Wednesday, August 12, 2009


My current designer obsession is Akira Isogawa from Australia. When I think of Australian fashion, words like fun, flirty, and breezy come to mind. I think of cute dresses or separates that one can throw on easily and look effortlessly stylish in. Well, Isogawa's designs possess those qualities and much more. They exemplify the Australian aesthetic of casual chic and romance, infused with traditional Japanese flavour drawn from his background. His Japanese sensibility is evident in the kimono-like jackets, dramatic cuts, long floaty layers, dyed prints and intricate stitching among other features. I noticed that his work also has a refined elegance associated with the traditional Japanese aesthetic. This mix of the East and Down Under makes his garments that much more interesting.

Here is his design philosophy, quoted from the website:

“A garment can transcend, giving it a soul. I translate fabrics into soft and romantic silhouettes, using natural fabrics like silks and cottons, which are kind to the skin. Distressing fabrics and alchemically treating them, gives the feeling of already ‘being loved’, thus evoking emotion. Even one-off fabrics found in flea markets can be given new life.

Richly embellished fabrics echo Eastern influences, and I have great respect for their traditions. Inspiration can be found from the past – re-using vintage textiles and sometimes creating replicas of them, incorporated with specific craftsmanship. The number of hours someone has spent on manual work like this makes it priceless. I see craftsmanship as an implement with which to realise one’s vision. Past, present and future; that slogan continues in almost everything around which my work evolves. Timeless beauty and femininity in my design is profound, in a way for the wearer to express their inner soul.”

Two of my favourite looks from his S/S 09 collection:

I must credit my discovery of Akira to fashion blogger Brigadeiro. She religiously wears clothes from Akira and Dries van Noten (one of my favourite labels) with aplomb. Even her wedding dress is from Akira- it's absolutely beautiful and refreshingly different from conventional bridal designs. Here it is pictured below:

Isn't the soft, flowy silhouette and the applique detail just lovely? Too often bridal gowns make the wearer look fussy and uncomfortable, whereas this one is unrestrained and natural. I also love the flash of red at the bottom which adds drama and romance. In my opinion, it looks even better on Brigadeiro. The red dresses of her bridesmaids accentuated the colour of the hem nicely.

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