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Perth Fashion Festival: Ae’lkemi by Alvin Fernandez

12 August 2009

With the Perth Fashion Festival coming up in September, I sat down with fashion designer Alvin Fernandez to talk about his label, Ae’lkemi. He was such a delight to talk to!

Established in 1998, Ae’lkemi has since collected a string of awards and graced the catwalks in Milan and New York.

He admits that he loves to do his own thing in fashion, avoiding trends. He’s very much inspired by historic design periods, design in the world around him, moods and themes from movies, and he is constantly writing down ideas and sketching designs.

Alvin’s creative outcomes are just amazing, with ruffles, feathers and laces mixed with silvers, metallics and leathers. His brand can be described as modern feminine classics, featuring stunning details, with sophisticated twists and understated elegance.

During my meeting with Alvin, we talked about his clothes, and I had a little style session with him. I wanted to feature two of his formal gowns, and two dresses that showed off the distinctive Ae’lkemi style – feminine with a modern edge.

Ae'lkemi by Alvin Fernandez

This yellow and grey dress is made from hand dyed silk. And what can I say, I felt like a princess! I just loved the unique colour combination, and the soft bow that draped behind my shoulder. It was a bit long for me, but Alvin assured me that the Ae’lkemi team would take up the length, take bits in, and make any other alterations to make it fit each individual perfectly.

The purple snake skin dress on the right was very cool too. It’s actually made of wool, with a delicate snake skin print on top. I loved how it looked teamed up with a chunky leather belt. Very hot!

Ae'lkemi by Alvin Fernandez

When selecting the garments from the Ae’lkemi showroom, I immediately picked the black dress first. I’m a sucker for silk and sparkly bits. I loved the details on the skirt – lace layers with sequins and beading, and the shoulder straps wrap up at the back and turn into a soft drapey bow. The dress felt really, really good on (not too delicate or flimsy) and I can definitely feel the superb tailoring and silky soft, fine fabric.

The amazing mauve gown on the right is one of Alvin’s sample showroom dresses, as part of his couture fashion services. You can try on the showroom sample dress, and then have one made up specially for you. Or the team can sit down with you and help design whatever dress you want from scratch, choosing your own print, embellishments, and fabrics.

Alvin is a lover of art deco and I noticed the very 1930s lines on the mauve gown, mixed with the train of two-toned, raw-edged silk tufts. Very cool!

Alvin will be showcasing his new collection at the 2009 Perth Fashion Festival WA Designer Collections Event held at the Fashion Paramount on 5 September 2009. Tickets are on sale now for $48.

Ae'lkemi by Alvin Fernandez

Ae’lkemi has a lovely boutique in Claremont, Perth, and is stocked in various countries around the world. For more details and to see more of Alvin’s collections, go to And I haven’t even told you about his men’s label and couture!

Ae’lkemi Boutique
Shop 22 & 23 Time Square Centre
337 – 339 Stirling Hwy, Claremont
Tel: +61 8 9284 2736