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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | October 20, 2019

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The Progression of Fashion in Brisbane

Lucinda Bayly


Fashion is becoming more relevant in our youth culture given the new ideals about individualism and self-expression.  The ideals are really a by-product of the indie rock movement which has populated the ideas of being true to one’s self and the new importance of the individual rather than part of a larger statistic.

Self expression has never been so valued in society.  The desire and feel of personal style has replaced common trends.  We have moved past the 90’s desire to be ‘trendy’ or ‘in’; the preoccupation is now to create a look, a feeling.  Trend has become something that is now seen to enhance or assist style but style has overtaken as the dominant factor in fashion.  It is no longer about dressing head to toe in one designer, but mixing and matching many items from a wide price range and era.  In that form of self expression do we garner respect from one another.

And Brisbane has been no exception.  Vintage shopping is the latest craze.  It’s all about that one off piece, that individual item that no one else has, to fuel our fire, to enhance our desire to be unique.  We mix the old, the cheap, the new, and the expensive in a myriad of different combinations.  The CBD’s Elizabeth Street is full of boutiques all devoid of one particular aesthetic, but providing for as many as possible.  It’s all about style now.  And Brisbane can see that.

Additionally, the night scene has witnessed almost weekly fashion shows – from students and budding designers to established brands and boutiques.  People are interested in fashion in a way they have never been before.  And of course, there is the move to high-end labels.  Recently, David Jones made the move to stock Christophe Decarnin’s high-end French fashion label, Balmain.  It will be neighbouring David Jones’ ever-growing high end section – currently featuring staples from a multitude of the best names in the business, such as Burberry, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg and See by Chloé.  It’s about taking the next step in Brisbane’s movement to stock all the brands we see in Melbourne and Sydney.DSC_0430

One thing we can see is that fashion in Brisbane is progressing.  Chanel recently moved in to the Queens Plaza centre.  This in itself is a testament to Brisbane’s growing desire for more fashion; for better fashion.  Karl Lagerfeld, who has been dubbed ‘the smartest designer in the industry’, would hardly send his brand somewhere it wasn’t going to sell.

Fashion is quickly turning from being merely a narcissistic, vain multi-billion dollar commercial industry to a purposeful procedure of self-illustration paying homage to one’s individual style.  It is now closely enveloped into the routine of it’s consumers.  Meryl Streep has never spoken truer words than when she said, “that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff”, in the fashion cult film The Devil Wears Prada.  No one is exempt from the pleasure and the system of expression that is fashion, as what can be more diurnal than dressing yourself?  It is through this ideology that the fashion culture is continuing to grow in Brisbane.  It is no longer trivial to take an interest in clothing, and people who do so should no longer be afraid to admit it.  Fashion folk alike should pitch their tent, and take pride in the hallowed unity of clothing on skin translating into something that need not words – a sense of inertia, a sense of simplicity and ease.

Leandra MedineFashion is becoming such a large aspect of Brisbane life, cementing it as one of Australia’s fashion capitals.  Brisbane is now home to some of the most influential names in fashion, leaving Sydney and Melbourne shaking in their Burberry boots.