As close neighbours, Australia and New Zealand share common fashion ground. Intellectual and creative undercurrents bind the region, while geographic, historical and cultural nuances generate a range of creative responses. As regional identities in a global fashion system, antipodean designers have received international recognition for their distinctive and original approaches.
Bringing together a selection of work from the past twelve years, Together Alone highlights the dynamic practices of eight leading Australian and New Zealand fashion houses – Akira Isogawa, Toni Maticevski, MaterialByProduct, Romance Was Born, Doris de Pont, World, Nom*D and Zambesi. Resisting dominant fashion trends, these designers have developed their own aesthetics and have garnered attention locally at Australian and New Zealand fashion weeks and on the global stage in London, Paris and New York.
Drawing largely on recent acquisitions, this is the first exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria to investigate and contrast the divergent sources of inspiration that lie at the heart of these designers’ works. The diverse approaches to fashion represented through these eight fashion houses at once dispels the stereotyped references to the ‘casual and carefree’ nature of Australian fashions and the ‘dark and gothic’ label frequently attached to New Zealand design. With over forty works on display, the exhibition spans the period when independent fashion design from Australia and New Zealand moved beyond regional boundaries, influencing how fashion from the area has been perceived in the last decade.