Style Melbourne

We Can Make it if we Stick Together Exhibit

There is a difference between being easily bored and being able to handle a lot of entertainment. I fall in to the latter category. Most people are quite happy with a good book. If, however, you would prefer to read the same book while on a roller coaster at an open-air cinema then you are just like me. Sensory overload is great. In fact while I write this I am amused to realise I have Youtube open in a separate window and the telly is on. Point proven. So while an invitation to an open evening at a Chapel Street boutique is an attractive prospect it’s not exactly Stephen King on the Big Dipper. Or is it?

A gallery/gig/garment gala last Friday night was far from a low key affair with a selection of contemporary fashion, art and music all under one roof! The art element was provided, in part, by young local artist Craig Dermody. His latest work consists of a selection of his own invented characters portrayed on recycled works by other artists that were sourced from op-shops. Bear Man, Moose Man, Octopus Man and Witches find their way to everywhere from Venice, to the English countryside and even meet the Mona Lisa.

“When I was 6 I went missing for a couple of days. I never remembered where I went but when I reappeared I just started drawing witches!”

Is it just me or is that delightfully weird? In his earlier work Craig’s images have found their way on to the chests of AFL players when he produced his own t-shirts. Love or hate Craig’s work there is no denying it certainly provoked much conversation. As did some of the work on show by local designers. I particularly liked the ‘trouser-dresses’ from Audrey Rose. They are elegant and fun whilst being somewhat reminiscent of (dare I say it) the good old jump suit. Carmel assured me that after launching her range only six months ago she is getting a good response from consumers. A reassuring and welcome sign indeed during some troubled times. I was disappointed that Evie and Anna weren’t present to comment on their cryptically named Evie & Anna range but their designs spoke for themselves.

The pace of the evening was nicely kept by Darren Sylvester’s expertise on the decks and coupled with a generous supply of good wine courtesy of Clockwork Winery (The glasses ran out before the wine) proceedings went from fluid to molten. Despite only carrying a handful of labels the store offers an amazing range of styles from near gothic to pan-hippy.

I particularly admire their insistence on supporting young, local designers. Such evenings offer much needed exposure in a notoriously hard industry. So congratulations to all the girls for laying on such a balanced evening of attraction, distraction and entertainment. I didn’t open my book once.

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Words – Dan Gardner

Images courtesy Georgie Elrington

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