30 Days FAB: Alex Perry Interview

Alex PerrySo the opportunity came up to conduct my first ever face to face interview… with non other than THE Alex Perry – not too shabby right?

My first true exposure and appreciation of Alex Perry the designer was being a dresser working backstage at one of his shows, at what was back then known as Rosemount Fashion Week in 2008 working closely with his gorgeous and intricate designs. Since then, he has been on Project Runway Australia and Australia’s Next Top Model and I continue to be a reality TV tragic and of course, an Alex Perry fan.

His reason for being at 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty was to support Project Runway Australia’s Season 3 Winner, Dylan Cooper as well as promote Season 4 which he is the mentor, with Megan Gale the host and executive producer as well as the new judges, designer Peter Morrissey and former Harper BAZAAR Australia’s Fashion Director, Claudia Navone.

I was able to have an EXCLUSIVE one to one interview with the man himself, at 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty’s Show Weekend where we talked about the upcoming Project Runway Australia’s Season 4 (airing October 8 on Foxtel’s Arena), the designer integrity of his clothing line, diffusion lines, and Top Model.

What can you tell us about the upcoming Season 4 of Project Runway Australia?

I think each season it just gets better and better, we’ve got incredible troupe of designers, what i love about this season is that we’ve got such definitive handwriting as designers, and i think that happens every season but they are very distinct this year so i think that is what really sets this series apart from the other ones.

Do you have favourite designers on this season's Project Runway Australia?

Look I do, there’s something in all of them that I thought great. I saw most of them when we were doing the audition tour so there was something in each one of them that I thought was great but when we get to the final 5, I think they’re all fantastic.

NOTE: What a pro, he managed to answer the question without dropping any names!

What’s the dynamic like now with the new judge Peter Morrissey?

Do you know what is great? that Claudia and Peter have brought something different to that judging panel. Claudia has worked in high end fashion for a long time she was the fashion editor of Harper’s BAAZAR. I’ve worked with her for over many years and she knows that top end which is what most designers aspire to i think that really want that top end of fashion to be part of what their business is.

Peter’s been doing it for a long time and he’s got a very significant hold on commercial fashion so he brings that to the table but their two personalities are fantastic as well there’s a lot of ‘argy bargy’ between them when they are doing critiques. it’s great for Megan too, in the sense that she has got so many opinions to deal with but she’s like carousing them and it is a lot of fun too to watch, it is like watching two naughty schoolkids

It’s good television but their critiques are fantastic, i watch them when they were doing the eliminations and what they have to say is so credible and that’s fantastic.

Project Runway Australia Dylan Cooper Alex Perry

You’ve done diffusion lines for Specsavers and Diva, any plans to create a diffusion line of clothing?

Specsavers especially has been a phenomenal success, it is a really great product which allows people sort of like an entry into Alex Perry (the brand). I would not diffuse the clothes in Australia for what I do, people do not want a cheaper line from me, they want what that is.

What we have done though is made the entry level especially this winter lower than what it has been before. There are dresses at $499. I can’t produce that quality and that sort of clothing for any less than that without having to compromise fabric or make, and I’m just not prepared to do that.

So things like Diva were fantastic because it’s like a little bit of fashion that you can buy at a reasonable price. Specsavers has been incredible, what we’ve done there and there should be some really interesting things happening in the next couple of months as well.

Any other form of diffusion you would be interested in?

At the moment no, I love what is happening with the glasses there will be a new product that we will launch in the next couple of weeks (Sunglasses) at Specsavers, which will be great. There will be something else accessory wise happening soon. But it has got to relate to what I do, I am not just going to do whatever it is for the sake of it. It needs  to actually make sense with what it is that I do as a designer and it has got to relate to fashion in some way.

NOTE: Since our interview, the Alex Perry Sunglasses range has launched in Specsavers. Fun fact: he is infamous for wearing them on his head.

There are a few former Australia’s Top Model contestants on the runway at 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty, does it make you feel proud that they have forged a career?

Do you know, with both of those shows Project Runway and Top Model, and I know it is reality TV but the whole point of it is that we want a great designer to come out of Project Runway, we want an amazing model to come out of Top Model. Whilst Montana (Cox, the winner) is doing incredibly well so are a lot of the girls that  we had in that cycle. So for me it is about good TV, making people enjoy watching it but we really need to get great talent out of it at the end of the day.

NOTE: 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty’s Show Weekend featured Top Model alumni Abby “Hazel” O’Connell and Simone Holznagel who are both currently signed to Chic Management.

Abbey O'ConnellSimone Holtznagel

Project Runway Australia Season 4 airs October 8, 8.30pm on Arena – I can’t wait!

A massive thank you to Alex Perry for his time and SB PR