If the Iordanes Spyridon Gogos’ show is a look into the future of Australian fashion, then we are going to be alright. A theatrical, joyful and dramatic demonstration of the magic that can come from recognising the power of community.
Founded by Jordan Gogos in 2019 as a conduit for community-making and co-design, Iordanes Spyridon Gogos’ seeks to explore notions of gender fluidity and sustainability with a contemporary, practice-led approach to fashion. Gogos is a multidisciplinary artist, well-known for set design, and a bright spark in Australia’s creative industries.
Gogo’s Australian Fashion Week debut show was a result of his collaboration with 25 different artists and brands, including Albus Lumen and concept store Qurated. The collection was made up of what Gogos refers to as “wearables for the imaginative” and he worked closely with each artist to produce a piece over 8 weeks. Technicolour patchworked coats, corseted strapless dresses and silky suiting were particular highlights. All were made from using deadstock materials, and items sourced from the community centre Reverse Garbage, which encourages reuse of materials in order to reduce waste. Shoes were embellished with paint, wrapped in material and emblazoned with text like “I’M BABY”. Dresses were made of jean seams and hats fashioned from whatever Gogos and his collaborators could find.
At the core of Gogos’ artistic practice is a commitment to community. Every piece in the collection comes with a booklet that acknowledges all of the people who contributed to its production, as well as a Q&A with the artist who worked with Gogos. “My starting point was actually bringing people together,” Gogos told marie claire ahead of the show, explaining the importance of recognising the collective effort behind any body of work. “If you start acknowledging people properly and respecting artists and giving them a platform to really exercise their full potential. It’s, like, you know, I don’t have to do that much.”
The runway was a maze of spray painted neon trojan horses, which were made by different artists of found materials such as cardboard. The horses were symbolic of Gogos and his collaborators’ entry into the industry, ushering in new ideas and ways of thinking about fashion, art and the way they can co-exist in commercial contexts. “The people on this runway are not usually on runways,” he noted of the models which were a mix of friends, collaborators and people who Gogos met as recently as three weeks ago after reaching out to express their admiration. “I want them to walk through and be like, ‘this trojan horse has carried me through here and I’ve arrived’. We’re finally being seen. We’ve broken into the industry and we’re here to show people that artists can be taken seriously.”
If the models aren’t the kind of people who usually grace the runway – they definitely should be. Made up of people of all genders and body sizes, they strut and glided in the show, animating the wearables with fierce grace that only served to emphasise the power of centring the people who will actually wear the clothes. “[This show] represents what Sydney is, what we actually are, who we actually engage with and who is in fashion and who are the people walking on the street,” Gogos explained.
It was one of the most diverse shows of the week and was better for it. Gogos explained that the wearables are specifically gender fluid and made to fit any body. “Personally as a designer, I don’t feel like it’s my job to dictate the wearer,” he said. “A lot of the pieces are quite size inclusive, because we’ve done a lot of corseting which could fit the skinniest person for the largest of persons.”
The atmosphere in the gallery was one of the most jubilant of the week, a testament to Gogos’ ability to bring people together and create moments of joy. The Australian fashion industry will be richer for nurturing talents like his.