Ad Astra | A Cosmic Collaboration

Taking to Dalton to launch the latest saga of their collaborative collection, design students Billy Barrett and Yaku Stapleton, through an exhilarating launch party, showcased and celebrated Ad Astra, a line as limitless in imagination as the name would suggest.

Ad Astra meaning ‘to the stars’, was born from the fusion of two inspired mindsets, signature techniques from each designer stand out across the collection but are moulded into a cohesive, blend of originality. “Billy developed the graphics, both on the garments and promotional materials to create character, and his artistic eye for colour palette compliments Yaku’s different methods of dying and bleaching the garments. We are constantly learning from and pushing one another”.

Hosting the fervent attendees, Junction House was transformed, holding an atmosphere of pure exhilaration. Live music resonated throughout the venue from artists including Kirby Forest, JobiFuego and Goyhardt, each performance feeding into the tone of the event, perfectly pairing with the vibe for Ad Astra.

Incorporating the rave culture lifestyle, built for the individuals that live and breathe for the electronic beats and chaotic mosh pits, Ad Astra was revealed, packing out the venue’s second floor, railings filled with staple Ad Astra pieces lined the walls, readily available to party goers eager to get their hands on the cosmically dyed pieces.

The nature of the launch perfectly showcased the merge between the collection and the rave atmosphere it was created for. Attendees skanked out to the music seeping its way up into the second floor, surrounded by the colourful collection, downstairs attendees wore newly purchased pieces to throw themselves and others around mosh pits in the basement party below. Designing for the wearer, the collection is fused with elements that perfectly represent its clientele “If our clothing had a purpose it would be to wear them to raves and events. People create memories at our parties and having a t shirt or jacket or whatever makes that moment last forever”.

Injecting subtle, innovative links to the collections name, t-shirts incorporate redesigned logos resembling that of Nasa badges, imagery of figures resembling the design duo stood on top of the Earth are combined with original hand printing, creating a signature aesthetic for the Ad Astra collaboration. Influenced by fictional space bandits and cartoons, each piece relates to the primary concept behind the collection ‘to the stars. “This collection we took influence from fictional space bandits, cartoons like cowboy bebop, beavis and butthead and tried to extend the narrative surrounding the characters of @b___.___y. This is definitely the start for these little guys, we want to build them in their own right, push their limits, and see what trouble they can get into”.

Encompassed within the collection, an array of hand printing and dying, a trialling process fuelled by casual experimentation, a technique that ultimately led to an inimitable and utterly original range of shirts, t-shirts, bags and jeans, piecing together the cosmic collection. “It was quite experimental and even chaotic to start with, trying out different methods of dying and bleaching, screen printing and up-cycling vintage pieces. Then we will refine the collection to make it comprehensive and use this with the promotional material to create a culture around the collaborations and their events. Moving forward we are looking to become more efficient and consistent with our output.”.

Enduring with their independent creation, each of the designers offers an exclusive distinct style, channelled skilfully into the Ad Astra collaboration. Perfected and refined, the collection acts as new signature to the street style aesthetic. Moving away from the generalised contemporary trends, the collaboration paves a new pathway of design, as limitless as the collections name would suggest. Unconforming, a collection formed solely from innovation, vision and boundless creativity.

Closing the event, Max Parko ended the launch with a set of vibrant jungle beats, leaving party goers with an essence of euphoria and an extra-terrestrial collection.

Photography - Tyler Tl

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