Fashion Designer, Taliah Dimitrakakis, is rethinking the future of fashion in a post-apocalyptic world, not so unlike the future we’re heading towards.
Published exclusively on The Urban Scrapbook
With this collection in particular I wanted to explore conceptually the themes presented in the science fiction apocalyptic sub-genre.
As the climate continues to change, mostly as a result of our actions, questions and answers about the future of human society grow increasingly paramount. Those with the most ambitious ideas are rethinking the spaces in which we’ll live and the foods we’ll eat. Speculating about the future is a challenge that fashion designer, Taliah Dimitrakakis has taken in full stride. With her latest collection, Dispatch, she’s tackling the form and function of what we as the future of humanity will wear.
Taliah’s work is an accomplishment of bleaching, fraying, and screenprinting. It’s earthy, raw and stylistically weathered. It’s the perfect post-apocalyptic chic, because even though the world’s going to end, your style won’t have to. And with thoughtful functional touches such as a double enclosure on her jeans (one zip and one fly so they’ll last forever) it’s such a vibe.
Here’s what she had to say (the following has been slightly edited for readability):
Where did the fashion journey all start for you?
I honestly can’t recall the very moment that I found myself fixated on fashion design. I do remember creating a zine in Year 8 or 9 which was about fashion and trends, so I guess it would have been around then! I was the biggest tomboy growing up so I do find it funny that I went on to pursue fashion studies. During my senior years of high school I had decided to take on an accelerated subject of Product Design and Technology (Fashion and Textiles) which had me complete Units 3 and 4 by Year 11. I had also studied VET Fashion which qualified me for a Certificate 2 in Applied Fashion Design and Technology. This lead me to pursue fashion studies in university.
One thing I have realised throughout my honours year is that I am a tactile designer…
How would you describe your style?
When it comes to design I wouldn’t say that I have a particular style, but a set of fashion codes that I usually gravitate to. Although Dispatch (my graduate collection) is very grungy and involved a lot of heavily manipulated textile, I have previously created collections that were quite feminine and had a corporate aesthetic. I also always subconsciously incorporate inner wear as outerwear so If I had to define my aesthetic, it would be about blending traditional codes of woman’s wear fashion, such as a bustier, into causal or street wear clothing. One thing I have realised throughout my honours year is that I am a tactile designer and that a lot of the development that leads to creating my collections comes through a hands-on approach usually through manipulating the textiles that I’m working with.
I’m really intrigued by your incorporation of these traditional codes and motifs into something that’s more contemporary. Where did the inspiration for that come from?
I guess that my own style and the way that I dress uses a lot of these codes, so when I design I can’t help but bring that through into my garments. It’s a bit of a comfort thing, I’m really trying to push myself out of that though, maybe in future collections I’ll be a bit more daring haha. Naturally my own style is quite minimalist, with minimal fuss, so I did push myself this year through the techniques of bleaching and screen printing. Although it isn’t crazy, its a start.
My Dispatch jeans have two closures, a zip and a set of buttons. One breaks you’ve got the other, they’ll last you forever.
What are you trying to achieve with your fashion design?
With this collection in particular I wanted to explore conceptually the themes presented in the science fiction apocalyptic sub-genre. I had been watching a lot of science fiction films at the start of the year and was interested in the costumes that were created for these speculated worlds. I hadn’t intended for my collection to be inspired by that, it kind of just happened. Dispatch is my own speculation of apocalyptic fashion design that inspired my womenswear collection. By using the genre’s aesthetic as my design foundation, I utilised techniques of bleaching, fraying and screenprinting, which became the focus in my designs. I appreciate functionality in garments, I guess that’s why a lot of my stuff is practical or ready to wear. My Dispatch jeans have two closures, a zip and a set of buttons. One breaks you’ve got the other, they’ll last you forever.
I like this sense of future-proofing the clothing with the two closures. I’m imagining a near-future scenario where clothing becomes a bit of a scarcity and the need to wear things that last or have “fail-safes” becomes essential.
You said you’d like to push yourself a little more outside of your comfort zone when it comes to design. Where do you think you’d like to explore next?
I like how you described it as “future-proofing” when you put it that way it’s sounds pretty cool. Speculating fashion is something I’ve become very interested in over the last year and I can definitely see myself pursuing my design practice in that direction. As of right now I’d definitely like to continue to explore denim and the techniques that I’ve developed throughout my project but I’d like to do it differently. I’m unsure as to how I will exactly do it but maybe incorporate some colour, as funny as it sounds working with colour is kind of terrifying.
You’re right, colour is very scary. I wouldn’t even know where to start! I’m very much looking forward to what you come up with next! Is there a dream fashion gig you’re working towards?
As of right now there isn’t, but I’m very much open to collaborating and learning as much as I can. Now that I’m graduating, it’s time to put myself out there and gain every bit of experience that I can.
Images courtesy of Taliah Dimitrakakis