As the fifth and final day of Afterpay Australian Fashion Week dawned, the atmosphere was undeniable. It’s been a huge (and history-making) week, but nothing could stop Australia’s style set from flocking to see Alix Higgins, who made his AAFW debut with a symphony of striking silky fabrications, an abundance of playful prints and a whole lot of fun.
They’re not the only ones. Higgins’ name has steadily risen in the global fashion sphere, particularly after Rita Ora and Euphoria‘s Hunter Schafer were spotted wearing his unique designs.
But the homegrown designer is humble as ever, as marie claire found out when we caught up with him just before his inaugural AAFW presentation. Below, the designer talks about his inspiration, his thoughts on the Y2K aesthetic, and his brand’s journey to the Hollywood set.
Tell us about the new collection and what inspired it?
This collection is an odyssey, a desert highway, somewhere and nowhere. The garments are more raw, harder, sharper. There is a sense of things disintegrating before your eyes, as if they haven’t loaded properly, as if we were being warned.
It’s a romantic and poetic future facing a procession of my friends, an army of angels. Venturing out into the world together, protecting one another.
marie claire: What does showing at AAFW mean to you?
Alix: It’s a real honour. It’s been on my mind for a while, but I felt prepared to accept the offer this year, the timing felt right. It’s also been really hard, not having the budget, teams and support other brands have. I’m entirely self-funded. No one wants to sponsor you in the first season, no one wants to work with you, so I am calling in a lot of favours.
Luckily I have a really close knit group of friends, my stylist Charlotte Agnew and producer Zoe Davidson have been a real force of nature and guiding light to me. Many of my friends and creative collaborators are walking in the show, which makes the moment more celebratory, more special.
Do you have a standout moment or memory from AAFW?
Last season my band PATAMON did the soundtrack for Karla Spetic’s show, styled by Charlotte Agnew. This was a very special moment for me.
What Australian designers throughout history do you look up to or have inspired you and why?
Jenny Kee, Romance Was Born, Ksubi, Josh Goot and Dion Lee. The late 00’s in fashion were the best for me, locally and internationally. Ksubi have been a long time obsession of mine, the beginning was so cool, so fresh and Australian for the first time in my mind, in a very modern way.
I interned at Josh Goot for a long time when I was studying, so it has a special place in my heart.
What’s it like to have celebrities like Hunter Schafer and Rita Ora wearing your clothes?
It’s crazy, I’ve always been inspired by performers and musicians. I don’t really do much gifting like a lot of brands, I just don’t have the budget or the time to organise it all.
Hunter Schafer bought her dress from Cafe Forgot, a small boutique in NYC that have been very supportive of me, which was crazy to me.
Some of your past collections have been influenced by Y2K style, what YTK fashion trend do you hope makes a resurgence and which one is better left in the past?
I’ve never really been influenced by Y2K. It’s always been about the internet and my adolescence, the speed and blur of the internet, text and image becoming one.
You said that your show will feature many of your friends and muses. In three words, who is the Alix Higgins wearer?
Freedom, poetry, strength.