Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia | Strateas Carlucci

The title of each of Strateas Carlucci’s collections carry strong concepts that translate themselves into their designs. So with Transit as the title of their Resort ‘18 collection, one could only expect that this collection marks a turning point for old high school friends Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci in their five-year long journey as Strateas Carlucci. Schön! Magazine caught up with Mario backstage before their show to discover what exactly is Transit.

Hi Mario! Good to meet you, but where’s the other half? 

[Laughs] Good question! I’m trying to find out myself, but we divide and conquer so I can do all the chatting while Peter does all the work.

It’s been five years since you and Peter made your debut as Strateas Carlucci, what have you learnt working together as a team?

That we can still remain friends after five years of working together? [Laughs] We had been friends for years before so it’s great to have a partner to bounce ideas off, but to also stabilise each other as well. I don’t think I could do it flying solo, I’ll tell you that much.

What’s the working relationship like being best friends? Do you have dedicated creative working sessions or is it more casual? 

Totally more casual. When you you’ve known someone for so long we just enjoy bouncing ideas off each other. When it’s like that, ideas flow so easily and they come and go. It’s not like we have a 9 to 5 and set out what we’re going to do, we just let it happen and when it comes about, that’s when the magic happens.

We heard you street casted some talent for this show. Can you tell us why you took this approach and what were you looking for on the street?

Well, this collection was inspired by the rawness and realness of the Paris Metro underground so we wanted that to reflect in the runway by street casting. Also, coming from Melbourne we thought we’d bring some talent up. We just wanted a really diverse kind of cast because the collection’s all about creating fun, youthful energy and who better to bring in than people running a show for the first time.

Tell us about the fusion of your inspirations from Paris and Melbourne. Obviously you grew up in Melbourne so what changed creatively when you experienced a European lifestyle?

We’re lucky to be in Melbourne, it’s full of inspirations and it’s very multicultural, but with traveling and seeing new things you become accustomed to life outside of your usual kind of habitat. It’s kind of a real sensory experience…

What stuck out the most? Was it more the architecture, the food, the people?

Actually more the people. Just the realness of them. Obviously there are big things that you see and are excited about, but we go to Paris four or five times a year and you get accustomed to it very quickly. Then it becomes more about the people and their lifestyle and feeling like you’re a part of that community. So it’s become about living life in a different culture and then bringing it altogether in our work. 

This collection is called Transit, what’s the concept behind that?

I guess we love the idea of Transit always being in-between two places. You’re never here nor there, you’re on the go. And part of the inspiration was the photographs of Ren Hang who passed away recently and he was always about living for the moment and creating for the moment and again that realness and rawness we really loved that. We were a massive fan of his work and always had his imagery on our mood boards.

Because it’s all about the moment.

I guess to sum it all up, we’d just have to say that life is your transit. You’re born and then there’s death, but there’s also life in the in-between. 

How have you reflected that in your collection? 

I guess there are some literal comparisons by using some elements inspired by the youth of the Paris Metro underground scene and then looking at these hybrid pieces too such as mixing shirting and dressing and using different tailoring methods towards denim and merging them with other styles as well. It’s always about composition for us and playing with fabrics and being a bit more playful. We put in all these little playful subtleties in the collection, they’re not always massive, obvious statements, but I guess that reminds us that it’s all about the little things. 

How do you want people to feel when they’re wearing this collection?  

Excited. Happy. Fun. Energetic.

Words / Christopher Quyen
Photography / Christopher Quyen and Enrico Becker


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