Jordan Gogos is doing probably the most. The 27-year-old multi-hyphenate is bouncing throughout a cluttered room in Powerhouse Museum’s Ultimo workshop. From overflowing bins of offcut denim to hat sculptures within the form of birds (constituted of retrieved ocean fishnets), he reveals off every little thing with equal enthusiasm.
“What do you do earlier than you go to a membership?” he says. “You smack collectively! You narrow your T-shirt up earlier than you exit, you make this factor, say, ‘That’s sort of cool.’ I suppose what we’re doing: we’re smacking issues collectively.”
After we speak, he’s two weeks away from his second Australian trend week present beneath the label Iordanes Spyridon Gogos, which can happen on 12 Could.
His first trend week outing in 2021 was one of many season’s most talked-about collections, a combination of paper-mâché, technicolour corsets and witch’s hats, all constituted of recycled and repurposed supplies. Gogos’s background is in industrial design, however the present was made with a big staff of collaborators. Some clothes, made in lockdown-induced free time, took so long as 10 weeks to assemble. It was an act of pure spectacle – not one of the clothes on present was on the market.
That large experiment paid off although. Final December, Gogos was given a workshop house at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum as a part of a partnership to ship the museum’s first runway present, the beginnings of a $500m redevelopment plan to rework the Ultimo house right into a design hub.
“I’ve had so many editors being like, ‘No person wears your stuff, and also you’re getting all this consideration,” Gogos says. “‘And also you’re nonetheless taken as a correct model in Australia. What is going on?’”
This yr, Gogos has enlisted 56 collaborators, starting from established worldwide labels to collectives resembling Yarrabah Arts and Cultural Precinct in tropical north Queensland, and rising abilities resembling Julia Baldini, a neighborhood cobbler who’s creating 27 pairs of handmade felted footwear.
This time, there’ll be some commerce within the combine: a collaboration with veteran Australian designer Jenny Kee that includes extra standard “wearables” together with denims, jackets and silk shirts. The general public will be capable of buy these garments, however the building will nonetheless embrace recycled supplies, together with some remnants from Kee’s 2019 Powerhouse Museum exhibition with Linda Jackson.
Gogos is only one of a set of queer rising Australian designers displaying this trend week. Melbourne designer Erik Yvon and Sydney’s Alix Higgins will each stage their first standalone runway reveals on the occasion.
Additionally they credit score the pandemic with their present sense of momentum. Higgins, who collaborated with Gogos in 2021, created his label throughout lockdown (“I used to be bored and needed consideration and bought it,” he jokes). Yvon has had his label since 2017, however observed an uptick in curiosity since 2021’s lengthy lockdowns. “We had been all dragging,” he says. “It was actually grim. My design, it’s all brilliant and daring and vibrant … After Covid, I really feel like individuals are much more receptive.”
Whereas Yvon and Higgins’s labels are extra conventional (ie business) than Gogos’s, their designs carry the identical sense of exuberance and gaudiness, a queer sensibility that goes past genderless design (although all three try this too). The place Gogos brings a membership child mentality to his artistic ethos, Yvon and Higgins have already discovered a house within the queer nightlife scenes of Sydney and Melbourne. It’s uncommon to attend an occasion resembling Sydney’s Home of Mince, Unfastened Ends and Athletica or golf equipment like Melbourne’s Miscellania or Rainbow Home with out recognizing their creations.
Impressed by his Mauritian heritage, Yvon’s beaded purses, crochet jumpers and mesh-camo clothes exude “major character” power. When describing the perfect place to put on his clothes, he imagines Rihanna lounging on a ship within the Caribbean. Reasonably than a “conventional catwalk”, he’s promising a “celebration”, working with Sydney ballroom determine Jack Huang to supply “an additional little bit of character”. “I simply wish to make [the audience] really feel comfortable, as a result of that’s what the label is about,” he says.
However Yvon recognises there’s extra at play than a necessity for happiness when it comes to bigger tendencies, noting that amid the bubbly, Y2K references there’s a tougher, extra “apocalyptic” temper.
“Everybody’s embracing the destroyed look,” Yvon muses. “We had been confined – so all of the [design] college students used their very own sources, what was round them.”
A look by way of the racks at Sydney store Distal Phalanx and Melbourne’s Error 404, boutiques identified for stocking bleeding-edge rising designers, illustrates Yvon’s level. From Yvon’s beaded purses to fellow Melbourne label Maroske Peech’s tie-dye blouses and Wackie Ju’s G-strings with a flower on the again, the look is just not a lot a coherent pattern as a DIY demand for consideration.
“There’s that time period, post-lockdown hedonism,” says Error 404’s Anjelica Angwin. “There’s an actual resurgence in membership tradition, trend and design right here in Melbourne as a result of we will lastly entry it. I feel that comes from a craving to precise the truth that we’re nonetheless alive and kicking … And within the membership scene, specifically, there are lots of people embracing their our bodies. It’s actually lovely to see.”
Higgins’s work actually and figuratively embraces the physique with skin-tight nylon shirts and shorts. His designs characteristic daring textual content printed over brilliant, barcode stripes, making them straightforward to identify on a dancefloor. With strains of poetry and phrases taken from Higgins’s diaries – resembling “fairy sort” or “child i’m so scared” – it seems like a nihilist meme account made flesh. It’s emotionally indulgent, which is why Higgins was shocked to be taught his clients largely really feel attractive in his garments. “I feel I’ve made myself that loopy girlfriend no one desires – trigger I’ve simply rambled shitty poetry not solely on the web, however throughout a wardrobe. It’s cringe, but it surely’s liberating.”
Higgins describes his upcoming assortment as “much more unhinged”, due partly to the very fact he created the 30-look assortment predominantly alone in his studio residence.
“I think about my work fairly romantic and poetic, introspective, like an armour,” he says. He isn’t designing for nightclubs, “however I additionally assume all of these issues belong in a membership.”