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5 Australian stylists on the local designers they’ll be watching in 2022

IMAGE VIA @POSTEL_ISM/INSTAGRAM
WORDS BY GITIKA GARG

The labels you should have on your radar.

It’s safe to say that 2021 has been an interesting year. But when it comes to fashion, Australian talent has continued to thrive despite the (many) challenges.

Our fashion industry is filled with a plethora of incredible designers, and both locally and on a global scale, established and emerging Australian designers are catching the eyes of stars, stylists and consumers alike. 


For more on Australian fashion, check out our Fashion section. 


And as we look towards 2022, I’m eager to find out who those in the know are keeping tabs on. To find out, I picked the brains of five of my favourite Australian stylists to get the inside scoop on the local designers they will be watching in 2022. 

Millie Sykes 

This is tough to whittle down. Accessories wise I have been such a fan of MGN by Megan for some time now. Megan works with 100 per cent recycled metal to create some of the most whimsical pieces I’ve seen. I could scroll through her feed endlessly.

Clothing design-wise, I’m honestly still on such a high after seeing the Iordanes Spyridon Gogos show at fashion week. Watching an incredibly diverse cast of talent stomping down the runway in designs co-created by a host of amazing emerging design talent in Australia to Aqua’s ‘Candyman’? At Aus Fashion Week? Honestly, exhilarating. More of this, Australia!

@milliesykess

Rose Pure

 

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I primarily work with local and emerging designers and love seeing the new ideas and concepts they have that are keeping the industry fresh and exciting! They are the future. Lately, I have my eye on DIY talents like Egg Lemon who cuts up, prints and spraypaints to make unique designs, Lambert who makes items from secondhand shirts draped together and Madeline Jost who makes recycled mini bags out of towels!

[Also] my own brand Pure Obsession, which is centred around recycled ties, as well as graduates Liam Ramirez, Lilli McKenzie and Carolina Hegeman [have] amazing collections that showed at Melbourne Fashion Week and were so colourful and had the coolest cuts and designs. I’m loving new Wackie Ju who has centred their collection around the storytelling and ‘immortalised body monuments’ of trans experiences. I love knitwear and Postel‘s latest drop is so beautiful as well as emerging talent Crochet Bae. It’s an exciting time to be a stylist with this much talent!

@rosepure

Jam Baylon 

 

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There are definitely a few that I have had my eye on for quite some time and I know that they are going to make it quite big and make an impact in terms of the community and industry. One of them – who I have actually known since they graduated from university in fashion – is Wackie Ju by Jackie Wu. They are one of the most incredible, down-to-earth, underrated designers I have ever come across. Their design is very much for any guy or girl but also for the LGBTQ community.

They are quite minimal but really play around with texture and fabric. I love the silhouettes that they play with and the sensuality that they visualise and target, but most of all their approach is anyone can wear his clothing regardless of your gender, lifestyle or the type of look you are after. Another designer who is a very ethical and sustainable label is Simetrie. I’ve just recently done their campaign for the first time and I love the designer Simone’s outlook in terms of spending a bit more money so you can actually have it [an item] for longevity. I also like the simple approach in design and its pieces are just timeless with just a tiny detail of shapes that are quite unique. 

Another accessory label is Pei Yi by Elizabeth, who is a model. She does jewellery especially along the lines of pearls. I just love that she makes everything handmade and it’s all relatively edgy, playing with other fabrics to incorporate into her jewellery. The last one is Reigner which is also Melbourne-based and custom made and does the most amazing, what I see almost as cowboy-like, suiting. I love his approach in terms of swatches, intricate sewing, patches and embroidery which I haven’t seen anything like, making it quite unique. 

@_jam______

Betty Liu

 

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There are a few that I’m loving at the moment. Lambert recently launched a few months ago and I love the brand’s ethos of repurposing post-consumer textiles and garments to one-off unique garment pieces. What’s cool is that the garments all feature an unexpected twist in their construction, be it the whirlpool-like drape in their skirts or the handkerchief style jersey dresses. 

Another super exciting new designer that I am loving at the moment is Wackie Ju’s cyber grunge aesthetic which is what we need right now to take a break from all the madness that has been going on over these past two years! Not only is it a prominent label in Melbourne but internationally speaking because of their stance in diverse POC representation and inclusivity in their design practice. We need more representation like this and we need more of Wackie Ju!

Maroske Peech is also a favourite of mine. Its collection releases are always so fun and cheeky. What I love about them is not only their take on dance-wear to ready-to-wear but also their subversive ways of styling. Their collection ranges are getting bigger and bigger and they’ve been getting a lot of buzz internationally so I’m sure they will smash it in 2022!

@b.e.t.t.y.l.i.u

Sabrina Leina 

Surely a Melbourne favourite – I am constantly in awe of Jackie Wu (@wackie.ju). Their work tells of their broad imaginative landscape, yet is so raw in drawing on the very personal experiences of body and mind. Their work is impactful and thought-provoking, inviting us to consume fashion beyond what is just visual, but to enter [the] depths of introspection related to our perceptions of the world. Storytelling is fundamental to couture, which is brought to life by a high level of technical skill and unconventional methods to essentially create art – I believe Wackie Ju completely embodies this.

Another designer that holds strong emotive connotations in her work is Phoebe Pendergast (@phoebes_angels). I enjoy the tender, dream-like moments of her pieces; the subtleties of nostalgia and romance in the details – whether that be the choice of fabric or something as simple as a ruffle on a sleeve. It is exciting to anticipate what fantasies will come out of her current overseas experience.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to work with Stuart Walford on the Melbourne Fashion Week Student Collections Runway. I was taken aback by the varying amount of craftsmanship and individual design focus. Work that especially caught my eye includes Kritikon Khamsawat, Chloe Kounelis, Lilli McKenzie, and Liam Ramirez. Melbourne is truly blessed with so many unique emerging creatives.

@sabrinaleina_

To discover more local Australian designers, head here.

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