I have never fancied visiting Australia - too hot for my cold Scottish blood, but I can surely see it's a breeding ground for great designers and labels. When I happened upon Scarlett Gowing, an East Sydney Fashion Design Studio attendee and Central St Martin graduate, I knew she was something special.
I love seeking out designers which have a fearless use of the oftentimes unwearable, who play with texture and shape with gay abandon, concentrating instead on honing their production and pattern cutting skills rather than being easily consumable and understandable. I completely admire risk takers and those brave creative souls who place their work out their; uncompromised and true. Whilst I would not necessarily say this relates to Scarlett Gowing because, although bold, her work is actually very wearable, even though I still sense a real rebellion in her work - a take it or leave it attitude.
Her quirky, cool drop crotch trousers are actually incredibly chic; the studded vest and dress, reminiscent of Stella McCartney's SS07 dress (which was also 'done' by Topshop), is toughened up with masculine trousers, or a killer corset belt. Never before have I seen raspberry look so delicious outwith the fruit itself!
Her sculpted black tops look almost like they are made from some poisonous fungi found in an enchanted wood, and indeed the wicked witch of the tale would probably dress in latex.
Whilst couture is an admirable skill indeed, it's the filtering and interpretation of the essence of couture and applying it to a diffusion line, that I find more satisfying. Whilst there are simple economic reasons for creating more affordable lines, especially as a relatively new designer, with Gowing I still feel a sense of curiousity, of boundary pushing and questioning acceptable norms as to what constitutes ready to wear. The big money spinning labels can be slightly guilty of leaning towards what their consumer wants and expects, and there is often no risk or diversion for fear of losing money. I can see why this is the case, but frankly it can be quite dull. Perhaps, as a person, I admire bravery in people and so it applies in all areas of life - including the creative.
Well done Ms Gowing for providing me some fresh inspiration...I may just go and buy that Topshop studded dress in the sale and hack it into a tank and team it with my charity shop, old man's trews.