A YOUNG designer from Southport has been wowing fashionistas down under.
Birkdale’s Alexander Lyon made his mark at Australia’s most prestigious fashion event when he unveiled his inaugural collection at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week in Sydney.
The event is a showcase for innovative young designers who are tipped for success in the industry.
Alex, 30, has been in Australia for almost six years, learning his craft at the highly regarded Fashion Design Studio at TAFE New South Wales.
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To support himself the former Merchant Taylors’ School pupil worked in restaurants in the evenings and at weekends. To comply with visa regulations, he also spent some months doing community work as a farm hand on a watermelon farm in the far north of Australia, the heart of snake and crocodile country!
Alex says he combed visual art, architecture and historical sources for inspiration for his collection, which puts the emphasis on sophisticated tailoring and makes extensive use of his own illustrations including motifs of fonts, faces and liquids.
He also cites the vibrant Parisian club scene of the 1900s, and the famous French Post-Impressionist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, as big influences, with the artist’s life and work being visually referenced in some of his garments.
Among modern designers, he admires the work of avant-garde masters Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, but his particular design hero is Frenchman Thierry Mugler. Alex was delighted that veteran Australian model Ellen Farley - who walked for Mugler in the 1990s - agreed to walk for him in Sydney.
This was one of the many factors that made the Australian Fashion Week experience such an exciting one for the young designer.
Alex said: “I’m really grateful to TAFE for the opportunity to take part in the event. Obviously though, putting the collection together involved a huge amount of hard work and late nights, right up the day of the event.
“However, it was so satisfying to see it all come together at the end, and I’m delighted at all the positive feedback I’ve received and the ‘buzz’ it has created about my work.
“I’ve already started work on my next collection and I’m looking forward to exploring new avenues and new styles.”
In the meantime, Alex is continuing to make an impression with his designs in other ways.
Until October, some of his garments are part of an exhibition of future fashion at Sydney’s prestigious Powerhouse Museum, and one of his looks was recently worn by a contestant on the Australian version of international TV hit The Voice.