Australian designer Gareth Moody discusses his first collection to feature womenswear and his bold move to use a dash of colour
Since departing from Australian design trio Ksubi, Gareth Moody has turned his attention to developing his own, equally rebellious label, Chronicles of Never. With a unisex A/W11 look book containing digitally removed models leaving the clothes visible against a stark, white background, the label echoes the same Ksubi spirit which saw warehouse installations, hundreds of rats let loose onto a catwalk and a boat party where models were instructed to jump overboard.
Since going solo Moody has very much cemented his grungy signature style. But this season will mark the first time Chronicles of Never have ventured into womenswear. A logical move considering the designer’s ongoing relationship with androgynyous fashion. His unisex collection also moves away slightly from the monotone colour palette favoured by Moody in his previous lines with a blood red leather jacket (altered for both men and women) a stand out piece. Dazed Digital spoke to Gareth Moody about the pros and cons of being an Australian designer and why the directional Chronicles of Never will continue to defy trends.
Dazed Digital: What challenges did you face when you started designing alone?
Gareth Moody: When designing alone there is nowhere to hide, your faults are yours as are your triumphs and this applies to every aspect of running your own business/ label. Working as a team member you have room to morph and develop into a different nature. A solo creative does not have that luxury. On the flip side, when you work alone there are less boundaries and less to smooth over. It’s also your vision.
Tell us about your A/W11 look book. What was the concept behind it?
Gareth Moody: The concept was to create emphasis on the notion of a void. The looks are devoid of a human presence, creating more focus on the garments themselves.
DD: Your designs are androgynous. How different is the design process for the men’s and women' s collections?
Gareth Moody: The look we have created and tend to create blurs the lines between men’s wear and women’s wear and we approach the design process in the same vein. A mens’ piece and a womens’ piece both require the same level of attention, the same attention to detail. I don’t see a major difference in the design and development process either way.
DD: Your collections have a very similar aesthetic. Will we see it change anytime soon?
Gareth Moody: If you picked up a piece from the current S/S11 collection it’s substantially different from a piece 1 – 2 seasons prior. There are core items through out the seasons and the underlying character of the collection and the products themselves remain the same but the nuts and bolts are rather different. Consistency through out seasons has always been my intention. It’s what I know, it’s what I’m drawn to and it’s where I am most confident. I’m not about to throw it all away in the name of fashion.
DD: How does living in Australia impact on your work? Design wise and geographically?
Gareth Moody: We are removed from the international treadmill. Sometimes it’s good because it gives us room to breathe. The outdoors is a big part of my lifestyle and it always comes through in my design; the colours, styles and themes. Australians for the most part hover around the coast, we are blessed with a beautiful rugged and ancient coastline and living by the sea helps me to stay calm.
Cons, we are in the middle of nowhere and there is not a lot of inspiration in relation to garment design or product development. The rag trade industry itself has dwindled with most of the business going offshore (which was one of the reasons I wanted to produce in Australia in the first place) and leaves little room for advancement. Australia needs to bring some of the industry back home.