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Akira Isogawa V French Lavender Brownies

Working class girl

For many of us the iconic white Bonds athletic singlet top conjures up images of burly sun-bronzed Aussie men and working class roots. This classic Australian garment was first introduced in 1920 and went on to inspire the ‘Chesty Bond’ character, logo and cartoon strip.

This rather more feminine interpretation was one of a collection of nine Bonds tops designed in 2004 for Akira’s Red Label 2005 spring-summer collection. As a diffusion line, the red label offers more casual interpretations of Isogawa’s Black Label range. Re-contextualising ready-made items and vintage elements in his designs is a signature of Isogawa’s approach to fashion design. Here, the plain white cotton rib singlet is decorated with a large vintage inspired panel of floral embroidery.

Isogawa’s work generally sits outside of standard Western tailoring traditions. Garments are loosely structured and inventive, and often reference aspects of his Japanese material cultural heritage. Many of Akira’s early collections are characterised by a soft, layered aesthetic that includes the use of vintage fabrics or a play of textile and colour contrasts. In recent years, Isogawa has explored the use of particular textile techniques and motifs such as hand-beading, shibori, orgami, digital printing and screen printing for decorative effect.

Katie Somerville

Image: Kate Longley and Zoe Allnutt from Wardrobe V Pantry couldn’t decide if they liked fashion or food more so they just stuck ‘em together.