Style Melbourne

Penthouse Mouse 2009

The Capitol in South Yarra has been temporarily transformed into a giant space in which fashion and art fans alike can let their imaginations run wild.  The public exhibition of independent artists and fashion designers will be running until the 22nd of March, and is well worth the trip if you are a fan of the slightly obscure.

The abanoned carpark gallery is a true feast for the senses, with dim lighting contrasted against bright splashes of colour thanks to a bevy of quirky artwork, fashion accessories and the latest clothing collections from some of Melbounrnes best up and comers.

Tutu TV ensured guests were sufficiently disturbed after viewing his RIP Tutu collection, the space turned into a mock graveyard complete with caskets and tombstones.  Tutu himself however, was looking particularly cheerful in one of his trademark limited edition tees, and of course, surrounded by his band of loyal Tutu followers.

Kuwaii Designer and LMFF 2007 Student Design award winner Kirsty Barber displayed her creative vision through her stunning array of silk dresses, draped detailing and rich jewel tones.  Kuwaii’s display was in vast contrast to Who Am Eye’s space, located in a dark corner of the carpark, lit only by the odd candle and complimented by their range of dark denim, and charcoal toned separates.  Autonomy’s graphic tees and leather jackets were a true hit, along with Limedrop’s funky tartan blazers and glossy man style pants, coupled with their trademark laser cut wood pendants and brooches.

The ladies had plenty to smile about, with Su-Wen Leong’s beautiful debut collection comprising delicate feminine pieces, with ruffles and bows a plenty.  Leonard Street have proved yet again that simple sophistication is the key to creating a solid winter collection that is wearable and timeless, their range consisting of  classic leather jackets and beautifully tailored block colour dresses and blouses.

Mucke, Chinnychinchin and Lost in the Woods made for an accessory lovers dream, featuring hand made pendants, delicate embroidered pouches, cute brooches and laser cut leather goods.  Jewish Rosaries was also present this year at Penthouse Mouse, displaying their trademark rosaries and religious paraphenalia that have taken London and New York by storm.

On an artistic front, Penthouse Mouse participants ensured there was a surprise around every corner.  From gigantic wooden dinosaur skeletons to 7 foot fluro zebra murals.  A crowd favourite was of course the ‘wall drawing bicycle, in which guests could literally draw their own masterpiece whilst peddling a bike.  Around one corner was a particularly scary life size Darth Vader/Atilla the Hun character that I honestly couldn’t bear to be near for more than the obligatory 5 seconds.  Creepy white manequins hung from the roof, along with poltergeist style televisions depicting a womens face in static.  I am no art critic, but I can say in confidence that some of these pieces really did have an effect on me, whether it scared me or made me gush, the display was a success.

Penthouse Mouse 2009 is open to all members of the public until the 22nd of March, and is located at The Capitol, near the corner of Chapel St and Toorak Rd in South Yarra.  Be sure to check out this quirky collection before it disappears…

Words – Bronwyn Miller

Photography – Michael Todor

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