Interview with Owner / Designer of Deadly Garments – Brendan D.
Another interview, kind of. We tried something different, you’ll notice the tenses bounce around but that doesn’t really matter; it basically turned into an email catch up between two friends doing different things. I’m not going to pretend it’s more than that and neither should you. A short chat stretched over a long period with Sydney based DIY and design guru and the face behind clothing label Deadly Garments, the ever humble and ever modest, Brendan Davies.
We’re both from small towns either side of Coffs Harbour on the mid north coast of NSW, Australia; I met Brendan at a time when we thought getting discounted boards and clothes meant we’d made it BIG. More recently, we caught up for the ‘UPFRONT- an exhibition celebrating t-shirt culture’ midway through 2013 at Curve Gallery, Newcastle where I was living at the time. We talked everything from design, surfing, horse-shit political figures to, of course, film photography. I always appreciated the way he’d always carry a camera, just pull it out whenever he felt like it and capture everything from street scenes, portraits to live music. Just the day-to-day as he saw it. Here goes, interview number two.
TFH: I’m a not so secret admirer of your photos and DIY ethic, but for those who don’t know, describe who are you are and what do you do?
BD: I’m me, Brendan D. I’m a designer (observant asshole) based in Sydney Australia that dabbles in graphic design, art, photography and clothing.
TFH: I’m sending this to you through the Internet, where are you right now?
BD: I’m currently sitting in a pub on Smith St., Melbourne. It’s 5.17pm and I’m 2 1/2 pots of Coopers deep. Good times! What are you up to mate?!
TFH: I’m battling the rising panic of undeveloped film left stored in the heat of Mexico. I’m knocking around the house down here, just had a last surf for this trip, trying to make a start on packing, trying to decide which boards to take and making my way north, back to the States in the next couple of days.
Melbourne. Work or pleasure? So many of our friends from the East Coast ended up in cities; you’re now based in Sydney. Where and why? What’s the attraction?
BD: Was there (Melbourne) for a little of both, mainly just a break to see some fresh scenery. Always inspiring down there.
I’m currently living in Redfern. It’s a good central hub in Sydney, with plenty going on. I guess the attraction to the city lifestyle comes from my interests and creative pursuits. You’re never going to get half the amount of shit happening somewhere like Coffs (Harbour) or some of the other small towns in that area.
TFH: Any secrets of adaptation, from living in regional NSW, to the renowned hustle and bustle of the Surrey Hills / Redfern circles?
BD: I dunno? I’ve been here for four years this stint. Time flies! No secrets, you either enjoy living in a city or you don’t. It’s definitely a faster pace of life. I just plug in and get busy. I guess it’s good because you have the option, if you want to go out five nights a week, there is always something on, or on the other hand you’ve got everything at your doorstep and you can completely fly under the radar. Best of both worlds.
TFH: We’re all familiar with Deadly Garments, but I’m also interested in photographs and your interest in film photography. Is it love? A glance at your Instagram and there is a lot of black and white – what’s your favourite camera and film combination?
BD: Are we?? Haha, who is we? I dig the b/w film photography because it is what it is. Contax t2 w/ Ilford Delta 400.
TFH: What was your first film camera?
BD: Dodgy old plastic Holga. Had very little idea what I was doing. This came out of it though.
TFH: From where do you draw inspiration?
BD: I liked seeing photos of old punk shows, and old portraits of the bands.
TFH: DIY is a big part of what you do and the culture you find yourself in, is there any formal education there?
BD: I “Studied” Graphic Design a while back. But its all been trial & error since. Learnt a bit of clothing production along the way.
TFH: What’s next for Brendan Davies and the Deadly Garments label?
BD: New year, new projects. Got a bit of freelance to see the year out and will have a new range for DG due out in November.
Don’t look too far ahead, you’ll get lost.
You can also find more of what Brendan D. is up to now and in the future at –