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Unconstrained Imagination: Birthday Suit

For those who argue that fashion and art are separate and distinct entities, the Sydney label Birthday Suit is a direct challenge to the perception. Featuring vivid, colourful prints and shape shifting silhouettes, designers Techa and Emma blur the boundaries between any established notions of confines within the design world. Rather than constraining their imagination for the sake of commercialisation, the ladies let it run wild and eventually fall to form within their collection. Birthday Suit is for the woman who isn’t necessarily concerned with the practicality within a piece of clothing, but rather, the pure innovative beauty of it. We had a little Q&A with the designers and asked them to select some of their favourite looks from seasons past.

Hello! To start with, who makes up Birthday Suit?
Long term collaborators Emma Price and Técha Noble.

How did you meet and what sparked your desire to create a label together?
We have been working in contemporary art for 10 years as the artist collective The Kingpins. Birthday Suit was another extension of our collaboration. Our work has always focused on costume, live performance and video outcomes. Birthday Suit is a way to engage design for our creative product outside the gallery space

What were each of you doing before Birthday Suit? When did Birthday Suit begin?
Birthday Suit was launched with an exhibition at Surface To Air in Paris in 2008. Its started in conjunction with a art project which we were doing around the mythology of Azaria.

Why and how did you determine the Birthday Suit aesthetic?
The aesthetic usually starts with ideas around a character or persona that collages together different mythologies from art history and popular culture.

Your prints always seem to stand out. How do you come up with them? Who have you collaborated with?
Técha is a graphic artist who focuses on fabric design. All Birthday Suits prints are done in house. We have collaborated with painter Fiona Lowry on one particular Cassawory air brush artwork.

Please tell us a bit about your most recent collection….
Birthday Suit 2010 is for women who defy gravity, creatures who have a love affair with the sky and seek to challenge their human limitations for the adventures of flight. The forms and shapes in the collection collide both explosion and restraint by using bellowing ballooning silks with tight body fitting rope work. The explosive summer palette takes influence from Caribbean festivals, the bird life of Papua New Guinea and the colour blocks of parachutes.

What kind of woman do you see in your label?
Whoever feels an attraction towards it.

How has your ride on the fashion scene been so far?
We don't really participate within the fashion scene so the ride has been smooth.

And finally, what are you hoping to achieve with your label?
Unique expression.

interview: Seema Duggal


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