Academic journal

Brendan Plummer’s conceptual designs are rooted in academia

I think my work and my brand are best described as experimental and as a set of conceptual references. »

When Brendan Plummer first started sharing his designs on Instagram, he didn’t expect his work to receive the level of attention it enjoys. In fact, her whole foray into fashion has been a somewhat unexpected, yet natural progression.

He first became interested in fashion by immersing himself in skate culture and streetwear, which eventually led him to quit his job to study fashion.

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It was during his studies that Brendan became interested in the links between fashion and academia, which he now explores through his brand. His collections seek to unpack ideas, usually associated with particular spaces.

The seed of Brendan Plummer’s latest collection was public men’s restrooms that turned into an investigation into masculinity, body image and the lenses through which society views men. We caught up with Brendan to find out more about his process, what he wants to convey through his designs, and when we can expect his online store to launch.

Tell us about you. What is your background in fashion?

My experience in fashion is not very extensive. I come from a family completely absorbed in music and musical theater, but I started getting into fashion through skateboarding in the early 2010s. From there, I entered the world of high couture thanks to the streetwear boom a few years ago. When I was a shopkeeper after leaving school, I put all the money I earned into clothes and brands that I liked.

I only delved into fashion after deciding to study fashion in the midst of an existential crisis while still a trader. I thought it would be a good idea to put the two together and combine my love for art and design with my interests in fashion. During my studies, I was continuously introduced to different fashion genres and influences – for example, the importance of sociology and ontology [in fashion].

There are tutors at UTS like Ailsa Weaver and Kinae Kim – and, similarly, people I’ve interned for, like Jordan Dalah – who I think really recognized my interests in science. concept art and fashion, and guided me in the direction where I am now.

How did the label start? Tell us about the process and the challenges.

I don’t know exactly how it started, if I’m being completely honest. Because I’m still a student, I like to share my process, my work and my research on my Instagram. I think people really liked the print work I was doing and it went from there. I guess I wasn’t really expecting the reception it got but, nonetheless, it’s a great opportunity.

I think in terms of process, with every capsule collection or idea that I have, it always starts with a space. For example, my latest collection focuses on representations of masculinity in the bathroom. From there, I think it’s only fair that I become obsessed with the practices and events that take place in a selected space and unbox it for all to see.

What were you trying to achieve from the project at the time? How has that evolved and what are you trying to communicate through the brand now?

I think I was just trying to show exactly what it feels like to be in a masculine bathroom and the almost unspoken anxieties and effects space has on anyone who uses it. I think most of this is best seen in the language embedded in my work, like the phrase “he’s packing his bags” that you see in briefcase jeans and my print work of Fia and Tom that clearly refers to “size matters”.

I suppose I was aiming for a collection rich in references but, at the same time, more commercial than my previous works. I think that, overall, my work evolves from larger studies of spaces into something more personal and perhaps even more perverse or grotesque. I draw a lot of inspiration from Harmony Korine and Gaspar Noe for their In Your Face films and would like to aim to be able to replicate that impact in my clothing and research as much as possible.

How would you describe your label to someone who has never seen it before?

I always find this question difficult because sometimes I don’t even know, but I think my work and my brand is best described as experimental and a bunch of conceptual references. The bland and boring background of a corporate outfit or a simple shirt and jeans allows form and print to be explored and connected to any research I think is relevant to my concept .

What are you most proud of in your work on your label?

I am proud of my work in various fields. Specifically, I think with my last collection, I was thrilled to be able to create a collection that mostly leans into dick jokes and somewhat hilarious references, but put it into something that isn’t tacky and edgy, but perhaps something more ‘academic’ and considered.

I make a fashion film for each collection with a very close friend Sinclair Suhood. We’ve done three shorts now and our previous two have been selected for overseas film festivals. It was particularly honorable and surreal as a student to be selected for the Milano Fashion Film Festival with our film Object in Raum where we competed with Comme Des Garçons, Gucci, Dior Couture, British vogueetc in the experimental category as one of 12 films.

What did you wish you had known when you started?

Simplicity is key, design-wise. I always over-research, then over-design, and the end result isn’t exactly what I wanted, but I think it’s very important to be able to recognize what’s most important and focus on that.

More broadly though, I think vulnerability is key to being able to create well and show people exactly who you are and what you want to do, because the horror of throwing yourself headfirst into awkward situations always ends by self-confidence. boost when it works.

Who do you think is the most exciting in Australian fashion right now?

There are so many people right now that I think are really exciting. I think Jordan Dalah, Alix Higgins and Amy Crookes, Laura and Deanna Fanning for Kiko Kostadinov are definitely the ones that show what Australia has to offer.

But also (as I’m still studying) there are other students around me like Luca Sheridan, Alex Enticknap, Ben Mich, Kristen Higgins and Woosin Cho who are doing amazing work and I think Australia has a lot of potential in people like those mentioned, so the best is yet to come.

What about the Australian fashion industry that needs to change?

If I’m being brutally honest, I think a lot of things need to change. I think there are brands that are run by smart business people but I feel like they should be paying interns or if it’s collaborative credit and appreciation should be a priority before things get into a sticky situation.

I also think there is an old guard in Australian fashion, but I think it needs to be refreshed and bigger and funding needs to be put into talent coming out of our own university spaces.

Maybe even our own Fashion East would be amazing if we could provide people who don’t have a lot of money with the resources to continue showcasing their talent instead of graduates resorting to overseas masters in order to have an impact. they would like.

Dream Australian collaborators?

I would love to work with Australian artists, especially Polly Borland who looks at these rather molded and grotesque forms that I love so much. I immediately think, however, I want to work with musicians, conductors and people who can code for my next collection which revolves around the visualization of sound – something I have already explored with the development of textiles and the interpretation of musical instructions by Erik Satie.

Must-read list for a dinner party?

My group of close friends are somewhat hilarious with the music choices we put on when we dine at someone’s house. It ranges from “Big Iron” by Marty Robbins to Plantasia, Radiohead, Croatian Amor or even Aphex Twin. Anything soothing and interesting enough to keep us excited is a must.

Who’s in your wardrobe right now?

Lately, I’ve been revamping the clothes I own a bit. I aspire to dress like the latest Balenciaga shows as it’s personal taste, but I guess all the samples I have lying around, very baggy and oversized clothes, anything football related ( Arsenal) or can be worn easily is a must for me. Crocs, Needles x Troentorp mules, Kiko Asics and Docs are the go-to shoes.

How can we buy one of your parts?

The clothes will be on sale super super soon! Probably mid-July. I am currently preparing production and a website where people can pre-order clothes. Printed shirts and pants will be available, so people should visit the website and get their freebies.

Anything else to add?

I make great pasta from scratch if anyone wants it, just DM me on Instagram.

Discover Brendan Plummer’s creations here.