Hoodedwept, a psychographic label on the brink of making it big both at home and overseas.
In just five seasons, Perth fashion label Hoodedwept is already making a big name for itself both across Australia, and internationally. They’ve just launched a new capsule collection designed in collaboration with style icon Marcella Detroit (of Shakespears Sister fame). To top that, this September Hoodedwept be making make their Paris Fashion week debut as part of the prestigious Cube exhibition where they will exhibit alongside the likes of Misomber Nuan and Gareth Pugh, with buyers like Harvey Nicholls and Macy’s also in attendance.
A fledging label can only dream of such success. However, once you delve into the history and mythology of this label you begin to understand how such success is earnt. For Hoodedwept designer Neil Sheriff, a love for the artistry and science of fashion came at a very young age.
“When I was nine,” Sheriff explained, “I would sit on the floor of the spare room with my mum and she would bring out her scraps box. I’d sit there and start unpicking clothes to see how they worked, I was just fascinated with the engineering of garments. I would literally just sit there and unpick things with her, and she would explain to me how sleeves worked and how jackets worked and this is how it all goes together.
“That’s when I feel in love with the science of garments, how seams can influence each other, create incredible results in the final article of clothing. I’ve sewn ever since.”
As Sheriff grew and explored the vast landscape of fashion, he discovered designers who resonated deeply with him. The likes of Gareth Pugh and Rick Owens spoke of a dark romantic aesthetic, yet it was the bravery and reinvention of Yohji Yamamoto that appealed the most to Sheriff.
“It’s a label for people who aren’t afraid to rock a strong look.”
“What he did was create a space for people,” Sheriff explained. “If you weren’t a punk or a mod or a hippy, there really was no name for you. I think Yohji’s style created a place for artists just to be artists and not have to subscribe to just a particular look. Although the irony of creating that look where there wasn’t one before isn’t lost on me.”
Enter Hoodedwept, a bold directional label that marries demi-luxe fabrics with bold silhouettes and a directional attitude. The label caters to both men and women and has more of a psychographic rather than a demographic market. After all, Sheriff’s clients range in age from their mid-20’s to over 70. Yet all of them share a similar mindset: they’re all culturally connected, creative and have professional careers.
“It’s a label for people who aren’t afraid to rock a strong look,” Sheriff laughed.
For their current collection Nexus, Hoodedwept have drawn inspiration from the deep reaches of space. Saturn to be exact, and the images beamed back down to Earth courtesy of NASA’s Cassini Space Probe. The result is a range with hints of otherworldly beauty and interplanetary awe. All of this told through textiles like organic cotton, bamboo, linen knits, boiled wool, waxed denim and leather with a tiny dash of micro-sequins.
“We’re very sensitive and caring towards contrasts and juxtapositions in the choice of fabrics for this current collection,” Sheriff explained. “We have a brilliant micro-sequin in the womenswear which is reminiscent of glittering ice dust in the rings of Saturn. There are heavy black wool knits reminiscent of the void between the astral bodies. And then there are these beautiful chalky white cotton poplins which are suggestive of moon surfaces.
“It’s mainly the colour palette and the texture palette we’ve used that makes it a little more…space age, if you like…without making it look like an episode of Star Trek.”
There is, however, functionality inherent in this range and the overarching aesthetic that is Hoodedwept.
“A lot of my demographic embrace tech-wear as part of their everyday lives.”
“There’s also a bit of a tech-wear vibe going on. It’s difficult to do futurism without acknowledging tech-wear because it is such a prevalent part of the fashion landscape at the moment. Since the late 80s it’s been rearing its head. It’s become a bit of a movement now and to do the kind of fashion that I do, I think you really need to embrace and acknowledge it because a lot of my demographic embrace tech-wear as part of their everyday lives.”
This season also sees the release a capsule collection designed by Marcella Detroit. Those who know this icon from the 90s will know she encapsulated feminine strength, the flawless falsetto that made songs like ‘Stay’ and ‘You’re History’ historical. The 11 piece capsule collection is the result of seven-year friendship between Detroit and Sheriff.
“It captures the DNA of our style,” Sheriff said of Marcella Detroit 4 Hoodedwept. “It’s inspired by Marcella’s style and contains some incredibly beautiful flowing silks. She’s come up with this amazing pant suit and an incredible pair of palazzo pants. It’s a more feminised version of Hoodedwept’s usual stuff, flavoured by Marcella’s own love of fashion. So ease and sophistication, all capturing and conveying feminine strength.”
And then there is the Cube exhibition coming up this September – at Paris Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week no less. To those unfamiliar with Cube, it’s essentially a Mecca of monochromatic avant-garde fashion, attracting some of the biggest labels and buyers in the world. Sheriff was, admittedly, a little shocked at the invite initially. Shocked, and a touch suspicious.
“It was basically a case of I got this email one morning from Cube Showroom,” he explained, “saying how much they loved my collection on Instagram and inviting me to show in their showroom as part of Paris Fashion Week. I had heard of Cube, and I knew who they were, but I honestly thought it was somebody impersonating them!
“So I looked into and Googled it and even went so far as to check the GPS of the URL that sent the email. Sure enough it came up with Paris. I emailed them back, sent them my lookbook and they wrote back within the day saying that they thought my stuff would sit beautifully beside the other labels chosen to show.
“And when I saw that list…it contained labels like Misomber Nuan and Gareth Pugh. These are contemporaries of mine who I worship, love and adore. That’s when I started taking the opportunity seriously.”
It’s an amazing chance to garner international recognition, not just for a small label, but Australia as well.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to fly the Australian flag, and it’s a flag I am very proud to fly,” Sheriff beamed. “Commercially and creatively it’ll be an amazing platform from which to leap off from on to bigger and brighter things.”
Hoodedwept will debut its SS/18 collection at Paris Week 28 September- 4 October
Visit hoodedwept.com to explore the full current collection Nexux, plus Marcella Detroit 4 Hoodedwept.