Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Fashfest 2014: Designer Profile – Corr Blimey

Last week I had the very great pleasure of meeting with designer Louisa de Smet and partner Steve Wright, who together in 2001 formed the label Corr Blimey. Corr Blimey is a Canberra designed, produced and sold label with an emphasis on recognizable construction and aesthetics rather than adhering to a specific style genre. 

The first thing that you notice when you look at a Corr Blimey garment is the thought that has gone into its construction. It is readily evident that these clothes don’t just happen, they are meticulously planned, designed and created to Louisa or Steve’s precise calculations, and the result is unique, sculptural street wear that makes you think. Looking at the clothes that they showed me, I couldn’t help but pull the garments apart in my mind, trying to understand how they had sewn a particular form of a shoulder, or created feathers out of neoprene fabric, or set the yoke on a pair of jeans so perfectly.

Each Corr Blimey collection is individual, but there is a tangible thread that runs through each linking them together. The garments themselves are stand-alone artworks, but when viewed together as a collection, and paired with the theatrics of how Louisa and Steve present them, you have an immersive experience for the audience that is only heightened by wearing a Corr Blimey garment. 

I can understand how reading all that from me could make it sound like a bit of an art-school wank, and that Corr Blimey is a label that is taking itself a bit too seriously. Luckily, while they strive for perfection, Louisa and Steve never take themselves too seriously.

They are able to back up the rhetoric with which their garments are discussed with a solid ethos. Looking at the problem of the fashion system and of the individual's interactions with their garments, and supporting their approach with their own ethical production philosophy. CorrBlimey is a label for a customer who understands the importance of slow fashion and recognises the need break away from disposable fashion; but who does not want to look like they do. It is one thing to care about the disposable nature of fashion, it is another entirely to get around looking like you have cobbled together an outfit out of scraps of rag and litter at your latest Crafternoon.

So what can we expect from Corr Blimey at Fashfest 2014? Well, naturally, neither Louisa nor Steve were giving much away, and everything for the 2014 collection was packed well away by the time I arrived. I can say that Corr Blimey will have almost double the looks in 2014 than they did the year before, making for a really engaging catwalk presence. We can expect both men's and women's looks, and the whole collection is based around the city of Berlin. There will also be more colour in this collection than in the 2013.

2014 will be Corr Blimey’s second year at Fashfest, making the label official Fashfest Alumni. There is a really exciting edge to Louisa and Steve’s work, and I am really looking forward to seeing what they are offering this year. Especially in regards to what jeans they will be showing. Corr Blimey jeans are a little bit amazing, and I am kicking myself for not discovering this earlier.

Fashfest 2014 is just over a week away now, and will run over four nights from April 30 at the striking location of Canberra International Airport. Tickets can still be purchased at www.fashfest.com.au

Photos for this post were provided by Corr Blimey and Fashfest. Except for those two shitty detail ones. Those are my own :(

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