Greek Australian designer Iordanes Spyridon Gogos’ (ISG) finally staged his highly anticipated runway show for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) 2022 on Thursday.

The unique collaboration transformed the Powerhouse’s iconic Boiler Hall for the first AAFW runway show in the museum’s 142-year history presenting a vibrant ‘deconstructed castle’ runway.

More than 1,000 hours of labour over five weeks and 123 litres of fluorescent paint, fluorescent lights, including much reused from previous exhibition projects, went into the collaboration that highlighted diversity and paid homage to Indigenous culture. Among the 60 local and international collaborators that worked together to bring the 33 outfits/art pieces to life, Gogos enlisted the indigenous art centre Pormpuraaw in a prominent position.

“Our collaboration with the Powerhouse has enabled us to realise the full scale and magnitude of our creative vision for this year’s Afterpay Australian Fashion Week runway show,” said ISG founder Jordan Gogos.

Gogos, who was selected for Powerhouse’s designer residency program, pulled off the biggest fashion production yet without having to commercialise his first collection. Gogos brought in friends and collaborators as well as Australian fashion icons and activists enlisted as models. Artist and designer Jenny Kee of Flamingo Park fame walked in reworked versions of her own creations.

“Being embedded in the Powerhouse Ultimo Creative Industries Precinct as a Resident has generated thrilling new collaborations. Access to the incredible workshop facilities and production team at Powerhouse Ultimo has elevated the show to new heights in the iconic Boiler Hall.

“I can’t believe in less than a year, we’re in a museum,” he said, alluding to his unconventional break into the industry with his queer and quirky ideas that treat clothing like paintings or sculptures taking centre-stage.

“Last year we built the Trojan Horse. This year we built the castle — we’re in the Powerhouse, we got them to partner with us and build a castle. We’ve overtaken.”

The full breadth of the workshop team’s skills and experience was showcased, from entry-level to experienced artisans and tradespeople with 30 years of experience across metal, timber and scenic work, plus drawing and 3D modelling.

Another Greek, Apollo Michaelides illustrated textile designs with cartoons featuring references to the Powerhouse’s expansive collection. A name that the Australian arts and fashion world will be seeing a lot more of in the years to come.

“Since our collaboration was first announced, Jordan’s epic vision has expanded in new and exciting ways. Galvanising the resources of the Powerhouse workshop team and production teams, this marked a momentous moment for the museum, transforming the iconic Boiler Hall into the world of Jordan Gogos” said Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah.

The runway show will remain available to view on the Powerhouse’s YouTube channel.