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A snapshot of AAFW with SPEED Director Alvi Chung

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A snapshot of AAFW with SPEED Director Alvi Chung

Frocks, flash-photography, frivolity and fearless panellists have graced Carriageworks in the five-day whirlwind of Afterpay Australian Fashion Week. Whether you’ve watched it all unfold first-hand on-site, or vicariously through reams of Instagram, it’s been exhilarating to see an explosion of real-life fashion and conversation unfold after last year’s en masse events hiatus.

Creatives, content makers, fashion aficionados and expert talents in hair, BTS and makeup have all convened to morph one Sydney pocket into a microcosm of the best in local design. And what a show they put on.

We caught up with SPEED’s intrepid Alvi Chung to view her collaborative runway with fellow designer Jordan Gogos from inside the halls of AAFW, chat sustainable fabrication and front-row style muses. Here’s what went down in the week that was, according to Alvi.

The vision has been to always create the garment that is lasting in both the wardrobe and the sentiment of its wearer

Tell us about your designer collaboration with Jordan Gogos for 2021 AAFW…

The collaboration involves the integration of edgy tailoring from Speed and Jordan Gogos’ chaotic yet innovative and sustainable approach to garment construction. Despite the polarising styles of both brands, the brooding fabric remnants from Speed were hand-melded together with embroidery and patching techniques, and then meshed with Jordan’s fluorescent tones.

How did you and Jordan first meet? 

Jordan and I had our first ever show together collaborating when we were both initially exploring our identities in the fashion industry. We both mutually shared strong visions of community, freedom, optimism and sustainability. Instantly, we connected.

The show made a strong case for sustainable craftsmanship. How is this in alignment with you as a designer? 

This has always been a strong theme with the brand from the beginning, with made-to-order and custom design practices to eliminate wastage, plus the reusing of fabric remnants for crafting purposes. The vision has been to always create the garment that is lasting in both the wardrobe and the sentiment of its wearer.

Explain what led to your runway involvement and walk us through what it’s like to breathe life into the garments in this way. 

Initially, I was a collaborator, but halfway in I was also asked to walk in the show (which was very exciting). It has been rewarding to be a part of the runway in the constructed clothes by other talented collaborators. Even more so as we all share the strong vision of community, sustainability and empowering young creatives.

Which designers have made a statement that resonates with you as an individual this year? 

Marine Serre, Paloma Wool, Nensi Dojaka & Mugler.

After last year’s forced closures of fashion weeks local and afar, it’s phenomenal to see AAFW flourish. Do you think there’s still a place for the tangible, real-life fashion show in 2021?

There’s definitely still a tangible place for shows, but it has been proven that the vision of a brand can still be presented with just as much impact (or more) digitally. Special boundaries that real-life shows cannot surpass have been done in the digital realm, and it’s been exciting to witness.

What’s it like being in Sydney right now? Describe the energy, atmosphere and general vibe of the past week to us. 

We have been very fortunate here in Sydney with the easing of restrictions. At the moment, the energy is very lively and people are ready to be out and about as per pre-COVID life. The atmosphere has ramped up and it’s been nice to see the positive energy that the AAFW is bringing to the city.

Lastly, who have you seen with impeccable front-row style? 

Harriet Crawford.

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