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Melbourne Fashion Week 2020 – Presents ALPHA60

Alpha60, headed by brother and sister duo Alex and Georgie Cleary delivers the brands ‘sophisticated quirk’ to Melbourne Fashion Week’s virtual runway, with the digital show and collection looks available from 23 November.

The fiercely independent brand is known for its classic styles and cuts with deeply engrained Australian roots. The duo creates their designs in a small create studio in Collingwood, to ensure their direct-to-consumer garments are high quality yet attainable.

Having launched at the National Gallery of Australia’s Vivienne Westwood retrospective, the design duo’s interests remain tied to the arts, leading them work with NGV, MPavilion and curating garments for the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).

Since the brands inception in 2005, Alpha60 have featured solo events at Australian Fashion Week and Melbourne Fashion Festival, won two nominations in the Tiffany and Co designer award, own showrooms in Paris and New York and operate 10 boutique stores across Australia and New Zealand, including its exhibition space in Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

The designers don’t disappoint with their MFW digital show this season, showcasing their signature sophisticated quirk in their collected of classic cutes, understated prints and muted colours, displayed against the backdrop of a monochromatic bouncy castle.

To learn more about the label and hear how designers Alex and Georgie have progressed through 2020, we at Melbourne My Style caught up with the design duo. Read on for their experience designing through the pandemic, how they see it impacting the fashion industry, and what the digital runway offers. Make sure to view Alpha60’s fiercely creative digital show and SS21 collection here.

Interview with Alpha60

How is fashion moving forward despite the current climate with the global pandemic?

The fashion industry seems to be adjusting. Store closures pushed things online – and we put a lot of effort into trying to maintain communication with all of our customers digitally.

Has the creative process and the development of this collection changed given these uncertain times and not knowing when the lockdown would ease?

It has been a little harder. Georgie and I work closely together, and we bounce ideas all day. This was more disjointed than usual. However, we couldn’t stop development as we are working 6-12 months in advance – and we were sure that we would be open again by then.

Do you believe you have been able to present your digital runway as well as a live runway?

We love the idea of a digital runway – there are so many less constraints and we are able to present our collection in a new exciting way. It would be hard to have a jumping castle in a live show.

How can we keep fashion exciting in terms of dressing on a daily basis?

One thing that I think will come out of lockdown is that people are excited to dress up again. Months of leisure wear have enticed us to wear something more exciting!

How has your label adapted to a more sustainable future?

We are strong believers that timeless fashion is important for a sustainable future. Pieces should be made to last aesthetically and for many years. 

What is your view on static fashion installations? How can we make these exciting and beautiful to the viewer?

We love a diorama. Just because they are static doesn’t mean that they are boring. The set and staging become an important co-star to the garments.

What are your staple pieces as we head into Summer?

We have just released a custom bird jacquard. The pants are super fun – and as we step into summer you can feel free as a bird!

On a more personal note, what has this year brought to you in a positive way?

Wow – what a year! There have been a few ups and downs. However, the lockdown has bought a newfound appreciation for all the things that we couldn’t do. I can’t wait for Melbourne to come back to its old grand glory!

By Cloe Johnston for Melbourne My Style

Editor in Chief Melinda Sullivan

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