Push back, Add more, Rip off, Re-define! Ana and Kristen in a fashion story featuring Australian punk-inspired fashion brand Pigsuit. Photographed by Marco Giuliano and styled by Anca Macavei.
Can you share with us an insight on Pigsuit.
Pigsuit is a play on words, a play on fashion. A play on everything really! I didn’t want to create a label that took itself too seriously, because I don’t take myself too seriously.
It’s a fabulous space to collide worlds with, as it’s for everyone a little against the grain.
I feel that your creations breed the rebellious spirit of punk, paying a tribute to Vivienne Westwood and her iconic “Sex” boutique. Can you tell us more about the inspirations behind your brand and collections.
Absolutely! Growing up part of a D.I.Y subculture, painting and pinning our jackets before a gig or sewing ourselves into half made outfits before we’d play a show was birthed from the history of Queen Viv and Malcom McLaren.
As a kid, everything Malcom did became gospel and embedded itself into the fabric of what inspired me. It naturally became the foundation I propel my collections from. Today, I’m inspired a lot by feeling, by emotion, by the power of fabulous wāhine (women) in my community and their anarchistic strength in standing up against our oppressors.
What about your creative process, how do you start working on a collection?
Lately, I’ve been diving inward with my creative processes, I have been looking to my Māori heritage and developing stories that help me learn and process my culture. It’s a multifaceted place to start from and I’m enjoying the different angles in which I approach my work.
Coming from this place to start a collection makes the process that much more personal to who I am. Having my heritage intricately woven throughout the creative processes of my work alongside the fabulous, silly, frivolous, ostentatious traits that I like to embody when working on collections helps with the movement when shaping and working on pieces.
You state that Pigsuit is ”bold and unapologetic with an often politically activistic tone”. Do you have a clear set of principles that underline your brand, and if so which are they?
PUSH BACK, ADD MORE, RIP OFF, RE-DEFINE, BE SMART, BE DUMB, BREAK, RE-DO, ANNOY, RESIST, PURSE FIRST, QUESTION, QUESTION AGAIN, ANNOY, CHANGE, LEARN, UN-LEARN aaaand BE FABULOUS. Not, particularly in that that order!
But I think to push back is a set of principles that will always resonate. I’m very moved by what goes on around me and if that means something is wrong Politically, Environmentally or even Socially I will use Pigsuit as a vehicle to push back and help the causes that are fighting for change, and will do without apologies.
Do you believe that the power of clothes can enhance the experience of life and that aesthetics can be used as a weapon?
GOD YES! Clothing is communication! In it’s simplest form fashion is used to convey messages. Even if you’re anti-fashion, anti-aesthetic, that’s still a message you’re communicating! John Waters said there’s no look to hacktivism but I disagree, a bad outfit (albeit un-fabulous) is still a look! It’s still a message used to let people know “you don’t care” and I love that! Fashion is a weapon and the wearer decides how aggressively they want to use it.
Do you think there’s anything left to invent in fashion?
Definitely, I feel like we’re in new, uncharted territory! We’ve reached a place where we are finally rejecting rejection. I think what the fashion industry has rejected for so long is now finally being embraced, we’re pushing back and going against what was once traditional, aesthetically pleasing, conventional, pretty and whitewashed. The fashion industry in its entirety is being dismantled and rocked to its core and with this we have a whole world to explore! It’s fabulous.
Which is a fashion designer’s biggest struggle today from your perspective?
Social Media for sure, it can be a cruel world if you allow yourself to become too suckered into it! I think there’s an element where creatives like fashion designers need to be aware of what’s going on around them, but when you start comparing or living too into what others are doing you can lose yourself and your creative concepts. It’s a fine line from understanding when or where to pull yourself out of it!
What’s next in store for Pigsuit?
A little more of the same! I am really excited to keep furthering and expanding my work. The beginning is often the most fabulous part as I’m still building my code of creativity. I’m looking forward to strengthening the feeling of what makes up Pigsuit for viewers and to create a staunch aesthetic that can be noticed from a mile away!
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Garments: Pigsuit / @pigsuit.au
Kristen Paige at Brave Models / @bunnie.j @bravemodels
Ana Taku at Wonderwall Management / @anaxtaku @ww_mgmt