After a year where for many of us, creativity felt like much of a faraway fantasy; a return to a sorely-missed Fashion Week provided promise for a fresh and renewed bought of inspiration. On Tuesday, we were introduced to some of the freshest, up and coming faces in the industry, at the AAFW Next Gen show. On day three, we witnessed a Fashion Week first, with the first-ever curated runway presentation of First Nations designers. And this morning, as the week almost comes to a close, we buckled in again for an absolute treat. A moment to celebrate the magic that can be created outside of traditional boundaries; The Innovators brought the much-needed perspective to AAFW 2021 that we had been waiting for.
Emerging from and in collaboration with TAFE NSW Fashion Design Studio, this morning's show placed five of the industry's risk-taking, up-and-coming creatives front and centre. Alexander Lyon, Alexandra Dowsing, Charles Kennedy, Thomas Anderson and Thomas Zilioli sent their fiery collections down the runway to a crowd of eager spectators thrilled and excited for something new.
Each with their own signature style DNA, below we introduce you to each of The Innovators and share with you some of the highlights from each collection.
Emerging designer Charles Kennedy of label Charlieboy redefined the beret as we know it; sending his collection down the runway with perfectly matched hat accessories. His collection, titled Nouveau Genese, which echoes the sentiment of a new age, his pieces tailoring, drape and stretchwear; looking beyond the boundaries of gender, age or size.
An ode to romance and late nights in Paris; velvets, shimmer and ruffles reigned supreme in Alexandra Dowsing's collection. A particular standout of mine was an unforgettable green suit with floral-pocket details and zipped trousers. The Woolmark 2020 Prize Winner wants her collection to make you feel something; and this morning, she succeeded.
Redefining our relationship with the Avant-garde, Thomas Zilioli's collection unites the worlds of fashion and technology; a partnership that continues to blossom in a digitally-focused world. Not a collection designed for the faint-hearted, Ziloli champions colour and statement-making design to emote a feeling of playfulness and fun.
Where inspiration is concerned, designer Alexander Lyon looks to the Parisienne club scene of the 1900s and painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec; which is immediately clear once you take a closer look at his collection this morning at the AAFW 2021 Innovators show. One particular yellow dress is adorned in screenprint paintings of faces and imagery based on Toulouse-Lautrec's work; with the words, Moulin Rouge, sprawled in-between. Nods to vintage suiting was also a major theme and certainly caught my eye.
A reclaiming of camp, designer Thomas Anderson's collection, titled, Homoerectus, was exactly that. A personal favourite of editor Jess Blanch, flamingo-adorned capes and blazers inspired joy and a reminder that fashion is designed to subvert and offer a feeling of escapism. RUSSH favourite, Genesis Owusu, even recently wore pieces from Anderson's collection in his latest music video. There's no doubt this is one to watch.