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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Akira Isogawa, 2001

Peter Brew-Bevan

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 50.6 cm x 40.9 cm, image: 48.9 cm x 38.8 cm)

Akira Isogawa (b. 1964), fashion designer, was born in Kyoto, Japan, and first came to Australia on a working holiday at the age of twenty- one. Excited by what he saw as the country’s ‘fresh and youthful spirit,’ he moved here permanently, working as a waiter by night while studying fashion design at East Sydney TAFE and Sydney’s National Art School. In 1993 he opened the Akira Isogawa boutique in Woollahra, and swiftly established a reputation for his bold and intelligent clothes. His collections have appeared annually at Sydney’s Australian Fashion Week since 1996, when he sent all his models out wearing red socks because he couldn’t afford shoes for them. Since 1998 he has shown his Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections annually in Paris. He has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art and has twice featured in the Powerhouse Museum’s Fashion of the Year retrospective. At 1999’s Australian Fashion Industry Awards he was named Designer of the Year and Womenswear Designer of the Year. Akira Isogawa: Printemps été, at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2004–05, was the first solo exhibition of an Australian designer’s work to be shown at one of its major art institutions. In 2005 Isogawa was one of six designers depicted on the ‘Australian Legends’ series of stamps issued by Australia Post; on receipt of a postcard, his father in Japan, who had decried Akira’s choice of career, assumed that his son had somehow made the stamp himself as a novelty item. Isogawa has designed costumes for several Sydney Dance Company productions, and for the Australian Ballet’s production of Graeme Murphy’s Romeo and Juliet.

Peter Brew-Bevan (b. 1969) majored in painting at the South Australian School of Art and Design, taking to photography while completing his degree. Moving to Sydney, he came to specialise in portraiture, contributing to Vogue, Who, Elle, Inside Sport and Condé Nast Traveller. He photographed Akira Isogawa half-hidden amongst the cardboard templates used to create the patterns for his exquisitely detailed garments, with one of his own labels adhering to his hand.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
© Peter Brew-Bevan

Accession number: 2005.77

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Peter Brew-Bevan (age 32 in 2001)

Akira Isogawa (age 37 in 2001)

Subject professions

Architecture, design and fashion

Donated by

Peter Brew-Bevan (6 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

An interview with Akira Isogawa video: 4 minutes 18 seconds
An interview with Akira Isogawa video: 4 minutes 18 seconds
An interview with Akira Isogawa video: 4 minutes 18 seconds
An interview with Akira Isogawa video: 4 minutes 18 seconds

Akira Isogawa

Inside the patterns

Portrait story

Iconic Australian fashion designer, Akira Isogawa discusses the development of his unique style.

Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner

Portraits for Posterity

Previous exhibition, 2006

Drawn from some of the many donations made to the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Portraits for Posterity pays homage both to the remarkable (and varied) group of Australians who are portrayed in the portraits and the generosity of the many donors who have presented them to the Gallery.

Akira Isogawa, 2001 Peter Brew-Bevan
Akira Isogawa, 2001 Peter Brew-Bevan
Akira Isogawa, 2001 Peter Brew-Bevan
Akira Isogawa, 2001 Peter Brew-Bevan

Peter Brew-Bevan Portraits

Previous exhibition, 2005

In this exhibition Sydney based photographer Peter Brew-Bevan brings together an intimate collection of works that highlight his passion for the genre of portraiture over the last 10 years

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.