Caleb Bieber who goes under the alias of ‘Sillyduffer’ is a Melbourne based fashion and textile designer who focuses on self expression and identity through pushing the realms of imperfection, beauty and queerness. Bieber approaches design through re-contextualising social norms, traditional use of fabric construction and silhouette. The aim is always to express both masculinity and femininity outside the boundaries on gender. With playful touches of campy extravagance and the unafraid use of sexuality in everyday streetwear; a Sillyduffer design will be kitsch, provocative and childlike at heart.
The collection titled ‘Ephemerality Embodied’ explores what is considered beautiful and ugly in terms of fashion and how we view our bodies, influenced by the Japanese ideology of Wabi Sabi that appreciates the beauty of imperfection. This is explored through the idea that skin becomes beautiful as it ages, stretches, wrinkles, and consequently acquires a new charm. The garments are considered an extension of the body, exploring skin textures and silhouette through photographic prints and blown out proportions and incorporating undergarments as an exterior. The emphasis of natural colours and the natural body is contrasted with the idea of transhumanism and how biology will merge with the artificial, explored through the use of PVC. Will human skin possibly evolve to become part plastic to prevent aging? Or will bodies be appreciated as a temporary part of existence?