On Friday night I had the privilege to listen to and meet Akira Isogawa at Claremont Quarter for their Meet the Designer experience. I was in complete awe by how humble, kind, talented and witty he was, which made the anticipation for his show on Saturday night even more exhilarating!
I knew that Akira was going to be a highlight at Telstra Perth Fashion Festival, but I could never have predicted how emotional I was going to be during and after the show. As moody classical music played and the first model appeared in front of a screen of gently falling leaves, the whole of Fashion Paramount became still. All you could here were the clicking sounds of cameras and the melodic music while the crowd was stunned by admiration and eagerly took in the beauty coming down the runway.
Akira presented a collection that reinterpreted the past and reinvented romance, by combining new pieces with around 30 looks from his archive collection. They all worked so seamlessly and harmoniously together that I could not define which were part of his new or archive collection, suggesting that he had truly created timeless pieces and lived up to his reputation of never following trends. Something he said during his interview at Claremont Quarter that resonated very strongly with me was that “style is something you are born with and fashion is something you can learn” in a world that is so dominated by fast and disposal fashion, it was refreshing to see so much beauty that will probably never date.
Elements of the collection were an ode to his Japanese heritage and traditional craftsmanship with structured kimono style lines and intricate floral embroidery, while he also incorporated more romantic and delicate pieces made from dusty chiffons and floating silks, but still in his iconic draped and layered style. As models slowly walked down the runway adored in floral art by Rebecca Grace from Natural Art Flowers onlookers were for once given the opportunity to admire the detailing in every garment. The entire procession was extremely emotional, I can’t exactly explain why I was on the verge of tears but after the show I spoke to several people, and many felt the same way. We concluded that all the subtle, humble and beautiful elements of show contributed to this overwhelming feeling which resulted in the audience breaking out in cheers as Akira stood with his models.