a shed on the wharf for one of the most atmospheric fashion shows I've had the pleasure of witnessing. The portside satellite city turned on the charm with a perfect sunset and the tallship Leeuwin II docking in the background as well-styled models showed us what some of WA's young labels have been up to, courtesy of the Fremantle Fashion Collective. Highlights for me were Tindale - designer Shelley has an eye for balance and drape that manifests into garments that are unexpected and very sexy, Luka Rey who showed complexity in cut and texture, Anna Excell for beauty in simplicity with striking but very wearable silhouettes and Monster Alphabets - designer Sarah has harnessed her Japanese heritage with an aesthetic that (to my mind, at any rate) splices elements of kawaii into dark fashion.
In a city with very little industry there can be a tendency to default to a (not particularly successful) formula for this type of event - props to Hannah McGrath, Sarah Langley and Perth Fashion Festival for raising the bar on this one.
Born through the vision of the inimitable Wendy Marshall, Elle is an endearing icon of the Western Australian fashion landscape. Since 1969 Elle has been the local destination for international labels, reminding us that Perth and Paris exist in the same sphere - so there's no reason not to dress accordingly. Under the well-trained eyes of buyers Natasha and Corey the racks are filled with a sometimes-unexpected-but-always-chic selection that spans daywear to black tie (plus, of course, shoes, bags and jewellery. And a dedicated bridal suite!). Designer heavyweights including Lanvin, Stella McCartney and Givenchy give way to subtle tones from Rick Owens and Marithé + François Girbaud, while Romance Was Born, Bassike and Ksubi punctuate international street favourites including Acne, MSGM and Alexander Wang. Local talent doesn't get overlooked - you'll find Jamie Lee's opulent concoctions there next season!
The grand (and admittedly somewhat intimidating - but I promise they don't bite) exterior houses a celebration of art, design and style that proved itself an invaluable link to the runways long before next-day-delivery and style.com. Though the ladies in store will happily assist in outfitting you for any occasion you don't need an occasion to visit - take the time to be inspired by the detailed embellishment on a Peter Pilotto frock, the vibrant leather on Sophia Webster's heels, the perfect cut of a Helmut Lang jacket and discover why high end fashion is a beautiful thing.
56 Weld Street (cnr Stirling Hwy)
(08) 9386 6868
Born from a love of the beautiful handcrafted textiles of their native Thailand, mother/daughter duo Chutisa and Sharidan Bowman bring us The Luxe Project - a range of bags designed to show off the striking dyes, weaves and intricate embroidery of vintage ceremonial garments from the hill tribes of South East Asia. Representing countless hours of work but discarded with time, The Luxe Project seeks to give new life to these fabrics, working them into easy bag styles with leather contrast maximising use of the textile. Beautiful things, made with soul at every stage.
The Luxe Project
Maties, if you've known me for a while you may want to sit down.
I wore this - exactly this, no sexing up or slumming down for photos - consciously, out in public. Running shorts, a singlet and sneakers. RUNNING SHORTS AND SNEAKERS, MATES. MEN'S RUNNING SHORTS FROM KMART.
Does it matter, I hear you ask? Well, no. There are a million more important things happening in the world. But that's almost precisely why it does. This marks a turning point. Not so long ago this apparent lack of effort would have been inconceivable to me. Shorts were for children, sneakers for corporate chumps powerwalking to work. I thought ponytails were a waste of a real hairstyle. Sport was something people at school I didn't particularly like did. Leggings in any guise were never to be worn as pants. But my attitude has been shifting. Things that were once 100% NO WAY NOT EVER have become, at the very least, grey area.
What made me change my mind? Athletic minimalism from Alexander Wang and Céline (both of whom I'm coincidentally sporting here, with equal weighting to General Pants & Kmart. All class, all the time)? The sportsluxe vibe that's been sneaking onto the streets since circa 2010? Getting old? Getting fit? Everyone else giving less of a shit?
In the same way that I accepted (to be fair judged, but still accepted) someone wearing a beanie, board shorts, socks & pool slides yesterday, so too am I accepted in gear that I bought to sweat in at 6am before the world expects you to be polished. Because, it seems, in a scarily large number of situations it's become perfectly acceptable to keep your (hopefully sans-sweat) 6am style all day. Ex-Tigerlily designer Jodhi Meares' new activewear brand The Upside is pegging the yoga-studio-to-dinner angle. People buy gym clothes to wear instead of normal clothes. Lorna Jane has a whole section dedicated to 'leisure' wear (including 'Lorna's Fave Track Pant!') which looks suspiciously like sportswear to me. It's ok to do a Barre/Attack/Pump class (or not) on Saturday morning then go to breakfast/shopping/a home open in your fluoro singlet and 3/4 tights. Businessmen wheel & deal in cycling gear as much as they do tailored suits. We're not merely casualising our nation- we're wrapping it in highdensity performance micronylon with moisture wicking technology.
I scoff - but it's not entirely a bad thing. Getting active was a major player in my life shift and I'm certainly not going to discourage anyone else from doing it. It does concern me that people are missing out on the beauty of clothing that ISN'T designed to stretch and move and be thrown in the wash after every use, and that the notion of occasion-appropriate dress has already slipped through our fingers, but the concern I use to have for myself stooping to the aesthetic level of the gym bunnies? Gone. I've found more important things to worry about.
Disclaimer - I have worn
Ella de Thierry / Jessica Wang
Kiri Cox / Nina Grabic
Alana Corr / Rose Church
Photos by Jarrad Seng / collaged by me
Photos by Jarrad Seng / collaged by me
November harks the start of grad show season, and (perhaps now more than ever, in a fashion climate where so much looks the same) it's exciting to see fresh ideas and unbridled enthusiasm from this years student designers.
The Central Institute of Technology kicked off the Perth run this week, hosting a polished show in the main gallery space at PICA - a perfect backdrop for textile focused garments. Huge props to the students and staff for their obviously meticulously planned preparation, details from high impact promo shoot to the white fabric origami flowers worn by ushers took the event to the next level (though Olympic-paced non-standard choreography made it difficult to appreciate the detail in each collection and nigh impossible to photograph, many thanks to Jarrad Seng for letting me raid his official photos! See his edit here).
Overall lots of interesting fabric manipulation and an impressive level of construction. My absolute ones-to-watch are Jessica Wang for what I will dub a whimsical-sports vibe in pink and grey, with a great eye for form and unexpected embellishment (that tshirt is felted dogs wool and pailette sequins. I want one.), and Rose Church for her menswear in particular - striking and very wearable avant garde exploring layered proportion, but congratulations due to all. Looking forward to the next steps in their careers!
Know me, know my love of the Young Ones and their unique expletives. Not always appropriate in polite conversation and I try not to mutter to myself, so I quite enjoy the secret swear wearing this custom name ring from Onecklace. Any word you like - completely brilliant!
Sharp lines/clean cuts is always a nice contrast to my slightly-scruffy hair/converse situation.
This giant Rupee (I did once spend a summer navigating Zelda on N64) of a clutch is an addition to my future-vintage collection. Made with love by master leathersmith Rebecca from Alpha Cruxis, it is a thing of beauty and a joy to behold. Crafted entirely by hand, one can't help but marvel at the seamless joins as it sits neatly in the palm, instilling an appreciation of detail that could never exist in something mass produced. Bec's eye for design is evident in every stage of her work and the final product doesn't disappoint. Very special.
clutch - alpha cruxis
dress - the eleventh hour
shoes - converse
sunnies - colony
earring - tatty devine
rings - toby jones & c/o onecklace