Akira Isogawa, one of Australia’s most celebrated designers, presents garments that echo Eastern influences with richly embellished fabrics, vintage textiles and traditional prints. The craftsmanship and romanticism of his designs are now legendary. He recently received worldwide recognition for his exquisite designs.
Born in Kyoto, Japan, Akira moved to Sydney in 1986. He presented his first Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week collection in 1996. For men and women, there were floral print, geometric patterns in pants, shirts and jumpsuits. Wide-legged pants were big news. In black and white color combinations, stripes were big and bold. The looks were unisex, and it was difficult to tell the difference between the men’s looks and the women’s styles. There were sporty day dresses on the runway. Athletic socks with striped tops were shown with some outfits.
Swimwear designer Handsy introduced a different approach to designing swimwear. She started bending the rules of this relatively restricted genre of fashion. “I was always fascinated by emerging technologies and opportunities to explore innovative techniques in fashion design. Specifically, 3D printing,” Handsy revealed. “I began incorporating elements of 3D printing into my swimwear designs, never dreaming I would actually be able to materialize physical garments.”
This possibility sparked her interest in and ideas for a new couture swimwear collection. Swimwear tends to be restricted in its ability to explore innovative designs that are functional. Why can’t swimwear be made out of laser cut panels of leather that are sewn onto mesh or hard 3D printed body forms? This ideology, fused with underlining tones of sexual promiscuity and empowerment, became Handsy’s Swimwear brand.
Hansen & Gretel, another Australian label, has garnered much industry attention for their bold fusion of masculine shapes with a feminine sensibility. This brand’s signature styling can be recognized through their pairing of sporty separates with sophisticated classic styles. At the core of this collection are the underpinned, sartorial ease and effortless day-to-day dressing.
Designed by Ainsley Hansen, head designer and creative director of the Australian label, the line focuses on womenswear apparel and leather accessories. The look is a lifestyle-based style that’s diverse. The brand offers high-end luxury items in a slick interpretation of streetwear. Her clothes are inspired by an undercurrent that spurs a constant state of evolution in style and creative vision for this Hansen & Gretel collection.