How the Melbourne Creative Overcame all Obstacles to show at Australian Fashion Week in Sydney
Before Sydney experienced its latest Covid-troubles, Melbourne favourite Erik-Yvon showcased his newest collection “Soft Pawn” at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week. We had a chat with the talented creative about how he managed to pull off the show and how it all went! Also featuring backstage and runway images….
With such a tough year for Melbourne and going into lockdown just before Fashion Week, how did you manage to get to Sydney in time for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week?
Lockdown in Melbourne has been challenging. Navigating through a pandemic was creatively and financially difficult. I made it through the skin of my teeth. I was meant to fly out on a Friday, however as the cases started to rise I changed my flights and left earlier. I was very lucky to have done so. All of my friends/team members who were meant to be with me for the week didn’t make it to Sydney by a couple of hours. I am so happy to have made it here. However, it does feel a bit bitter sweet since everyone else was in lockdown
Your latest collection is as original as it is eyecatching – as always. Where did the inspiration come from.
The latest collection is called “SOFT PAWN”. This collection is inspired from my latest trip in Hawaii. I went to a prawn truck where there was this giant prawn sculpture. From there the inspiration grew into sea urchins’ textures (through textile) as well as fish nets. The black lustrous fabric references the oil spill along the coast line of Mauritius.
Please tell us more about the styling for your runway show at Fashion Week.
I cannot take credit for the styling of the show. A very good friend of mine, Karinda Mutabazi has styled the runway. We have now been working together since I first started. Karinda has styled all of my campaigns and she understands what ERIK YVON stands for. Karinda was in lockdown in Melbourne throughout Sydney Fashion Week. However she still styled the whole runway remotely via calls.
We really wanted to create a strong and impactful runway. We went with the idea of more is more and created an sense of oppulence by accessorising the looks with some beautiful jewellery. We referenced a lot of elements from the fisherman/ islander lifestyle
We were lucky enough to work with Simone Muxlow from Mesh Gallery. Simone is an amazing jewellery maker based in Melbourne. Her work was a perfect match for the runway. Her pieces have pulled the whole collection together, some of the key pieces from Simone which made a real impact on the runway were: the chain wig, the metal knitted bag, the pearl chains for the glasses just to name a few.
How did it feel to be invited to show at Australian Fashion Week?
It was a mixed bag of emotions to be honest. Throughout the whole week I was excited, exhausted, anxious and happy. Just a big ball of emotions all at once
What was your goal for Fashion Week?
The main goal was to tap into the Sydney market. I really wanted to expand and reach out to a broader audience. And of course, to network. Most of the renowned fashion magazines and fashion influencers are Sydney based
Overall, how would you say it went?
The response has been amazing. By opening the Next Gen show, the collection somehow set the tone for the overall showcase. Throughout the whole week people would come and congratulate on how amazing the show was.
Highlight of Fashion Week?
There’s been 2 highlights for me. One was when all the models were lined up ready for the runway and an African-American lady who I think was part of the hair team was walking passed and said “ Chiiild this outfit is deadly!!” and that made me so happy. It is the type of reaction I want to people to have when they see my work.
The second highlight is the fact that I have shown in Sydney.
The most challenging aspect of Fashion Week?
It was challenging not having a team with me. Karinda and Simone were both meant to fly in and help out throughout the week. Not having them with me was hard. But don’t get me wrong. The volunteers were an incredible support.
Most fun part of Fashion Week?
The fact that I was here by myself. I had to stick out of my comfort zone and make more of an effort to meet and interact with new people. I have met some beautiful souls and the afterparties were good fun too. For some reason we always ended up at the same bar. I guess it’s a bit of an institution called 77.
Your own outfit was stunning. Tell us more about it.
It is an original ERIK-YVON of course. I was wearing one of my dresses and combined with my pink spotted suit. Simone from Mesh Gallery also custom made some a beautiful chain to go with the outfit as well as a fish earring to go with the whole collection.
Tell us more about the gender-neutrality/fluidity of your latest collection.
Being gender neutral/fluid is not something I really think of with each collection as such. It is now engraved with my brand identity. It is more about what feels right and I always like saying “Why conform when you can be both?” I do like playing with the idea of being more fluid within the aesthetic and the looks, whether it’s being with the choice of models or having a masculine silhouette on a female and vice versa.
Availability of your new range?
The collection will be available on a very small limited range. However at this stage the main focus would be in wholesaling.
Backstage Images: Dimitra Koriozos
Images by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images
Backstage Images: Dimitra Koriozos
Runway Images: Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images
Check out the stunning Erik-Yvon 2020 Collection here!