The Perpetually Five + Clare show was always going to be something of a show stopper, with The Haunted Mask collection being inspired by children’s nightmares, and a fusion of the theatricality and surrealism of designers Mitch Thompson and Clare Read’s personal styles. However audiences could not have anticipated the brilliant collection that Perpetually Five + Clare sent down the runway.
In my pre-Fashfest 2015 interview with the duo I guaranteed that it would be a fantastic fashion experience to behold; and I wasn’t wrong.
The Haunted Mask used the Houndstooth design as a key design element, and the collection was a twisted vision in black and white with jagged edges. This achromatic nightmarescape of unique tailoring and distorted proportions presented the audience with a collection of pieces that, together, told stories of monsters hiding under the bed. However, the genius of Perpetually Five + Clare is that when you pull the collection apart, each piece is distinctly wearable and fashion forward. Thompson and Read present a high-fashion experience that boils down into pieces that incorporate seamlessly into an existing wardrobe. You can wear the pieces all together (as Sydney Bloggers Warren and Cissy from Zhang Pasi did on Night Two), or you can pick and choose pieces that will complement and enhance your existing wardrobe. To have a collection that is ultimately wearable but that looks like couture on the runway is not easy to achieve, and it is something that Perpetually Five + Clare should be congratulated for.