His avant-garde style caused a media frenzy when Lady Gaga wore several of his pieces during her appearances in Sydney a few years back.
But his greatest achievement will be his debut solo show on Thursday April 11 at The BOX during MBFWA.
While he is hesitant to reveal any details about the collection, we’re told it will be `very wearable at the same time as being avant-garde’.
We caught up with him to chat further on dealing with pre-show media hype; approaching design with a couture mindset; and fusing different eras into a contemporary fashion line.
How does it feel to hand-picked by Lady Gaga and have her wear your couture ensembles?
It felt amazing. Like all of my hard work had actually meant something. The fact that she would wear some of my couture and ready to wear pieces on two different occasions has pushed me to persevere with my vision.
This has obviously created international buzz surrounding your label and interest as to what will come next – do you feel the pressure now? or do you keep hype at a distance?
Well as I approach my debut show at fashion week the pressure is palpable. However staying calm and making sure my garments are perfect is of prime importance to me now.
You have a very couture sensibility in the design and presentation of your garments, why were you drawn to this style? Who/what inspired you to venture on that path as a designer?
I think that what I am trying to do is bring an avant-garde mindset into a ready-to-wear reality. It’s important to me that girls and women can wear what I create as well as be struck by it.
I want women to feel like they can be strong and powerful yet seductive. I want women to feel like they can become the Phoenix Keating woman.
What are some of the couture elements you weave into your designs?
I weave in different methods of drape, as well as light embroidery to give an expensive feel. But then I like to de-construct beauty, to leave a strength that is calm yet impenetrable.
What is your design process from the initial idea/concept to drawing board and finished product?
Basically the inspiration comes and I am forced to create.
We start with a pattern and make a proto-type called a toille out of calico or scrap material. We then make adjustments to the pattern and decide on a final material and work with that to create a final garment. I will then make final adjustments and hang it on the ‘done’ rack.
Much of your work has a dark and moody undertone, where do you source inspiration for your designs? Does your design come from a very personal place or are they external sources?
It’s always a mix of both for me. Her spirit is always something that I aspire for in myself – strength, calm and beauty. However the clothes always are me trying to fuse different eras with odd things.
For example Amazon’s 1950′s clothing and modern lines or 1870′s clothing, fetish, and Japanese technique. I never mean for anything to come out looking dark. It just does for some reason.
How would you describe your style?
My personal style? I would describe as a uniform. A daily regimented version of the day before. These days I wear a white or black collared shirt with a moss green neck tie, tight black or indigo died jeans and brown dress shoes or black converse.
I’m not ready to reveal too much at this stage, just that I am revealing my first full range of accessories which are produced by Peter Lang and are incredibly fabulous.
Also that I have really concentrated on wearability with this next collection. It’s all very accessible, but quite fantastic… if I don’t say so myself.
Your campaign imagery is very avant-garde – but away from the styling, what makes up the individual pieces? Could you ever see yourself designing a commercial version of your collection?
The reason for the avant-garde nature of the campaigns are that I want people to see what inspired me to create it. To see the passion behind it all. The way I see it, this collection is very wearable at the same time as being avant-garde.
What’s in store for the future?
Well, one step at a time for now. We have the SOYA awards coming up and some celebrity collaborations that I am not yet at liberty to talk about, but mainly it’s just preparations for MBFWA and of course Premiere.
For more information or to register, visit premiere.net.au
To view more of Phoenix Keating’s work, visit phoenixkeating.com