Atong Atem shines bright like
a diamond in Australian designer Georgia Perry’s new collection
For millennial creatives, it seems that many roads lead to Melbourne. Whether by necessity or by choice, both fine arts student Atong Atem and designer Georgia Perry have made Australia’s south facing metropolis their home. “I've lived in a lot of different cities around the world but Melbourne just has a great blend of creativity and liveability,” says Perry. “It seems so much easier to connect with people here and to make good work. I'm so much more productive here than anywhere else I've lived in the last decade.”
In a city brimming with a confluence of talent, Atem has stepped out from behind the camera to appear as the face of Perry’s new collection and website. It was her strong sense of personal style that initially drew Perry to her. “It was only on the day of our shoot I found out that not only was she incredibly beautiful but also an extremely talented image-maker in her own right. I could tell from the outset that Atong would be a bad ass. There was also a real sense of strength and originality that came shining through in all of the images of her that I'd seen.”
"I could tell from the outset that
Atong would be a bad ass"
Originally focused as a graphic designer, Perry’s side line of smart, whimsical buttons and prints has taken on a life of its own, becoming a kaleidoscope of jewellery, scarves and home accoutrements. Fun bangles and earrings have it all going on with rainbow motifs including bananas, snakes, eyes and flowers. Her imagery shares a palette as vivacious as Atem’s own portrait series Third Culture Kids with their multi hued studio settings. Atem’s work was of course one of the highlights of Nataal’s New African Photography exhibition at New York’s Red Hook Gallery this past May (read about it here).
Both women, Perry states, are like her customers: “unafraid to go against the grain.”
With the full campaign and new website launching this week, Perry will no doubt further build her empire, which currently includes over 100 stockists globally including Colette in Paris and Nordstrom in the US. As for working with Atem again? “I would love to. I'm already planning our next shoot so watch this space!”
Photography Willem-Dirk du Toit
Visit Georgia Perry