GUERRILLA WARFARE: JOSHUA MULLANE, AN INTERVIEW

Aussie JOSHUA MULLANE has certainly made waves in Sydney, but this time his eyes were set out for New York. After causing a ruckus at Australian Fashion Week, the designer took over the New York Public Library with an army of male models displaying his wares. Think of it as collateral beauty: silk, crisp shirts displaying Mullane’s eye-catching prints entwined with the allure and wonder of onlookers + paparazzi… multiplied in intensity a la security, who threatened Mullane and his male marching crew. We sat down with Joshua to learn a bit about himself, his inspiration for doing these unethical and unexpected methods to showcase his pieces as well as where he sees himself in the future. Sit back, unwind and take a read (or two). JENNIFER STEVENS

SJ: How long have you been in fashion for?

JM: 2 Years

SJ: When did you start to have dreams of becoming a fashion designer?
JM: Childhood was pretty epic. I dressed up in Mums clothes, lipstick, heels… the whole shebang. Growing up on the road was quite adventurous, so my younger brothers and I would always be up to mischief. Skateboarding, surfing, climbing trees, stealing lollies from the corner shop. I have always been pretty flamboyant, and I was always intrigued by fashion. It was a big part of my music career. As a musician, you get sent clothes, so I had the privilege of wearing and becoming exposed to beautiful garments. That led to an interest in the business.

At the beginning of 2017, I gave myself a crash course in New York, spending my days learning about fabrics, trimmings, techniques and the business.

SJ: How would you explain Joshua Mullane’s DNA?
JM: Rebellious in nature, but simultaneously classic. It’s obviously inspired by rock’n’roll.

SJ: How do you stay creative?
JM: I’m blessed to have the opportunity to have traveled a lot, that’s inspiring. I still make music. That keeps the juices flowing.

SJ: What would you say your strengths are?
JM: My attention to detail borders on obsessive, which I think is a strength in this business. I’m also extremely opinionated. I know what I don’t like and I know what I love, and this translates into a very concise aesthetic. I also like to handpick my models and make sure that they come with attitude and authenticity that represents the brand.

 

SJ: You just showcased a guerrilla fashion show at the New York Public Library. Can you please explain to me how this idea came about as well as the inspiration?
JM: For me, it’s always been about performance and attitude, first and foremost. Attitude is everything in life. The way that you hold yourself, your ambitions and your dreams define who we are.

Last year I crashed Sydney Fashion Week. I don’t like participating in the ‘Fashion Week’ system as I find it limiting; not just for me, but for other creatives and talented people. I like to keep my shows unpredictable and authentic, so the NYPL Show was a natural continuation to those beliefs. The guerrilla fashion show is super exciting and a rush, which reminds me of my youth and keeps me young.

SJ: Can you tell us a little bit about what you have planned for Spring/Summer 2019?

JM: Pink… I think?

SJ: What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?

JM: Knowing that I am making people feel good in my clothes.

SJ: How did you select the materials that you used? Are there are materials that you find difficult to work with?

JM: I only use silks. It’s sexy and it’s classic.

SJ: Do you try to keep with the trends or create your own?

JM: There’s nothing trendy about my cuts, they’re all classic. I try to showcase my creativity in my prints.

SJ: Do you have any role models? Is there a particular person that you would like to see wearing your designs?
JM: I am a big fan of indie bands and up-and-coming artists. Musicians, skaters, surfers.

SJ: When you are not designing, what are some of your hobbies? Where do you spend your free time? How do you relax?

JM: I was actually going to turn professional in pool. When I was growing up, I was always hustling in caravan parks. Today I am all about playing guitar, surfing, running, reading and lots of tea. Getting out to see live music as much as I can.

SJ: What bands are you listening to at the moment?

JM: Joy Division as always, Neil Young, Skepta, The Vampie Girls and Pussy Willow (my band, ha).

SJ: How do you see yourself fitting into the fashion world and the future of fashion?

JM: I feel confident that keeping true to my feelings and aesthetics will keep me in my lane. As far as fitting into the fashion world, I mean… haha, I’m not sure if “fitting in” is something that I’m OK with or something that I know how to do. The reason that I create my own shows is that this is my way of artistic expression, my own personal outlet.

SJ: What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?

JM: All that I can say right now is that the current fashion system is crumbling, and needs to be injected with fresh blood and new concepts. With fashion so volatile, I’d like to stay true to my aesthetic and definitely remain a premium silk shirting establishment.

photographed by Chris Vongsawat