‘This is for you, Mum’
FOR the first time publicly, Wonthaggi’s Chris Denzil-Williams has unveiled an incredible range of designer clothes.
He’s been fascinated by the art of designing since age 16, when he began sewing.
More than 15 years later; he’s well on his way to achieving his dreams of showing off a range of coats, jackets and outerwear during Fashion Week in Melbourne. Or perhaps France.
Chris admits during the last decade and a half, he’s had some “extended” breaks from designing.
That was until one year ago, when his mother passed away aged 60.
“It got me thinking that you should do things while you can,” he says.
It propelled the Wonthaggi Newsagency worker into his dream field, displaying a small selection of clothing publicly, as part of the ‘Classic cream, beautiful black’ exhibition at the Wonthaggi Town Hall.
“This exhibition is for mum.”
Chris has always loved clothes by big-named designers such as Chanel and Gucci.
“I had a bit of an epiphany when I was younger that I could possibly emulate what they were doing.”
Over the last three years, Chris has been quietly working away on the clothes shown at the exhibition.
Chris’ goal, when he was approaching the end of high school at Wonthaggi, was to show off some of his work during Fashion Week. It’s a highly-regarded week-long event that gives designers a platform to show off their work.
“I wanted to do that before I was 25. But that passed quickly some years ago,” the 31-year-old says.
“But the idea’s still on the cards.”
Chris also took inspiration from Japanese clothes. He admires the minimalism and simplicity of them.
“These pieces reflect a little bit of missed opportunity that I didn’t buy anything when we went to Japan in high school,” he says, in front of the pieces at the Wonthaggi Town Hall.
“This was my way of re-creating what I missed out on.”
For Chris, designing is a way of escaping life and diving into a different world.
“It’s creating something out of nothing. Taking a piece of fabric and turning into a 3D work that can be worn.”
The all-rounder is also building up his photography portfolio.
“I’ll take photos of cliff faces or other scenes and then mirror them,” he says.
Then it’s all up to the imagination of the viewer.
“In a photo of a rockpool, I see a pair of lungs or in a photo of raindrops, I see a spider’s head.”
Although he didn’t go to fashion school, Chris has had plenty of support from local Karin Murphy-Ellis, who’s offered advice and insight into the world of designing.
“I learnt a lot during high school, but the rest has been trial and error,” he says.
He’s keen to display work at ArtSpace Wonthaggi. Check out Chris’ other work on Instagram at Christopher.Tobias