RAFW 2011: Bowie’s “Paper Crane” Couture Collection 2011/12

| 9 May , 2011 | 3 Replies

Shitika Anand & Lenya Jones

When the bustling five days of fashion, celebrity sightings and street style drew to an end, everyone at RAFW expected the last and final show to blow their mind. And did it so.

With a high-profile front row, jam-packed last row and an overcrowded media pit, Bowie Wong’s show was an insight into what Australian Couture industry entails.

Paper Crane, was a culmination of the designer’s early training with Paris couturiers and a merging of everything he has gleamed from the Australian fashion market. With this collection, going back to his Japanese roots, he used the unique art of origami, tulle netting and intricate beaded embellishments on every garment that glided along the runway.

The Cargo Theatre at Circular Quay was adorned in a vision of snowy heaven with rock salt scattered across the centre of the room. Bowie imagined his sparkling white, bright red, caramel and black frocks and gowns to walk amongst a picturesque setting of “smoky oriental heaven”.

The 42-piece showcase was engulfed with big dresses, ideal for a red carpet or wedding, but Bowie didn’t intend on it being perceived as a bridal collection. His pattern maker, Ashley Adamthwaite, was instructed to design a collection that enchanted “an angelic style”.

“His main theme is always circling around Beauty and the Beast. He likes to throw in some beauty with the messy and disastrous style. With this collection, he was really at peace. He had a very peaceful outlook with a few crazy outfits. With Paper Cuts, he wanted to broaden his customer who wants more than just a wedding dress,” she says.

It took an average of 13 hours to hand stitch the lacing, beads, sequins and laser-cut patterns onto a garment. And that’s only one garment.

The collection features floating skirts, fitted bodices and feathered floor-length gowns that created a geisha versus goth vibe in this finale runway show. The echo of Eastern instruments during the show and disposal of recycled vintage Japanese kimonos for his current collection confirmed Bowie’s attachment with his hometown in Japan.

“He loved the idea of using recycled fabrics in the form of bridal kimonos. We deconstructed already made garments and recreated into evening gowns,” says Adamthwaite.

The overwhelmed fabrics of organza, tulles, crystals, feather, and Asian crinkled underlays, proved to be the perfect finale of a well-anticipated week of fashion.

Don’t be surprised when you see these beautiful gowns on the red carpet or the next cocktail party.

Bravo Bowie!

Photos courtesy of Ichiro Taniguchi from www.modalsoulphoto.com

Shitika & Lenya

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