Cupids Wedding: Slow Fashion Meets Androgyny and Silk
Emerging local fashion labels created by young people have been taking over Instagram feeds and explore pages since the COVID stay-at-home era started. The incessant need for comfortable, homey garments drove many to try their hand at drop-shipping. Pastel-coloured hoodies with bold prints and quirky, off-the-cuff brand names, were all the craze. It was innovative and exciting, however, the over-saturation of these brands left the Australian youth wanting more from their local labels. When I think of fashion labels to highlight and celebrate, it would be those with resilient design integrity and expressions of the designer’s inner thoughts. One brand that comes to mind is Cupid’s Wedding by Ashlee Gowans. Designed and manufactured in Naarm (Melbourne), they are a slow fashion label whose tone explores romance, mythology, and historical dress.
These pieces could be considered straight out of the ballroom scene in Jim Henson’s 1986, Labyrinth. With mounds of corsetry and gothic undertones reminiscent of the mythical characters twirling around the Baroque-esque ballroom, Cupid’s Wedding likes to incorporate androgyny into its designs, often referencing Dandy era fashion. I find this quite a stimulating approach, as androgyny is a rather new concept that would have not been considered in historical times. Ribbons, silk, sheer feminine elements, and billowing gathers are juxtaposed with raw edges, anatomy-inspired detailing and a deep red colour heavily featured in her latest collection. The brand also featured a diffusion line of hoodies reflective of the brand’s couture pieces. The creative integrity of Cupid’s Wedding is admirable given the contemporary influx of cookie-cutter ideas and products, not to mention sustainability and ethics are at the forefront of their design process.
By Maya Madsen
Header Image via Cupids Wedding
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