A Killer Kiwi
As you may have noticed on many a street style blog, it’s
Australia Fashion Week. But Australia’s cute neighbor, New Zealand, boasts some faint-inducing designers too, you guys. Can we say Karen Walker, anyone? (Those sunglasses, which everyone from Rihanna to the Fanning sisters have rocked, are so unfairly amazing.) If Walker’s super colorful Coachella-friendly looks aren’t your cup of tea, there’s goth glam designer, Jimmy D, who is uhhhmazing. I was so lucky to attend New Zealand Fashion Week two seasons ago, and, oh my goth god, Jimmy D’s show was the sartorial-slaying standout. I want/need everythang. Basically, if you’re into Alexander Wang and shopping at Oak, Bess and Trash & Vaudeville, and appreciate a lil pop culture with a side of S&M, then you’ll be majorly OBSESSED. We chit-chatted with the magical man behind Jimmy D, James Dobson, and he spilled all of the sartorial beans regarding his killer current collection… In other words, it’s time to open a credit card or two, kittens! Me-wow!
What inspired the current collection?
The usual (for me!) — a melting pot of ideas. It was a real reaction against the preppy looks that I see everywhere in fashion here and that people often assume that black, drippy clothes are tatty, grungy layers. With this collection, I wanted to have this darkness but at the same time make it feel really luxe. A picture of Natalia Kills in a lift in a black dress, decked out in gold jewellery, popped up at exactly the right moment, and she became a great figurehead for the collection — sexy and dark but super polished with a strong appreciation for pop culture. Natalia also embodies the very contrasts of the city she lives in, and as such New York City became a second muse for the collection — from leather bars to donut shops, NYC has a seediness and a saccharine-ness that I adore.
We love Natalia Kills — she was in our first issue! So, how would you describe the collection in 5 words? SEX SHOP-GOTH-DOMINATRIX-LUXE
NICE. How would you say living in New Zealand influences your designs? America knows the super colorful Karen Walker, but a lot of Kiwis rock the all black goth glam…
There definitely seems to be two streams of fashion here — dark gothiness vs. preppy pretty. Back in ’99, four New Zealand designers (including Karen Walker) showed at London Fashion Week, and were heralded as the ‘New Zealand Four’ in reference to the ‘Antwerp Six’. Since then, designers here seem to have either chosen to embrace this or react against it. I could go on discussing this for evahhhhhh — there have even been whole books here written exploring that very topic. For me, there is a sense of darkness that pervades a lot of film, music and even the landscape here and I’m quite happy incorporating it into my work. I like living in New Zealand and being at pretty much the end of the world; As a country we’re a bit of a misfit and I channel that into my work. Misfits and weirdos are always the most interesting people in the room.
Who would you die to rock your designs?
Natalia Kills (obviously!), Shirley Manson, Tilda Swinton, Kristen McMenamy, Sharon Needles and Finnish ex-model and fashion buyer Minttu Vesala (Google her, I’m OBSESSED)
That’s quite the list!! Can you pick a fave piece from the collection?
Anything with our custom Dripping Donut print. The donuts have pentacle, maggot and upside down cross sprinkles — they’re a collab with awesome New Zealand artist, Erin Forsyth. And the Death Wish Dress — a floor length jersey gown with a buckled neck, on a girl or boy…
Get your Jimmy D at Children of Vision shop on right hereeee