Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Finch takes flight

antipodium via refinery29

Congrats go to Geoffrey J Finch and his partners Ashe and Fenella Peacock, whose Antipodium brand has just - ie minutes ago - won the fashion category of the 2008 Qantas Spirit of Youth (SOYA) Awards.

Antipodium was originally opened by Ashe Peacock as an antipodian-specialist fashion boutique and PR showroom in London in 2003.

In 2006 Peacock, Antipodium director Finch and Peacock’s Perth-based sister Fenella launched the Antipodium label – and things went so spectacularly well, they swiftly dismantled the rest of the operation.

Debuting at Australian Fashion Week in May this year, the brand will add David Jones to its rapidly expanding stockists' list in February 2009.

Frontman/designer Finch, now 25, left his native Toowoombah for London in 2004.

He wins A$5,000 in cash, A$5,000 in flights – which he says he will use to build up Antipodium’s US business – and a mentorship with Peter Morrissey.

After collecting his Perspex trophy on stage, the self-taught Finch tells frockwriter that he was asked by the show’s host how he felt competing with more traditionally-trained designers. Two cases in point: the two other SOYA 2008 fashion finalists Dion Lee and Reiss Radvanyi.

His response was:
“I took the back door to fashion”.


fashion herald said...

congrats to him, now where can i get that shirt?

Patty Huntington said...

there are contact details on the website:

Anonymous said...

Ive never seen an another industry where people who dont study the craft, are presented with so many awards and put up on a pedestal. Ultimately it does lead to their downfall. They always need to find alot of money quick smart so they can employ university educated designers to flesh out their ideas. Otherwise their lack of experience starts to show in the product.

Dion Lee's studies and talent will carry him alot further, than Geoffrey Finch's business partners will. As they always say 3's a crowd.

Mike said...

I was perplexed as well to hear the outcome of the awards. And I can't agree with the aspect of awarding those who have done successfully already, then needing this award for them to seek a mentorship and money? Gareth Pugh had no money at all at funding his clothes when he was just starting to become big and I can understand to win an award for a young fresh designer, that this would help you greatly. Another category of the award I think the finalists don't deserve to be there. And this isn't because of who they are or what they offer, it's actually their skills. They have had so much awards and commendations already and yet I can't find the justification why the would do a u-turn so to speak for this opportunity.

If it was me, I would be getting on with what i needed to do and spread my wings.

Maxie said...

anonymous #1, i'll think you'll find there are quite a few big-time designers who are not "university educated" in fashion, as you say. They're designers, not brain surgeons.
One does not need to "study" a fickle area like art or fashion, or even literature for that matter, to have a natural gift for those areas.
Tom Ford didn't go to fashion school.

Anonymous said...

I understand your point Maxie, however if you can show me a fashion designer, who understands fit, proportion and garment construction without university education I would be impressed. Tom Ford was a hype man, just like other untrained designers he relied on PR/marketing/branding to make up for his shortcomings. Sure it aint brain surgery. But Im sure you would want the clothes youre spending your hard earned money on, to at least be produced by someone educated in garment design.

Patty Huntington said...

Maxie makes a very good point. While obviously tertiary fashion studies are not to be underestimated and certain schools have certainly produced plenty of fashion stars, fashion is not just about great design - which at the end of the day can't be 'taught' anyway, you have to have a natural talent in the first place. it's about business, it's about marketing, it's about branding. an expert tailor or patternmaker might be a genius at their craft, but that does not make them a designer.

anonymous - you say you have never seen another industry where people who have not studied the craft are handed so many awards. i imagine you are probably referring to josh goot and ben pollitt. ben won the fashion category of last year's SOYA Awards. Like goot, and finch, he is also self-taught.

many designers come to the business via alternative studies and backgrounds, ranging from architecture/interior design (gianfranco ferre, tom ford) to political science (miuccia prada). prada worked in the family leathergoods business for years before finally launching womenswear.

roland mouret is self-taught. ditto brian reyes, the late liz claiborne. and if you want a very good example of a feted designer with zip formal training before launching their own business, then look no further than chanel.

Mike said...

Ultimately I think that it's not on the basis of a designer's skills or talent in being able to develop their collection, it's how their work is resolved. So we begin to differentiate which designers we like and don't like as their collections are shown each season. However, the question of university-educated designers to entrepreneurs became quite lost. This question is virtually non-existent because MOST if not all designers currently right now went to schooling.

Alexander Wang who won the CDFA Award who went to Parsons, Robert Geller was at RISD and then did work with Cloak and Jacobs, and well - the Antwerp 6!

You don't study art or fashion but god forbid you need to live and breathe it don't you? Otherwise, how could you get someone like Stefano Pilati.

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