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What is it with Australians and their T-shirts? Back in May Dom Rebel put the most expensive T-shirt in Australia on display ($1000, a diamond studded skull design) and now, a beaded and frilled T-shirt featuring a print by Del Kathryn Barton is going on sale at $400 as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, starting in Melbourne tomorrow.

It’s not what you expect of the average Aussie, is it? Given the national identity with grunge clothing, sport and rough-and-ready humour, this predilection for pricey T-shirts is peculiar to say the least. However there is some method in the madness. The expensive T-shirt was commissioned by Sydney label Romance Was Born as part of a ‘Limited’ exhibition of specially commissioned T-shirts which will be sold to the public after a presentation at the GPO shopping complex in Melbourne. Other designers include Alpha 60, Ksubi, Rainer and Bassike, who all contributed custom-designed T-shirts to the Limited project. One of the organisers of the event said, ‘We wanted to celebrate the humble T-shirt, because it’s where a lot of Australian designers have their beginnings … most people wouldn’t pay that much for an average T-shirt, but this one is special, it has become a work of art.’

Alexi Freeman show, Melbourne, courtesy of fashionistar


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