The future of local labels looks bright

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For new designers, Jordan Gogos and Jordan Dalah’s spectacular runway debuts at last year’s Australian Fashion Week show that the fashion dream is spreading across the globe. Mode can come true.

The pressure this week was on Jordans to carry the country’s creative torch, continued to be lit by Romance Was Born, Akira Isogawa and Zimmermann, but new talent on the wings lightened their load.

Jenny Kee modeled at the Iordanes Spyridon Gogos show at the Powerhouse during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week.

Jenny Kee modeled at the Iordanes Spyridon Gogos show at the Powerhouse during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week.Credit:Edwina Pickles

A handful of new brands are treading carefully on the final day of Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, allowing presentations purely to celebrate their design signature, rather than following the blueprints of Gogos’ artistic approach, a fusion of Andy Warhol’s collaborative engineering and Willy Wonka’s aesthetic. Charlie and the Chocolate Factoryor the high concept of Dalah piercing luxury.

At the 9am show, an exhausted Alix Higgins looked ready to pass out backstage after her runway debut filled with clinging dresses, stuffed bike shorts and bodysuits emblazoned with catchphrases. Instead of screaming for attention, the technical print soothed the spirit in the front row, which was tattered from the stampede of four days of modeling.

β€œI felt very burdened by the process of creating this collection,” said Higgins. β€œIt’s quite religious, like being guided by something. There are words like serenity, prayer and God. There was another feeling that prompted me to create this collection. It’s very dreamscape and mystical. I’m not a religious person, but I feel the urge.”

Alix Higgins' debut show at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week at Sydney's Carriageworks is packed with inspirational prints.

Alix Higgins’ debut show at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week at Sydney’s Carriageworks is packed with inspirational prints.Credit:Getty

Higgins students in the audience demonstrate how to effortlessly wear a crisp white shirt, layer a futuristic style under a T-shirt and jacket or just be bold and let the dress do the talking before the first coffee of the day.

The Next Gen show, which celebrates the work of four new designers and their labels Clea, Phoebe Pendergast, Asiyam and Not A Man’s Dream, shows further hope for the future of Australian fashion.

Pleated dresses from Asia Hassan, reminiscent of Mario Fortuny and Issey Miyake show strength in modesty, Clea offers cool commercial establishments and Sunday spring staples, while Samantha Saint James borrows from Jean-Michel Basquiat and Korean culture to explore the love story of Romeo and Juliet through works that blend urban with esoteric for her label Not A Man’s Dream.

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