Jordan Dalah’s Australian Fashion Week Collection Was As Avant-Garde As They Come

"Designers like myself are here to offer a new way to look at fashion."

When guests arrived at Jordan Dalah’s 2022 Afterpay Australian Fashion Week show, they were likely surprised by the setup. A snaking row of camping chairs was the seating arrangement of choice, with fluorescent lighting beaming down from every angle of the ceiling. The chairs encouraged guests to look beyond the aesthetic and seek to understand the structural mechanisms which support it. 

A series of loud noises and flashing lights signalled the start of the show, which saw models emerge in Dalah’s signature voluminous hemlines and structured shoulders. The star of the show? A body-hugging ‘doorstopper’ filigree dress which was inspired by Glenfiddich’s Grand Series portfolio, Grande Couronne.

While the collection wasn’t without his costume-like creations, it also included more pared-back, ready-to-wear designs than his previous lines. Fresh from his 2022 International Woolmark Prize nomination, Dalah was raring to prove that he is capable of far more than what we’ve come to associate with his work. 

Afterwards, guests enjoyed a series of signature cocktails made with Glenfiddich’s single malt whiskey, to signify the designer’s partnership with the historic alcohol brand. 

Below, marie claire Australia talks to Jordan Dalah about the meaning behind the new collection and the designers who inspire him. 


What’s on your mood board for this collection? 

Great question! (laughs) I don’t start a new mood board per season or collection. It develops and evolves from one collection to the next one. It has a lot of images of dresses throughout history, archive pieces, design developments and toiles to help spark new silhouettes, lots of textures and fabrics. 

Things aren’t gone because the collection is done; if I like an image, I can like it for two, three, or five years, and it will stay as a reference until it’s served its purpose. 

I added references to vintage umbrellas and cool colours helped inspire my SS23 collection. 

Tell us about the new collection. 

My new collection is tight; there’s an elevation to some aspects from previous collections, but more nuanced. There’s a shift from drama to more simple and sophisticated elements – patchwork skirts in puffy quilted fabrics, vintage dupion tops with puffy sleeves and silky colours. Continuing my partnership with Glenfiddich, I was challenged to reinterpret Grande Couronne’s bespoke gold filigree that adorns the bottle. I designed my warped filigree pattern in a limited-edition colourway that reflects my SS23 colour palette. My collection and collaboration with Glenfiddich aims to redefine what luxury can be through humour and artistic gesture. I reject and reinterpret the codes of luxury. 

I use vintage fabrics and inspiration from archive silhouettes, reinterpreting and bringing them back to life. 


What does showing at AAFW means to you? 

I love that I can show here because this is where my studio is, where my world is. As much as my commercial market is currently in Europe and isn’t here yet, my world is here. And to have AAFW have me helps me expand and establish commercially in Australia. Designers like myself are here to offer a new way to look at fashion, showcasing newness and keeping things interesting. 

My partnership with Glenfiddich is also very important to me as they saw my vision and fully stepped into the Jordan Dalah world, supporting me with this season’s show. 

Do you have a standout moment or memory from AAFW? 

My show and announcing the launch of the limited-edition Grande Couronne x Jordan Dalah whisky pack. 

What designers throughout history do you look up to or have inspired you and why? 

Ever since I discovered Jonathan Anderson, I have fallen in love with his world. I love what he does at Loewe and JW Anderson; his world is defined by the newness of his silhouettes that don’t always land as soon as you see them, but then you look at them twice, and you get his vision, and it’s super cool. 

I loved what Phoebe Philo was doing at Celine; some pieces really ignited my way of thinking as a designer. 

I love Marni, Rei Kawakubo and also admire Akira Isogawa’s work. When I was younger, I used to drive past Akira’s store on Oxford Street, and I remember how he, as a brand and designer, used to exist in his own world here, and that’s how I feel as a designer here. I exist in my own little world. Funny enough, my current studio is just a few doors up from where his used to be.

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