As Milan fashion week draws near, and with it the runway finals of the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize (IWP), comes the culmination of a year of hard graft for designers Kain Picken and Fiona Lau. Their label ffiXXed was victorious at the Asia regional finals and the pair has been preparing a capsule collection to take to Italy for several months.
"We wanted the Woolmark [collection] to feel like it was just an extension of our normal collection that just was pointed in a specific way," Picken says. "We didn't want it to feel like it was really removed or wouldn’t be recognisable as any other ffiXXed collection."
Designing for the IWP did present its own specific challenges for the pair. Accustomed to designing full-scale collections incorporating a range of themes and relationships, Picken admits that "when you only have six outfits, it's much harder to do that".
The Australian designers, based in Hong Kong, formed their partnership incorporating their different creative fields (Picken is from the art world, Lau from the fashion industry) and the collaboration is now taking them to the home of fashion in Milan. At stake? Prize money of AUD$100,000 and the opportunity to see the capsule collection on the racks of the biggest retailers in the world, including Harvey Nichols of London, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and Joyce in Hong Kong.
Either way, the IWP will expose ffiXXed to the world, and give the pair a chance to share the universal philosophy behind their art/fashion fusion.
Australian finalist prepares for 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize
Europe finalist prepares for 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize
USA finalist prepares for 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize