Alix Higgins is currently enjoying the kind of career trajectory that most new designers can only dream of. Having studied at UTS and then Institut Français de la Mode in Paris, Higgins spent time perfecting his craft in France, including a stint as a print maker for Marine Serre, before returning to Australia to launch his namesake label in 2020. He quickly amassed a cult following among a certain legion of super cool, notoriously well-dressed celebrities — names like Hunter Schafer and Grimes. So when it was announced that Higgins would be making his Afterpay Australian Fashion Week debut this season, it immediately became one of Resort 23’s most in demand tickets.
As something of a creative polymath — he also performs in a band called PATAMON with Joan Banoit — Higgins ’designs experiment with dualities. He is best known for his skin-hugging nylon pieces, printed in a muted color palette that evokes the slightly-sickly colors recognizable to those who spend most of their time on screens (washed out blues, pinks, and yellows). These pieces are often printed with words or phrases that have the appearance of being ad-hoc and random but are actually deeply thought out. For Resort ’23 that included a blouse emblazoned with the phrase “I’m not scared anymore”, or dresses and shirts printed with words like “serenity”, “fairy”, and “future”.
The show notes refer to the collection as “an act of magic realism”, noting the way Higgins brings together the otherworldly and the mundane — leggings, bikinis, T-shirts and bike shorts are couture-ified with draping, printing, and cutting techniques he honed in both Australia and Europe. Draping — particularly in silk — is another signature of Higgins, and one he’s far more interested in. Speaking to Tangent magazine last year, Higgins referred to draping as “my real love”, while noting that “the commercial reality is that people want nylon pieces that they can layer and wear to a party feeling confident and sexy.” Resort ’23 proved that he can do both at once with a deft ability to integrate the dual sensibilities of art and commerce, rampant creativity and pragmatism. There’s little doubt we’ll be seeing more of Higgins soon. As far as this writer’s concerned, the sooner the better.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 13: A model walks the runway during the Alix Higgins show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at Carriageworks on May 13, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti / Getty Images)