Skip to main content

Less conventional collection than creative cosmos, Sydney wunderkind Jordan Gogos’s Tuesday-night show made for a lot to take in. Happily Vogue Australia’s Alice Birrell had put in the hard yards in advance to contextualize his collaborative collection with Akira Isogawa, a designer who was on the roster for this city’s first-ever fashion week back in 1996.

Even without the Disaronno-amped jet-lag you suspected that this show felt like inhabiting someone else’s fever dream: gratifyingly the designer kind of concurred. Gogos explained that he has a recurring nightmare of running and being unable to stop—reflected in the film projected at the back of the Carriageworks space—and added: “I needed to do something with it and channel it into this very physical materiality.”

That constantly in motion creative anxiety manifested itself into 40 highly built pieces of costume—this was a collection sure to woo curators more than consumers—all of which had been bespokenly shaped to accentuate the cast of local characters who walked. There were vamps, warriors, satyrs, sirens, seers, and more, all clad in detail-heaped, myriad-stitched, hand-fashioned assemblages. To rhythmic blasts of ’90s hardcore and in walks that ranged from stomp to shimmy they negotiated a runway heaped with mountain ranges of upcycling and Gogos-signifying wooden trojan horses. Some also wore goth teddy bears—an Isogawa motif—strapped to their backs or medieval, extreme tsarouchi.

It’s human nature to categorize the new against the known. To these fresh eyes elements of Gogos’s practice seemed not unadjacent to others including Rei Kawakubo, Vivienne Westwood, and Matty Bovan. And there was a whiff of Sibling too. This is not to say the Gogos cosmos felt derivative, but to suggest that the elements of abstraction, punk, and DIY all at play here seemed to sit squarely in the tradition of fashion carnival. Or as the OG Australian fashion designer Jenny Kee sat next to me made sure to emphasize: “Darl, he’s an artist.”