Some choice bits from the Aus i-D interview with fashion designer Ingrid Verner…
I feel disappointed that we don’t have a fashion community with a better sense of identity. New Zealand has a better fashion scene in the sense of having a certain style or look. As Australians we’re known for offering something already on show, or being influenced by the rest of the world, which are things I was thinking about with Eat Cake.
Our sense of self is stuck in the 80s - our consistent referencing of native flora and fauna for instance. But when we look at a more present Australia devoid of the cliches we get into trouble. There are really diverse communities in Melbourne, we have the ability to experience other places and things. Not a lot of that is reflected in our fashion.
Ten years ago I found out my great grandmother was Aboriginal, but it was sort of covered up by the family. That’s where White Wash came from, thinking about how we whitewash things. I think about how it was hidden, it made me think about racism as something a bit more deeply seeded.
I don’t think Australians like to reflect on things like identity and culture. We have issue defining our own identity, but we enjoy it. We love the multicultural aspects of our city, the food, the great music, the great variety. But I’m not sure we like to do much more.
It got me to thinking about how a lot of Australians are like that: we’re going to move to New York or wherever because we’re bored. Are we bored because we’re not truly involved in the culture? Why do we continuously feel that we want to move away? I know Australians feel this disconnection from the rest of the world, but we have a lot of incredible aspects to our culture and lifestyle. I get bored by peoples’ boredom.