'Fashion is dressing yourself in your own body and feeling confident, whether dressing yourself for a role, an event or to match your mood or rebel against some of those expectations altogether - from gender to social class to anything. It's one of the biggest creative fields that has such an impact on culture' - Michaela Stark to SHOWstudio, 2022.
Michaela Stark's view on fashion has always been crystal cut. Her dream-like collections and designs have always played with the power of transformation, thanks to the Australian-born designer using her own corsetry skills to manipulate and contort the body. Following on from similar ground when referencing her previous designs, Stark's latest collection consists of the many thrills and trills of lingerie - all of which are imbued with a childlike sensibility that takes inspiration from playing dress up as a young girl.
Stark's interest in fashion dates back to when she played dress-up as a small child. Using one specific box containing fabrics shrouded in mystery that have gone on to inform her adult designs, Stark played with everything from veils, 'wedding fabrics', tiaras, old frilly dresses, bows and more, all of which can be traced in her current work that weaves in elegance and sexiness combined.
Made of silks and denim, ballet and bridal wear, the collection features many costume extras such as garter clips, french lace, chiffon and organza, all of which feed into Stark's view on her sexuality, body and clothing. Because of society's often outdated perspective on women, Stark herself has ended up being sexualised due to the nature of her work despite its avowed undertone of innocence - a note she's tried to bring to the surface this season - lo and behold, innocence, youth and sex appeal come together in her latest collection.
The silk and denim corsetry is lined with cotton coutil and steel boning; morphing the body into signature Michaela exaggerated silhouettes; juxtaposing this harshness, Stark has introduced softer shapes this season that delicately frame the body's natural curves rather than exposing them, taking form in silk bloomers and more, proving you don't have to contort yourself into unusual shapes to be a part of Stark's world. S/S 23 is about finding comfort, whatever your definition of that is.