Cover image of the review
Brendan Morris, *John Look 1*, 2019. Photo: Phebe Schmidt.

In Costume

16 Nov 2019

Held at the newly opened Mejia gallery on Tinning Street, Brunswick (located near Neon Parc), on November 1st, the In Costume label launch included garments by Melbourne-based Canadian designer Brendan Morris produced with artist, Spencer Lai. The business card-like invitation reflects the label itself. It features a red rubber stamp-like graphic of planet earth with a trucker’s cap perched on top and what looks like sewing needles and circular eyelets surrounding it. The stamp is patchy and variable across the different prints on the cards and garments at the show, with the text ‘IN COSTUME’ featured in a goofy, warped sans serif typeface.

At the launch, In Costume’s branding was immediately apparent on all items of clothing, reminiscent of Walter Van Beirendonck’s graphic labels that are often in rubbers or plastics and sewn on the outside of garments. Several t-shirts in the collection were screen printed with motorcycle engine blueprints and the number ‘2019’, distressed to look as though they had been used as a mechanic’s oil-rag. By dating the collection to a year that’s nearly over, In Costume diverged from the fashion industry custom of working one or two seasons ahead. ‘2019’ felt like a self-conscious time-capsule, evoking nostalgia for the present in an industry that trades on its ability to predict the future or the next ‘now.’

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