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Josh Goot’s collections have always been about the duality of freedom and rigour the ease of sportswear cranked up a notch with the elegance of fine tailoring. For spring-summer 2012, Josh pushes this dichotomy even further, exploring a series of new shapes, proportions and structures that don’t so much show off the body, as envelop it in a luxurious fabric carapace.


Across the board, shoulders are rounded, their graphic arc creating a focal point for silhouettes that extend to on- or just-below the knee, or plummet all the way to the ankle. The form is round over the hips, floating on the thigh and tapering to the hem. Cap-sleeved or sleeveless, often without collars, the effect is that of a girl floating inside a soft, sensuous shell.


Goot’s love of sportswear is still strongly in evidence: In a tracksuit tuxedo, for instance, this season constructed from 100% silk treated in the weave to sit stiffly, like shimmering paper, on the wearer. In a sleeveless navy blue dress cut from feather-weight wadding; high performance being synonymous, in Josh’s hands, with high elegance. Or in a high-waisted skirt, sliced into vertical panels of light grey cotton marl, cobalt blue and reflective silver nylon, that directly reference active fabrics and key colour ways of collections past.


While shapes are used to create graphic forms in space, prints are employed to add further depth to the garments themselves. Inspired by Gerhard Richter, who takes to his lush oil paintings with a broad palette knife to literally ‘blur’ the viewer’s reading, this season’s prints, developed by long-standing Goot collaborator, Shane Sakkeus, play with positive and negative space to create an interplay of density and emptiness.


Like Richter, Goot is interested in interrogating conventions of beauty, and for Spring-Summer 2012 the question is very elegantly posed.

Arj Selvam is a brand already known for beautiful tailoring and a bold aesthetic. This RAFW, he delivered Matilda, a further homage to Australiana and the iconic outback heroes that filled it. But this isn’t bottlebrushes and wattles – this is sharp lines, covetable separates, a muted palette and a backbone of style indicative of the strong backbone mentality that drove Australia to become the nation that it is today. Black, white and burgundy defined high collared shirts, horn buttoned jackets and a further foray into female clothing, the highlight a crisp white blouse matched with a black bubble skirt – it portrayed a audacious rigour that has become the sublime keynote to Selvam’s aesthetic. Moleskin and Japanese cotton featured heavily, the menswear featuring a swathe of outwear including a sleeveless jacket, a high collared jacket and even an asymmetrical piece, some jackets built with an inner strap so they can be warn slung over the body, much like a swag. Of course, Arj Selvam is a label whose strength is made through such details, SS12 promising to be jampacked with them.

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