AKIRA MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK SS15’16 AUSTRALIA SYDNEY
“A garment can transcend, giving it a soul.
I translate fabrics into soft and romantic silhouettes, using natural fabrics like silks and cottons, which are kind to the skin.
Distressing fabrics and alchemically treating them, gives the feeling of already ‘being loved’, thus evoking emotion. Even one-off fabrics found in flea markets can be given new life.
Richly embellished fabrics echo Eastern influences, and I have great respect for their traditions. Inspiration can be found from the past – re-using vintage textiles and sometimes creating replicas of them, incorporated with specific craftsmanship.
The number of hours someone has spent on manual work like this makes it priceless.
I see craftsmanship as an implement with which to realise one’s vision. Past, present and future; that slogan continues in almost everything around which my work evolves. Timeless beauty and femininity in my design is profound, in a way for the wearer to express their inner soul.”
— Akira Isogawa
Akira Isogawa is one of Australia’s most iconic designers. Born in Kyoto Japan, Akira moved to Australia in 1986 where he studied fashion design at the Sydney Institute of Technology, drawing inspiration from contemporary Japanese design.
Since 1998, Akira has shown his collections in Paris, where he presents Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections to international buyers each year. He has achieved international recognition for his exquisite contemporary designs, which are sought after in every major fashion capital throughout the world.
Akira continues to maintain a strong presence in Sydney, where he has shown his Resort collections during Australian Fashion Week since 1996. He has four stand alone boutiques in Australia – in Woollahra and the Strand Arcade, Sydney; Fitzroy in Melbourne; and Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.
Since being named Designer of the Year and Womenswear Designer of the Year at the Australian Fashion Industry Awards in 1999 Akira has received a string of awards. In 2007 Akira was awarded the inaugural Australian Fashion Laureate Award for his contribution to the Australian Fashion Industry. In 2006 Akira received the Award for Fashion Excellence. And, in 2005 he was honoured by Australia Post with his image appearing on an ‘Australian Legend’ commemorative postage stamp.
Akira’s work has been fondly embraced by the Australian arts sector. In 2004/05, Akira Isogawa: Printemps Été opened at the National Gallery of Victoria – the first solo fashion and textiles exhibition by an Australian fashion designer to be presented at a major national or state institution (touring thereafter in Singapore, Manila, and Bangkok). In 2003 the Sydney Festival staged an exhibition of his garment construction techniques at Object Gallery, creating the most successful show in the gallery’s history. Akira has also been invited to exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art and twice has been included in the Powerhouse Museum’s Fashion of the Year retrospective.
Akira has designed costumes for four Sydney Dance Company productions – Salome, Air & Other Invisible Forces, Ellipse, Grand- and for the players in the Australian Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he spend eighteen months designing the costumes for the Australian Ballet’s production of Graeme Murphy’s Romeo and Juliet, to tour the Sydney Opera House in December 2011.