Phoenix Keating’s S12/13 presentation took place last night at an eerily lit Paddington Uniting Church. The cold sandstone walls and high arches were the perfect background to present ‘De-Sex’, a collection that drew heavily from fetish, religion and a victorian silhouette. Keating has made a name for him self as a costumier, or a made to order evening-wear designer and during her visit to Sydney last year dressed Lady Gaga in some of his designs. ‘De-Sex’ wouldn’t have looked out of place in a number of Gaga’s video clips, which begun solemnly with demure full skirts, double breasted blouses and head scarves. To these looks rope harnesses mimicking the Japanese fetish Shibari were introduced over the garments, before removing the undergarment altogether to bare the body. From stark nudity the show took a religious bend, with a coat-dress fit for a Venetian widow that had a stand-out collar, a black organza gown that begged for the most dramatic of funerals, a foreboding deep red gown complete with gimp hood before the finale outfit, a sheer white mullet hem gown complete with wedding veil. Theatrics aside, Keating showed strong potential in this collection to translate his designs beyond costume to ready to wear, his sheer snakeskin maxi skirts and fitted leather sheath dresses were a testament to this, and there is a huge potential to push his rope harnesses amongst the throng of young fans in the audience, who would go gaga for them.
Words and photography by Annika Pol.