pageant release a cave clan inspired girl gang at mbfw
With their Resort 18 collection, Tunnel Vision, the Melbourne label took the look underground.
Photography Lisa Maree Williams
When Kate Reynolds and Amanda Cumming of Pageant announced they'd be showing at Sydney Fashion Week for the first time, it heralded the rare inclusion of a Melbourne-based label to the schedule. And fittingly, their presentation was a layered celebration of ideas and artists from their hometown. Naming the Resort 18 collection Tunnel Vision, Pageant's key looks were inspired by the utilitarian and DIY spirit of Melbourne's infamous Cave Clan, a collective who've explored and partied in the city's network of underground drains since the 80s. Collaborating with a selection of Melbourne artists and musicians, including sculpture artist Caleb Shea, accessories designer Adam Wood, collage artist Lydia Wegner, sunglasses label POMS and musical duo HTRK, the runway became a stage for their slow moving subterranean, post-rave girl gang. We spoke to Pageant to find out more about the collection and how they pulled it all off.
i-D: The Cave Clan is such an interesting starting point for a collection, how did the idea come to be?
Kate Reynolds: We'd heard about the Cave Clan over the years and were always interested in what they were doing. It's such a Melbourne institution that really helped shape the city. We were attracted to their story, their energy and their DIY approach. They were such an interesting group to reference and we found similarities and connections to how we approach our work. Our last collection was called Signals and looked at urban environments above ground. This time we wanted to do the opposite and take it underground.
What kind of things would the Cave Clan wear?
In a lot of the photos they're wearing boiler suits, customised with the Cave Clan logo. For years Amanda and I have been obsessed with boiler suits and every season we try to do one, but it never makes it in. It's such a significant archetype of the Cave Clan so this collection, we got our boiler suit. We're children of the 90s so its such a significant point of reference for us.
What would they do down there?
As well as exploring, they'd host incredible performances in the drains. They'd put on these amazing experimental art and music performances which inspired us to approach HTRK to create an original mix for our show. We wanted something that captured the feeling of an underground rave and HTRK's soundtrack was perfect.
This collection includes evidence of your trademark pieces but they've evolved somehow. How would you describe the range?
We used a lot of new fabrications including coloured denim, shiny camouflage, lots of mesh and prints on t-shirt fabric. We worked with an artist called Lydia Wegner on the prints, her work is just beautiful and plays with a visual tension that we like to explore in our work too. We actually referenced Lydia's work in our last collection so to be able to literally incorporate her work this time round is really nice.
Congratulations, it was a really strong runway made even more compelling by its collaborative nature.
For us, fashion is so collaborative. Amanda and I are interested in so many different things that we see it as a great way to involve all our different interests. We love the idea that all these people are happy to work with us.
Photography Lisa Maree Williams