Gary Bigeni has spent 20 years in fashion and is finally hitting his stride with designs that celebrate all bodies and genders

Gary Bigeni has spent 20 years in fashion and is finally hitting his stride with designs that celebrate all bodies and genders

By abc.net.au
Thursday 21/09/2023
Bigeni is known for his highly wearable designs, classic tailoring and ability to inject a splash of colour into everyday basics.(ABC Arts: Teniola Komolafe)

A Gary Bigeni design is unmistakable.

His latest collection Modern Love, which debuted at this year's Australian Fashion Week, is a bold array of vibrant, size-inclusive and gender-neutral designs – and the culmination of a 20-year journey to embrace his true colours as a designer.

Quite literally: the 20-design-strong collection celebrates Bigeni's lifelong love of colour, inspired by his hearing disability but brought to the fore of his label by a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.

"Colour for me [represents] so much love and energy," he says — though he observes that generally, "it's still very scary for people to inject colour into their wardrobe". Bigeni's designs are joyous. Hand-painted and produced — endearingly — in his mum's backyard in Western Sydney, they are imbued with Bigeni's personal aesthetic.

Speaking to ABC Arts from his indoor-plant-clad home studio in Sydney's Dulwich Hill, he is warm and effusive, dressed in a floral collared shirt and sky blue polka dot pants. (His neon green hoop earrings colour-match his nails.)

"So many people worry about what the public or other people are going to think about [what they're wearing] when they walk out the door. I don't have that for myself. I purely wear things for my pleasure, and if you like that, that's great; if you don't, that's fine," he says.

story by Anna Freeland

More storyhttps://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-07-09/australian-designer-gary-bigeni-on-20-years-in-fashion/102474256


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