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
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