Jordan Dalah is one of Australia’s most intriguing, emerging fashion talents. When you see Dalah’s cocooning garments that extend and distort the potential of the human silhouette, there’s really no wonder why he opened this season’s Australia Fashion Week in Sydney – his works are stunning. The designer has been toying with gigantic, exaggerated shapes and cloudy silhouettes for quite some time now, and his padding and puffing couldn’t feel more right for now, least of all because his clothes are the kind that make you want to drift into a daytime nap just wearing them. But Jordan’s Elizabethan volumes as well carry a strong sense of theatre and performance. As Dalah explained to the press, for spring-summer 2022 season he spent the months leading up to his runway debut “finding the strongest silhouettes I could make – and then really knocking them out.” His fluted shapes and high, gathered shoulders are positively supersized, cloaking models in quirky stripes, graphic patterns, and soft rose-colored silks. That’s where the surprise element comes in: underneath some of Dalah’s more dramatic shapes are removable tubular bustles that look something like a pool floatie. When the dresses are deflated, so to speak, they lose their gargantuan proportions and reveal expertly done sensual bias draping. Other pieces are cut slim from the start, like a ’40s-ish black button-up midi-dress and an evocative light blue mini with a pierrot collar and bell cuffs. A leather jacket with signature exaggerated sleeves has more mass appeal – ditto the puffed sandals made in collaboration with Actually Existing and the puffed robes made with Common Hours. Dalah has proven he has the mettle to think big and practically.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.