If you can’t stand the sight of another Breton stripe, you’ve come to the right place: Gary Bigeni, one of Australia’s most exuberantly eclectic fashion designers, is all for women embracing their unique sense of style.
But before you pack up all your black and bin those ubiquitous striped tees, take note: embracing bold pattern and colour in your everyday outfits is all about integrating it with the pieces you already wear and love.
“The Gary Bigeni look is about me trying to introduce some fun into women’s wardrobes,” the man himself tells style influencer Jasmin Howell as part of the FIAT 500 Fashion Files (watch their video interview above). “Start with a bright nail polish or ease in with bold accessories and gradually work your way up to a pair of pants or a statement top – it doesn’t always have to be head-to-toe.”
As he shares sketches from his upcoming Resort collection over a pot of tea in an inner Sydney café, Bigeni’s style reveals itself: think swathes of vibrant silks sprinkled with polka dots; fluidly draping off-the-shoulder dresses and balloon-sleeve tops; lashings of coral, hot pink and vivid orange; and ruffles and bows aplenty.
Since he established his eponymous label in 2003, Bigeni has become synonymous with sophisticated silhouettes and statement prints that have women all over the country – and increasingly, abroad – clamouring to wear them. “There’s a lot of colour and print to play with,” he concedes, “But the silhouettes are sleek and clean. I like to have something that everyone can relate to.”
While some of his pieces may look on the loud side, the trick is in how you style them. Take his eye-catching off-the-shoulder tie tops with balloon sleeves, which Bigeni recommends teaming with a pair of slim jeans or wide-leg pants to anchor all that boldness.
As for his dream woman to dress? Somewhat surprisingly, it’s the singer Grimes. “She’s so unique in her work and what she chooses to do, and I like women who love a challenge,” he says.
If our next challenge is to introduce some of his jaw-droppingly gorgeous designs into our everyday wardrobes, then we accept.