Gerard O’Connor and Marc Wasiak are a unique photographic duo, with O’Connor a photographer, set designer and filmmaker, and Wasiak a wardrobe, prop and set designer. Together the pair create beautiful and often otherworldly photo works that possess many layers and deep meanings. Most recently, the pair were commissioned by the Kangan Institute to present a standout series of images for the young fashion designers’ collection at Melbourne Fashion Week titled Scrub Chic, the series successfully celebrated the front-line workers in the ongoing pandemic.

“This project is about how to dress health workers on the frontline of COVID, it’s a fashion forward idea for dressing scrubs. I love the idea of thoughtful imagery rather than imagery to sell things, we used to do that a lot more where people engaged and learnt from imagery.” Gerard O’Connor tells Star Observer.

“The concept that Mark came up with, was that things were heat sensitive. Everyone’s temperature was being taken over COVID, so we did these heat sensitive images and then we used a sexually fluid model, which I think embraces and speaks to everybody.

“We had eight different garments to shoot for this particular series. It almost has this alien futuristic feel to it as well as something a bit historical with this 50s hospital vibe.”

 However, the series stand to do more than just celebrate our health workers and to be embracive of fluidity, as O’Connor explains.

“The idea of coming out of COVID and everyone trying to be a bit more creative and thoughtful about where they are going with fashion.

“I think over the period of the lockdown people were watching those documentaries on how poisonous fashion is to the planet, all these young fashion designers responded in isolation by being creative, about thinking of how to support a world in such flux and change.”

Pausing for a moment, O’Connor adds that “for so long we have embraced white middle class females or males. I think gender fluidity is the key, not only for the future of acceptance but the future of beauty too. We have to keep making these kinds of stories and showing these kinds of images to make other people secure in who they are, the only way we change history is by seeing strong images, the more you see it, less people judge it.”

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