I’ll be honest with you: 1) Akira Isogawa is one of the greats of Australian fashion design; 2) His store on the first level of the GPO is rather intimidating.
You enter as if to the side of the store, which then puts you directly in line with the quiet and observant assistant at the desk and you begin to understand what it must feel like to walk the Green Mile. Once committed and ‘in’ you feel exposed and vulnerable. Music is often non-existent or inaudible, so there’s no comfort as your shoes squeak and scrape across the floor. Any conversation becomes nervous chatter or pathetic whispers.
From an aesthetic point of view it has a certain charm, albeit a feeling of temporariness as fixtures seem less fixed and more curation – which, with Isogawa in mind, rings true.
But as one of the best designers Australia has, Akira’s work is rivalled by few and his high-concept pieces make the visit worthwhile; after all his ability with colour, silhouette, cut and drape is the product of years of work and authentic talent, and is evident in these beautiful clothes and creations.