“P.A.M has moved in this world for years, and it’s exciting to see Dion Lee growing into it. This is what people are looking for in going out and other aspects of life. People today have got so much on offer to them, they want to be radicalised and included in the machine of art-making.”
Frantically hand-sewing bralettes in her Melbourne studio to meet demand from around the world, RMIT graduate Chantelle Lucyl sees her unisex clothing as empowering customers and transcending nightclubs.
The sensuality of the bold, sensual pieces with heady glimpses of flesh, tantalisingly bound by fabric like bondage straps, attract performance artists from Berlin, New York and London. It was in the nightlife scene of Europe, while studying on a scholarship, that Lucyl first experienced the freedom she is trying to give her customers.
“I went to Berlin a lot and immersed myself in the scene over there and saw what clubbing was about,” Lucyl said. “Now everyone knows about Berghain [a Berlin nightclub] but back then in the nightlife there was so much space to express yourself and let go completely. It makes sense that we are all yearning for that sense of community right now.”
“I’ve always wanted to create a landscape that’s open to everybody. It’s not just rave wear. It’s not too artistic. It’s not too performative. It can be sporty, it can be swimwear, and it can be lingerie.”
Chantelle Lucyl has been embraced by the queer community but P.A.M is seeing shifts into other segments of society. Now that Hollenbach spends early mornings cycling, instead of bathed in laser light of nightclubs from his youth, he can clearly see the similarities between club wear and utilitarian activewear.
“There is a technical component to the fashion, with people requiring loose or tight-fitting pieces that let them move. It’s the same merging of fashion and function that we see in cycling and hiking.”
The growing club wear trend was felt most powerfully by Hollenbach, taking his daughter on a visit to lessons at a local swimming pool.
“There was a water aerobics class for elderly people and they were listening to Todd Terry, one of rave music’s leaders. It was clear then that club has become part of our everyday life.”
Yung Lung, The Substation, Melbourne, February 1-18
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