Peter Morrissey wants to correct a misconception.
I’ve been doing fashion for 23 years and I thought it was time to be a little bit more understood as a human being, the high-profile designer tells Sydney Star Observer.
I don’t think many people knew where I grew up or that I came from nothing.
Morrissey is explaining why he agreed to be profiled as part of a new SBS documentary series that follows some of Australian fashion’s biggest names.
In The Closet Tales of Australian Fashion, Morrissey speaks frankly about doing it tough during his childhood in Caringbah, then finding fame with fashion partner Leona Edmiston.
Growing up in a family with four brothers and not seeing a TV until you’re 16, it’s pretty remarkable what I did, Morrissey says.
If you thought I was a wanker, then maybe after you hear my story you’ll allow me to be a wanker.
But the first round of fame Morrissey found -“ dressing the likes of Elle Macpherson and Kylie Minogue -“ was to come to a brutal end.
In the space of about six months in the late 1990s, Morrissey endured a high-profile business split from Edmiston, lost his best friend to AIDS and had his boyfriend leave him.
Around the same time, Morrissey’s father was diagnosed with a brain tumour and his mother with cancer. Morrissey was suicidal, and says some of the old demons continue to haunt him.
I think I’m still getting over it. That’s probably why I did the documentary -“ so people would understand that if I was smiling and looking like I was proud of myself it wasn’t because I loved myself, it was because I’d survived everything.
With the help of a spiritual adviser, Morrissey got his life back on track, launched a solo label and started working with various children’s charities.
The upheavals continue -“ earlier this month retailer M Webster Holdings surprised Morrissey by buying his brand from the Oroton Group sooner than expected.
But Morrissey is philosophical as he plans more TV appearances, charity work and an autobiography.
I just think life’s full of incredible lessons, not really bad luck, he says.
You either spend the rest of your life rocking in the corner saying -˜poor me’ or you say -˜get over it, it’s not your fault’.
The Closet Tales Of Australian Fashion screens on SBS from Wednesday 6 December, 8pm, beginning with the episode Morrissey.