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MANUSCRIPT Call to the Wild : Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang creates a spectacular installation inspired by the Australian landscape. The Ringmaster : How designer Thom Browne radically changed the menswear form with a single grey suit.

The Italian Job : Giorgio Armani & his continued rise to the top. New Guard : The five young menswear designers to know.

A Singular Man AUS/NZ $6.00

From stockings to strip clubs: behind the scenes with Kirin J Callinan Photographed by Georges Antoni

Also : Graz Mulcahy, Dayne Johnston, Maison Martin Margiela x Converse,

SS14 Collection Preview & The Anniversary of the 501


Issue VII Spring 13

06 Editor’s Letter | 08 Contributors | 12 News 17 Introducing Joe Farage, Dayne Johnston, Graz Mulcahy & Vanishing Elephant Photography Kylie Coutts, Sam Hendel & Rene Vaile

26 Call to the Wild Spots and stripes (and one crazy hyena by artists Jake and Dinos Chapman) decorate the season’s key accessories. Photography Anna Pogossova

30 The Way Down Four decades of hair history are celebrated by brilliant stylist Michele McQuillan. Photography Guy Coombes

34 House of Mirrors Converse continues its creative collaborations with a significant, conceptually-underpinned project with Maison Martin Margiela. Photography Anna Pogossova

38 Blue Jeans The world’s most popular piece of clothing, Levis’ 501, is given a makeover for its 140th anniversary. Photography Anna Pogossova

40 Help Me Find My Missing Rockstars As the proliferation of slickly-produced X Factor and Australian Idol musicians reaches tipping point, we bemoan the country’s lack of otherworldly heroes. Story Jonathan Seidler

44 Big Bang Theory Chinese artist Cai-Guo Qiang unveils an ambitious – but, this time, fail-safe – exhibition at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art, which you can no doubt expect to see on everyone’s Instagram feed. Story Alison Kubler



Issue VII Spring 13

48 Between the Lines There’s a lot more to musician Kirin J Callinan than what first meets the eye. We follow the renegade on his recent London tour to uncover some truths. Photography Georges Antoni Story Josh Hall

62 The Greatest Show on Earth With a single grey suit, New York designer Thom Browne reinvented menswear. In this special portfolio, his fall/winter collection is photographed on the streets of a very wet New York City. Photography Jordan Graham Story Mitchell Oakley Smith

70 Spring/Summer 2014 Collections Preview Manuscript art director Elliott Bryce Foulkes reimagines the most interesting trends to emerge from the recent European shows, providing a special preview of the spring/summer season ahead. 80 The Rocketeer The master of Italian fashion Giorgio Armani speaks with Manuscript about staying in touch with youth culture. Photography Romain Duquesne Story Mitchell Oakley Smith

84 The Graduates In our second annual series, we profile the five best menswear designers to emerge from Australian institutions in the past year. Photography Liz Ham Story Mitchell Oakley Smith

106 Stockists



From the Editor

Since Hedi Slimane made popular the cigarette-skinny look around the turn of the millennium, no other designer has altered the way we men dress than Mr Browne: the cropped trousers-and-no socks look that’s been going around the past few summers, the cropped jackets that define suiting – all thanks to that one grey suit. We celebrate the designer’s fall collection with a series of images shot on the streets of New York City


with an all-Aussie team (including regular Manuscript models Jordan hen I first started commissioning stories for this

and Zac Stenmark) that, too, will no doubt come to have an

issue, I didn’t realise that one would answer the

effect on how we dress, even if we can’t see past the fur trims

question another poses. That is: where have all

and Amish hats just yet.

the rock stars gone? Contributing features editor Jonathan

We welcome a host of new faces to Manuscript this

Seidler bemoans the lack of sartorial, creative, emotional

issue – writer and curator Alison Kubler, photographer

and sexual power of contemporary Australian music’s

Romain Duquesne and hair stylist Michele McQuillan

frontmen, citing Michael Hutchence and Nick Cave as some

among them – but the newest of all are the up-and-coming

of the last true icons. And yet turn to page 48, and there’s

menswear designers profiled in our second annual portfolio

Kirin J Callinan, priest of the underground music scene,

of fashion design graduates (page 86). This year selected

fresh off a global tour spruiking his new album. He’s got the

from over 30 submissions, Jack Hancock, Vlad Kanevsky,

stage tricks, the fashion wit and the musical talent that had

Tim Watson, Evelyn Wong and Mia Zielinski are some of

so near vanished in the broader industry, which is probably

the most innovative, exciting and skilled young creatives

why some people find it hard to digest. As Josh Hall writes of

I’ve personally encountered and I watch in awe as they fly

recent concerts, there have been walkouts and punches thrown.

the coop to begin what are sure to be successful careers

Our cover shoot wasn’t at all stress-free – countless

in the industry. Already Mr Watson and Ms Zielinski are

reschedules, late flights, irate taxi drivers – but I think you’ll

working at Thom Browne and Bernhard Willhelm, respectively.

agree that it’s one of our finest. Mr Callinan has been made

Who said Australia wasn’t a gold mine of talent?

out somewhat negatively in the press (Mr Hall cites a less-

Until next time-

than-flattering review of his Sugar Mountain Festival performance on The Vine) and his music videos, usually in collaboration with director Kris Moyes, are aggressive, intense. He’s a subversive character, yes, but we wanted to strip that all back (literally so in one shot) and show a softer side – the polite, emotionally complex, intelligent being behind the stage persona. If the theme for the issue is about the outsiders, then York-based designer, known for wearing his own grey suits as a daily uniform, has managed to completely revolutionise the

Mitchell Oakley Smith

form of menswear with his brand of shrunken, fitted suiting.


Photo: Bowen Arico

Thom Browne is a similarly perfect inclusion. The New


Issue VII Spring 13 Editor & Publisher Mitchell Oakley Smith Creative Director Jolyon Mason

Art Director Elliott Bryce Foulkes

Contributing Features Editor Jonathan Seidler Fashion Assistant Alex Rost

Contributors Sam Addington, Georges Antoni, Peter Beard, Guy Coombes,

Kylie Coutts, Romain Duquesne, Jordan Graham, Josh Hall, Liz Ham, Sam Hendel, Jenny Kim, Alison Kubler, Max May, Michele McQuillan, Anna Pogossova, Rene Vaile

Special Thanks 2c Management, Chadwick Models, EMG Models, Kramer+Kramer,

Company1, Viviens Creative, Network Agency, MAP, Kaleidoscope Consulting, Priscillas Models, London Management, IMG Models, Shooting Birds Studio, The Artist Group Manuscript is owned published by Mitchell Oakley Smith (ABN 67 212 902 027), 8/2 Wellington Street, Woollahra NSW 2025, Printed by MPD, Unit E1 46-62 Maddox Street, Alexandria NSW 2015. © 2013 All Rights Reserved. ISSN 2201-0815.

Cover Mr Callinan wears Thom Browne glasses, available at Harrolds,

and Strand Hatters beret.

Contributors Anna Pogossova

Alison Kubler

Josh Hall

As a still-life photographer, Anna Pogossova has completely reimagined the form, making her work somewhat revolutionary. Who could imagine that inanimate objects could be so photographic, as is how they appear beneath her well-focused lens. A regular contributor to the pages of Manuscript, Ms Pogossova has also worked with Yen, 10, David Jones and Sydney Film Festival in addition to exhibiting work from her solo practice.

Brisbane-based Alison Kubler knows art. As Associate Curator of the University of Queensland Art Museum and co-author of the forthcoming book Art / Fashion in the 21st Century, Ms Kubler seemed a most appropriate writer to pen a study of the work of Cai-Guo Qiang, the Chinese artist honoured with a solo exhibition at the Sunshine State’s Gallery of Modern Art, which opens later this year.

The music writing of Josh Hall delves far deeper than what an artist sounds like. For his profile of our cover subject Kirin J Callinan, Mr Hall examined the musician’s playful experimentation with masculinity, sexuality and identity, making for an excellently in-depth read. The London-based writer has been published by i-D, Quietus and Notion, among other titles, on everything from music and books to politics and society.





Sydney Surfers Paradise Melbourne Marina Mirage Brisbane Tel. 1300 728 807

MANUSCRIPT instagram @manuscriptdaily





News Double Monk opens, Gucci creates,

Andrew McDonald collaborates, Jimmy Choo refreshes


ut Gucci, of course, isn’t the sole proprietor of hand creation. With the trend for bespoke that has taken hold of the men’s market in recent years, Sydney-based cobbler Andrew McDonald has seen significant growth in the business he initially began in 1992 .

Having moved to the city’s central business district, with a new triple-frontage workshop in the Strand Arcade, Mr McDonald says that with their custom-made suits, men now want bespoke shoes, too. “The most interesting thing is that they’re not afraid to be a bit daring,” says the shoemaker. “They’ve usually got their brogues and their derbies, so they come to me wanting something a bit different” Continuing to expand his reach, Mr McDonald has teamed with avant-garde local menswear label Song for the Mute, creating four new pairs for the label’s spring 2013 collection. This includes a unique sneaker boot that, while appearing like a sportswear-style sneaker, is created using traditional handcrafted shoemaking techniques. ← Double Monk in Fitzroy, Melbourne. ↓ The hand process behind a Gucci horsebit loafer.


arlier this year, brothers Christopher and Nick Schaerf opened upmarket men’s shoe emporium Double Monk in Melbourne’s Fitzroy: an intimate space with dark timber and brass finishes and, fittingly, a whiskey bar, following the style of

retail design favoured by other local businesses including Captains of Industry and Epatant, and Sydney’s Strand Hatters. “We wanted to create a space that would complement the quality of the shoes and accessories we are stocking,” explains Christopher. This range includes brands such as Crockett & Jones, Edward Green and GJ Cleverley – shoes, it should be noted, that carry an average price point of around $1000. In Australia, shoes – indeed, suits – that fetch such prices would have been unheard of a few years ago. But as the old


adage goes, I’m too poor to buy cheap shoes.

year with a series of events around the world. What makes Gucci’s loafers so


particularly special is a unique tubular construction – a specific upper which

appears in various iterations of shoes, particularly boat shoes and double-monk-strap

encloses the entire foot, leaving exposed the vamp part, upon which the tube

slip-ons, in coloured python skin and suede, and decorated with studs, rivets and glitter.

is sewn – requiring an exceptional level of skill in its crafting. As a result of the

A particularly eye-catching print comprises silhouettes of naked women in a camouflage

design, the shoe’s regular insole is absent, making it light and pliable.

combination, subtle to the unassuming eye, which speaks of Ms Choi’s wit.

↑ Jimmy Choo SS14, on display at London Collections: Men.

talian brand Gucci knows this well. The brand might sit at the luxury end of the market and thus command prices far beyond

t seems men’s shoes are really having a moment, and the focus is not solely

the high street, but a pair of its horsebit loafers – a cornerstone

on craftsmanship but also innovation. At the recent spring/summer 2014

of the Florentine company’s illustrious history – is one that lasts

menswear shows, footwear and accessories brand Jimmy Choo feted its

a man’s lifetime. Following a demonstration of the creation of its handbags last

new season collection with a lavish soiree at a private club in London’s

year, Gucci recently brought to Sydney a team of its Florence-based artisans,

Mayfair district. And there was much to celebrate, for the brand’s creative director

providing customers and media a chance to see the hand process inherent in

Sandra Choi had really stepped up the brand’s men’s offering with a broad collection

making a pair of leather loafers, which celebrated its sixtieth anniversary this

spanning multiple product stories inspired by Robert Longo’s art series Men in the Cities, in which the artist looks at styles outside of traditional fashion capitals. This concept



News Bantu arrives, Saturdays NYC visits,

Orlebar Brown prints, Surf Stitch marks a mark



round the turn of the millennium, as Australian men began to take an interest in their personal style and step out of flip-flops and boardshorts, surfwear looked set to be rendered outdated, a notion confirmed by the recent sale and takeover of troubled

surfwear brand Billabong. But a look at some of the brands dominating the

hen it comes to online fashion retailing, sites at the luxury end, such as Mr Porter and Matches, tend to get all of the attention, and yet somewhat unassumingly local surf and swim store has continued to grow at a rapid pace. Launched by Lex Pedersen

and Justin Cameron in 2008, the store opened a dedicated European office, in

local and international menswear market suggests that surf- and swimwear

France, two years ago, and was last year named Australia’s top online retailer.

isn’t dead, it’s just evolving. New to the Australian market this season is

Now comes news that the site has reached 500 brands in its product portfolio, including Wrangler and Insight, making it one of the largest stores in the fashion

Bantu, a men’s and women’s surf brand from Africa. The brainchild of designer Yodit Eklund, Bantu is inspired by Africa’s “transition from the dark continent

sector, rivaling most

to the bearer of light”, he says, and merges the rich history of African art and

department stores. Mr

textiles with its surf culture. The company employs many traditional processes

Pedersen puts the growth

by working with local craftspeople, ensuring its production meets ethics

down to good service.

standards, and spearheaded the Bantu Ambassador Program, in which the

“Providing our customers

brand organises monthly beach clean-ups and surfing trips for children from

with exclusive and unique

under-privileged communities.

products, together with


continually investing in

t’s not new to Australia, already boasting a keen following in

our customer service

Sydney and Melbourne care of its presence at independent

and site experience, are

multi-retailer Incu, but Saturdays NYC recently saw revived

all things we strongly

interest care of its founders’ visit to Sydney to speak at the

believe in,” he says.

Semi-Permanent conference. All surfers that had relocated to New York City, friends Josh Rosen, Morgan Collett and Colin Tunstall opened their multi-


brand surf store and cafe on Crosby Street in 2009 as a way of connecting with the city’s surfing community. This, they tell, is surprisingly large, with groups

all it our constant nostalgia for the past, but the Orlebar Brown

of people travelling an hour out of the city to the Rockaways, New Jersey or

‘Miami Illustrations’ capsule collection is pretty terrific. The

Montauk on weekends to surf while living their weekday life in the concrete

swimwear and lifestyle brand’s signature swim shorts, round-neck

jungle. Saturdays quickly became a destination selling surf equipment,

t-shirt and short-sleeve poplin shirt provide a canvas for the

accessories, coffee (they’re now working on their own blend) and casual clothing

reproduction of 50s-style illustrations depicting Art Deco Miami architecture,

and swimwear. The clothing, which they export to Australia, amongst other

convertible cars and elegant ladies lounging by the water. The concept of printing

countries, and sell in their two New York and two Japan stores, is now the bulk

images on clothing is certainly nothing new, but these illustrations are so

of their business, but it came later, after first selling other brands. “It fed off our

charming and the approach so simple that, for summer, the pieces are excellent

background,” explains Mr Rosen. “We came from different realms of the fashion

wardrobe additions.

business, and while we weren’t designers per se, we knew what we wanted to accomplish, which was a timeless range of apparel that is classic and consistent.”

↑ ↑ An illustration from Orlebar Brown's latest capsule collection. ↑ A look from Saturdays NYC, available at Incu.

Mr Tunstall adds: “We’re in New York. It’s filled with fashion and trends, so we take all of that and filter it through. It’s easy for us to see trends but also avoid them.”













t’s very easy to label the aesthetic of New Zealand label Zambesi as androgynous, given some of the clothes fall into that

Rick Owens-style of unconventionality that defies description. But at the same time, it’s easy to be mistaken. It’s true that a lot of what Zambesi creates is in a dark colour palette – often black – and that silhouettes subvert traditional form, but far from Paris or New York, the little-label-that-could boasts an identity uniquely its own, stemming from over three decades of history. The house’s menswear designer, Dayne Johnston, says that after he graduated from Wellington Polytechnico university with a degree in fashion design, there was nowhere else he wanted to work but Zambesi, where he has been employed since 2003. In that time, the business has grown steadily in profile and size, and he works alongside its co-founder, Liz Findlay, who is responsible for the label’s womenswear offering. The working relationship – a fluid, open dialogue – is one that creates cohesiveness between the men’s and women’s collections. “I guess we’re known for black, and I can’t deny that we do a lot of it,” Mr Johnston explained following Zambesi’s presentation at Australian Fashion Week

DAYNE JOHNSTON Menswear Designer, Zambesi

earlier this year, the label’s first in three years. “But I think there’s a sense of mystery to Zambesi. We’re always challenging ourselves and are always true to our ideas. There’s no compromise.” In a fast-moving contemporary fashion business, where ideas are diluted and aesthetics sacrificed for sales, Zambesi is focused on consistency. “It’s not about changing

into the style, Mr Johnston shifted his focus to a

the style every season,” says Mr Johnston, “because

more utilitarian style, which comes full circle to the

one collection flows onto the next.”

history and aesthetic of Zambesi.

For spring/summer, Mr Johnston was interested

Launched officially in 1979 in Auckland by Ms

in exploring the possibilities of denim, but rather than

Findlay and her husband Neville, Zambesi is one of

creating a pair of classic five-pocket jeans, he used a

the most established fashion labels in the Asia-Pacific

lightweight stretch indigo denim as a base canvas,

region, and certainly one of the most consistent.

just as he would cotton or wool. In this way, the fabric

Though the company now operates 5 retail stores and

took on an unexpected quality in dungarees and

a network of wholesale accounts both in New Zealand,

tailored suiting, contrasted with transparent shirting.

Australia and across the world, market whims and

“The way we work is very organic,” explains the

changes haven’t affected the ethos of the business.

designer. “We have an idea and it evolves as we go

“I think the remoteness of this country can sometimes

along.” This season’s collection, for example, was

make you feel isolated, but mostly it motivates you

initially sparked by a vintage leather motorcycle

because you have time to concentrate and develop

one-piece suit Mr Johnston discovered at a small

your work without being sidetracked,” says Mr

store in Paris, which sat on his desk in Auckland for

Johnston. “I get inspired by travel, how it shifts my

the next few months.

energy, but being in Europe twice a year is enough.”

It’s almost impossible to recognise the

Mr Johnston makes the pilgrimage to Paris

motorcycle suit in the resultant collection, and nor

during the seasonal menswear collections to place

is there much leather, but as Mr Johnston explained,

orders from designers such as Raf Simons, Maison

inspiration is never a direct reference. “We did a fitted

Martin Margiela and Rick Owens, which Zambesi

motorcycle jacket, and some of the pants have knee

stocks alongside its own products in its retail stores.

coverings, and there’s a chest harness. You can’t see

In doing so, Zambesi has made its stores destinations

the motorcycle suit when you look at the collection,

for a very specific aesthetic, thus building a loyal

but I really studied its cut and pattern, and it’s

clientele that helps it navigate growing competition

present in a very cut-up way.” Tailoring, sometimes

from online retailers. But, of course, Zambesi remains

unconventional in the form of the motorcycle suit,

the focus for Ms Findlay and Mr Johnston. “I started

forms the backbone of Mr Johnston’s menswear

here because I was really passionate about the brand,

collections, and from the starting point of a suit or

and always admired what they’d done,” says Mr

blazer, he works his way into softer pieces. The past

Johnston. “I’m so immersed in the house and we still

few seasons saw a juxtaposition of sportswear and

do everything by hand, which makes it an honour to

tailoring but, just as everyone else began tapping

still be here because I respect the brand so much.”


Mr Johnston photographed by Rene Vaile on 09 February 2013 at his office,

Auckland, New Zealand.



or a brand to succeed in the mid-market category of Australian fashion today, it should be stylish, well made and, most importantly, price-competitive. With the

proliferation of global retailers targeting Australian consumers via online stores, it’s little wonder that so many local brands find it challenging to compete and, indeed, some have shuttered altogether. Not so for Vanishing Elephant. The five-year old men’s and womenswear label has just opened a second store, in Westfield Bondi Junction, to accompany its original space in Melbourne’s QV centre, boasts an ever-growing wholesale network, having just cracked the lucrative yet typically illusive US market, and maintains seriously credible celebrity clientele despite its entry-level price point. Huw Bennett, Felix Chan and Arran Russell established Vanishing Elephant in 2008 as ‘a collection of classics made to love and last’, and essentially, the mantra still remains, following fashion’s return to a more classic style of dressing in recent years. “We’re quite different to most Australian menswear brands in that our collection is really based around shirting,” explains Mr Chan. “We try to be quite classic, as that whole androgynous, layered look is not what we like or what we wear.” As Mr Bennett adds: “We are all classic, easy-dressing guys, and so steer clear of trends as much as possible. At the end of the day we’re not reinventing the wheel. It’s a matter of making pieces that are classic and work well.” The three co-founders share combined experience in fashion sales, marketing, design and production, with Mr Chan and Mr Bennett coming from sales agents backgrounds, and Mr Russell a designer. “It was a pretty natural step for all of us,” says Mr Chan. “We had known each other for quite a while and we all recognised the gap in the menswear market.” Although begun without a particularly formal plan, Vanishing Elephant is a business that has grown considerably. Online trading began in 2011, with the first retail store opening in October and a collaboration with Stussy on a 10-piece capsule in December of the same year. These achievements were celebrated in April at Australian Fashion Week with the brand’s first runway show, presented in a railway museum at the Australian Technology Park. Vanishing Elephant isn’t a label designed for the runway, per se, but with such a significant national following, the event felt like a celebration. “It’s almost impossible to measure the success of these things, and they take such an enormous amount of time,” says Mr Bennett. “I don’t think we need to do it again, but it was good to get it off our minds, and it was a fun experience,” adds Mr Russell. What was apparent in Vanishing Elephant’s presentation was the correlation between its men’s and women’s lines, which until now have been “designed together at the same time, sharing a lot of fabrics and a lot of prints,” says Mr Russell, but having just hired a fulltime womenswear designer allows Mr Chan to spend more time focusing on the menswear collections. “Womenswear,” he says, “doesn’t come naturally to me.” This, too, will allow the founders to spend more time focusing on each collection, of which they design six per year, as they further develop relationships with their makers and sales agents. The brand’s presence in the US has been growing steadily, and the founders are now now working with their third – and best, they say – sales agent. “We probably went too early, and it’s so important to find the right distributor and channels,” says Mr Russell, “but that said, it’s never going to be easy selling in a country that you’re not based in.” But, as their fans will be happy to note, Australia remains their main business focus, with 35 wholesale accounts in

From left: Mr Bennett, Mr Chan and Mr Russell

addition to multi-door partnerships with General Pants Co. and

photographed by Sam Hendel

David Jones, as well as two standalone stores.

on 21 March 2013 at the their office,

Vanishing Elephant is now open

Surry Hills, Australia.

in Westfield Bondi Junction.



Huw Bennett, Felix Chan & Arran Russell

Co-Founders and Directors, Vanishing Elephant 21


JOE FARAGE Founder & Designer, Farage


he graveyard of Australian fashion labels

Melbourne and Brisbane were largely unheard of.

that the service is now about desire over need.

has been growing rather steadily in the

As a gap in the marketplace, Mr Farage was wise to

“When we first began it was mostly really tall or

years since the global financial crisis.

top into the tailoring market, and over the course of

broader guys that were coming to us for a custom

Customers are spending less, and the cash they

a few years the business opened retail stores in

fit, whereas now it’s all about wanting it. They

are pulling out is often on tax-free imported pieces

Australian capital cities in fast succession, now

may fit an off-the-rack suit with some minor

from online retailers, such is the efficiency, access

maintaining six standalone spaces and a

alternations, but they want to have a say in styling,

and low costs associated with the newfound

burgeoning online portal.

for it to be completely fitted for their body, to be part

practice. Historically a small industry, Australian

Much has changed in the past fifteen years,

of the process.”

fashion businesses have been scrambling to keep

and while Mr Farage has evolved the aesthetic of

up with foreign retailers and designers, opening

his offering to suit the epoch and his customers’

unique over trend? Accessibility, believes Mr

their doors and web browsers to local shoppers

needs, the clothing side of the business remains

Farage. “The magazines, the websites, the sheer

with zeal. The key, of course, is to adapt.

largely untouched. As with the very first collection,

amount of information at customers’ disposal.

“It’s about evolving the whole brand,” says Joe

What has changed that men now opt for the

Farage produces its shirting range – a core of the

We had to push really hard to educate men on

Farage, the founder and designer of his namesake

business – in its own Sydney-based factory, giving

what was great about suiting ten years ago, and

local suiting business. “Online has changed

the brand “a great advantage on our competitors

sometimes as much as we pushed it still wouldn’t

everything and you need to be able to integrate

in terms of speed to market and quality control,”

happen. That is absolutely not the case anymore.”

[physical] retail and online, to have a seamless

explains Mr Farage. “While there are margin

With any significant shift in the market, everyone

offering, and really you should have by now.” As a

pressures to go off-shore, it doesn’t give you that

is keen to get on board, but Mr Farage is dubious

businessman, having maintained directorship of

flexibility which is so important. I can have things

about most businesses claiming to offer a bespoke

his brand, Mr Farage finds the conversation around

in stores in a week, and if I had to rely on outsourcing,

service. “At the end of the day it’s about the

the boardroom table has greatly shifted in the past

it’d be more like four months. I also see significant

experience as much as the end-product, and

decade. “Back then it was all about our mills, the

benefits in backing the Australian market.”

that can only be achieved with the right

tailoring, and while it’s still important, so too is now

Recently, Mr Farage moved his suiting

three-hour shipping, click-and-collect practices,

production from New Zealand to Europe, opting

with ordering custom-made shirts and suits

Instagram, Twitter… you need to be thinking far

for the quality and history. “It’s about like-minded

online. It’s about being part of the design journey.”

more broadly now.”

operators that share our interest in craftsmanship,”

Mr Farage founded his business in 1998, a

measurements. I’ve heard of many casualties

he says. Given bespoke – or, to be respectful of

few years prior to Australian men awakening to

the copyright laws surrounding Savile Row tailoring,

the notion of personal style and dressing well. At

made-to-measure – is such a significant part of

this time, few international brands maintained

the Farage brand, it makes sense that quality is

any significant presence in the local market and

important to its founder. Originally introduced in

the small tailoring outfits that now dot Sydney,

2003, the greatest difference, says Mr Farage, is


Mr Farage photographed by Kylie Coutts

on 19 March 2013 at his office, Surry Hills, Australia.






there remains no degree or course for eyewear design beyond the broader subjects of industrial or fashion design. Graffiti gave him a leg up. “With graffiti you have a specific word or character that has to be stylised within the boundaries of legibility, and eyewear is the same. The area and boundaries are relatively limited and the smallest changes make the biggest differences.” Mr Mulcahy originally put aside his own name, beginning the eyewear collections of local brands AM and Ksubi, both of which now boast mass industry credibility as a result, but a crave to do his own thing led to the establishment of Graz in 2009. “Like most partnerships, circumstances can change and this for me always led to a diluted design result. It was an ego thing, really – I wanted to make for me and my immediate tribe.” And that he still does: each frame style and collection is marked with initials representing the name of a friend that has or is inspiring him. The band of customers, however, stems far beyond his friends, with his


Designer & Founder, Graz


range sold globally. Australia aside, France is his biggest market, interestingly, as it remains one of the only countries to resist the corporate takeover that has seen the likes of Sunglass Hut and OPSM shut down countless independent boutiques both here and abroad. Helpful, too, is Mr Mulcahy’s base of Hong Kong, where he moved last year in a bid to aid the development and production of his collections. The city, he says, is developing at a rapid pace, which makes it really enjoyable as home, but it also sits on the doorstep of the world’s eyewear production. As a self-described eyewear nerd, it’s important he can visit the factories and speak with the production people that will create the frames that carry his name. And beyond the craftsmanship, it’s no wonder the frames are so popular around the world: they’re really different to everything else on the market. These are not the traditional aviator styles recycled by designer brands season after season, but a new proposition in eyewear design altogether. A pair of

s you’ll notice of the portrait at left, Graz Mulcahy doesn’t wear glasses.

optical frames from the current season has a slight cats-eye shape in the

Well, sunglasses for the summer, yes, and he’ll occasionally be coerced

curvature of the top, but interestingly are half-clear and half-black in colour,

into popping on a pair of his signature frames for a shoot, but he’s not

while traditional rectangle frames are rendered in different shades of opaque,

an eyewear designer that creates for himself. In fact, he’s not much of a fan of

from clear to brown to grey. He’s inspired, he says, but artists such as Jake and

most eyewear in the way it creates a barrier between the wearer and those

Dinos Champman, James Turrell and Bill Henson, which makes sense, in a way.

around them. The Nicole Ritchie type of eyewear shield is not one he wishes to

The artists are disparate in medium but share a common exploration of and

replicate. “Eyes,” he says, “are people’s best feature. I don’t want to hide them

reshaping of form, just as Mr Mulcahy’s eyewear blurs the distinction between

but frame them, make them a feature.” If they are the, as has been said, the

optical necessity and wearable art.

window to the soul, then Mr Mulcahy – or Graz, or he’s known to most – wants to make sure that window is open. Mr Mulcahy is very friendly. It’s the first thing you notice about him. On the day of his portrait, he’d just flown in from Hong Kong and was making jokes about the fact that he only wears grey but had brought along a white shirt at our request and occasionally ducked into the bathroom to fluff up his fringe to give the appearance of a thicker mop. But the designer’s affable demeanor belies what is an incredibly wise business mind and strong worth ethic. You don’t go from being a juggler and unicyclist to running a globally successful business with no higher or tertiary education without having some street smarts. Mr Mulcahy, 30, grew up in Byron Bay in New South Wales’ far north coast before it became gentrified by tourists. There wasn’t a lot to do, he says, and so to fill his days between school he began to graffiti and build skate ramps, though found he wasn’t so great at the latter, which led him to mastering the aforementioned circus tricks. “I thought one day I would be a street performer that travelled the world from Glastonbury to Darling Harbour,” he explains. “It never panned out, and after sustaining a uni-cycling injury – a phrase impossible to say with a straight face – he invested more time in graffiti, beginning his first business creating t-shirts with custom prints. Similarly, he fell into eyewear rather by accident, too. “I had no experience and knew that I wanted to draw things and carve a career in the arts. When I moved to Sydney and saw all the private school kids with the cash and connections getting into fashion, I thought I’d be eaten alive and knew I needed something different I could advance in.” Back then there was only a handful

Mr Mulcahy photographed by Sam Hendel

of good independent eyewear brands in the market – more than today, of course

on 24 May 2013

– and next to none of them available in Australia, providing a gap in the market

in Point Piper, Australia.

for Mr Mulcahy to carve a niche. Though he came to the field with no experience,



Into the Wild

Time and again, these spotted and striped prints make a return to mainstream fashion – evidence, perhaps, of our animalistic desire to escape. In the fall collections, however, the digital permutations appear on classic, refined garments, imbuing the theme with newfound relevance.

Photography Anna Pogossova Artwork & Styling Elliott Bryce Foulkes



Burberry bag. Opposite: Comme des Garcons shirt, available at Harrolds. 27




Burberry boots, Christian Louboutin slip-on shoes. Opposite: Louis Vuitton sweater with Jake & Dinos Chapman embroidered artwork. 29



Our intrepid team treks through four decades of hair history with most pleasing results. Everything old is indeed new again.

Photography Guy Coombes | Styling Mitchell Oakley Smith Grooming & Hair Michele McQuillan



Jac+Jack sweater. Opposite: Topman shirt. Ms McQuillan used Tigi 'Queen for a Day' and Cloud Nine 'Micro Wand'. Opposite: Fudge 'Skyscraper' hairspray.



Saba t-shirt. Opposite: ASOS t-shirt,

Fudge 'Push It Up Blow Dry Spray', 'Think Big Texture Spray',

and Cloud Nine 'Waving Wand'.



Harry Field/EMG Models



House of Mirrors

Story Mitchell Oakley Smith & Alison Kubler Photography Anna Pogossova 34


A collaborative project with Maison Martin Margiela is an interesting proposition. Already known for its highly intellectual platform and wit, providing the avant-garde French house with access to another brand’s products inevitably sparks fresh discussion about its artistic approach, as is the case with its most recent project with street shoe brand Converse. This is not the first time the house has worked outside of its own confines. Mr Margiela, of course, had served as artistic director of womenswear at Hermes from 1997 to 2003, and following his retirement in 2012, the house collaborated with high-street retailer H&M, the epitome of global massproduced fashion, to produce a capsule collection of more wearable and affordable versions of some of the founder’s signature designs. Some observers branded the H&M collaboration an insult to Mr Margiela’s original creative vision, while others saw it as a deliberate act of performance. Fashion critic Fiona Duncan labeled it “a continuation of Margiela’s funhouse-mirror reflection of the fashion system, an inside joke and an insidious proposal of protest, a statement on authenticity and mechanical reproduction”. Maison Martin Margiela’s broader critical engagement with fashion could be described as absurdist or surrealist. The house’s collections regularly employ non-traditional materials – lining as outerwear, for example – and question notions of what constitutes a finished garment. This conceptual approach often results in improbable, surreal pieces including jackets made of collaged gloves or belts, and the designer’s notorious ‘Hair Coat’, which incorporated wigs resembling human hair. Another important aspect of Mr Margiela’s work involved upcycyling vintage clothes: in 1994 he made an entire collection out of pieces from his past collections. Some designs also played with shape and volume, becoming surrogate bodies that can be either inflated to grotesque proportions or divided so that they include only one arm and one leg. Mr Margiela’s agenda was not about celebrating conventional notions of beauty, and performance has always played into the way his collections have been presented. Followers of Mr Margiela’s work will recall the designer’s solo exhibition at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam in 1997, for which garments from the label’s archive were reproduced in neutral tones and then treated with various strains of bacteria, yeast and mould so that the colours of the fabric altered over the course of the exhibition: a case of fashion meets science as mediated by art.



The Converse Maison Martin Margiela project is part of the brand’s First String program that has seen previous collaborations with Damien Hirst, Terence Koh and Missoni, which provide free reign to the artist or designer for their creative play. Where others, such as Missoni, are recognisable because of their aesthetic, Maison Martin Margiela’s focus was on the conceptual underpinnings of the project. Clean and fresh on first purchase, the sneakers are painted so that over time the top coat gradually chips and wears to reveal another colour beneath, playing into the Maison Martin Margiela framework that a piece of fashion should evolve with a wearer and be completely unique for them. The shoes are available red, black, navy and a vintage-type yellow known to Maison Martin Margiela devotees. It seems a fitting approach to the project given that in contemporary popular culture, a fresh pair of unscuffed sneakers has become the ultimate fashion accessory, as made popular by hip-hop musicians. In creating something that will inevitably change and thus never be perfect, Maison Martin Margiela hints at the inherent folly of fashion and avoids the possibility that the item can be copied.





Blue Jeans It’s hard to imagine that one item of clothing might define a decade of sartorial evolution, let alone 140 years. And yet as American brand Levi’s celebrates that very anniversary of its famed ‘501’ jeans, a look back at the way the garment has remained in vogue goes some way in explaining its accumulated cultural worth. Levi Strauss didn’t invent denim, per se, but can certainly be credited with inventing jeans as we know them today. Having pooled his cash with tailor Jacob Davis to apply for a patent for riveted pockets on work pants – specifically so that areas of strain, such as the pockets, wouldn’t tear so easily – the button-fly blue jeans were born in May, 1873. They remain the world’s best selling item of clothing. What’s interesting about the ‘501’ is that despite changes in fashion, it remains untouched as a style. We might purport that this is the same for Savile Row suiting, for example, but even for die-hard vintage enthusiasts that commission pieces in 19th century silhouettes, fabrics have greatly evolved: those used today are lighter as a result of finer microns. How brilliant for one company to design a garment that has been embraced by so broad a demographic in so many eras: from 1920s lumberjacks to 1960s skinheads. It’s no wonder the item is so envied by other designers that must evolve their wares to reflect and cater to the epoch. “I wish I had invented blue jeans,” said Yves Saint Laurent to New York Magazine. “They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.” In celebrating the continued popularity of the 501, the brand has launched a campaign, 501 Interpretation, which invites wearers to submit images of themselves wearing theirs in much the same way as Burberry’s Art of the Trench campaign. Actively engaging new and existing customers via the #501 hashtag, a selection of the images will be published in a tome by the company, aptly titled Book of 501. Levi’s has identified that while its classic garment remains popular, in today’s market you’re only as good as your last sale. And so in marking a new chapter in the history of the iconic garment, the 501 has been released in a range of new colours – chalk blue, ivy green, beige and white in a light-weight, shrink-to-fit twill fabric. Additionally, reinforced stitching, larger pockets and updated belt loops, inseams and cuffs mark a significant evolution of the garment. The campaign’s tagline, Same As Always Like Never Before, sums up the shift in approach.

Story Mitchell Oakley Smith Photography Anna Pogossova 38




David Corio/Michael Ochs Archives; Michael Putland/Hulton Archive.

Nick Cave,

circa 1980.



PLEASE HELP ME FIND MY MISSING ∏OCKSTA∏S With the music industry more over-produced than ever, a distinct lack of offbeat personalities – and personal style – now pervades our homegrown culture, writes Jonathan Seidler. Michael Hutchence hung himself less than five

danger and romance has been sucked out of our

curse of reality TV, electronic production and hyper-

minutes drive from where I grew up.

biggest stadium-fillers. In its place are lead singers

inflated DJ culture is masking the obvious fact that

who could well be drummers, individuals who really

we were always just a bunch of blokes who wore the

point, though I couldn’t have possibly realised it

just want to be part of the wallpaper. They all dress

same jeans and flannel shirts while trying not to be

as a ten year-old. At lunch that afternoon with my

the same, never act out of turn, don’t challenge

different from one another. Bernard Zuel, music

grandmother, I remember seeing a bunch of women

gender roles and certainly won’t sleep with other

editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, certainly

who didn’t even know each other crowding together

singers’ wives.

thinks so. By the time Mr Hutchence exited stage

Retrospectively, that day was always a turning

over a newspaper, tears rolling down their faces. I

Nick Cave is another, and he’s still scaring the

left, he’d already been writing about Australian

wondered what kind of person could possibly have

shit out of everyone as he rapidly approaches his sixth

rock for over a decade, and he reckons flashy, fashion-

that effect on total strangers. In fact, I recall asking

decade on this planet. With his sharply tailored suits,

forward frontmen were exceptions to the rule, even

my dad later if the Pope had died.

swampy blues songs about sexual depravity and take-

in the eighties.

We don’t make them like Mr Hutchence

no-prisoners attitude, Mr Cave is not only one of the

“When he started, he didn't even face the

anymore. Sartorially, creatively, emotionally and

last genuine rock and rollers we have left, he’s also one

audience,” Mr Zuel says of the INXS heartthrob.

sexually, the intriguing allure of the frontman has

of the oldest. And the prospects for heirs to his

“It took him several years to become the more

all but vanished from the Australian musical

blackened throne are looking decidedly bleak.

strutty figure that he became known for. He was a

landscape. Having since embarked on a long career of writing about rock and roll, I’ve noticed that the

But the tinge of adopted nostalgia is decidedly rose-coloured in nature. It may well be that the recent


massively insecure, pockmarked, greasy-haired guy who did not want to be seen. He was an outlier.”


Nonetheless, Mr Hutchence did it. He was sexy,

Maybe the problem isn’t sex, but sex. It could

he was trying on a different look in every video clip

be that in focusing on the men, we’re forgetting about

and photo shoot, turning himself into the kind of

the women, many of whom are doing a far better job

shamanistic leading man that every woman would

at pushing the envelope than Mr Hutchence’s barefoot

die for (including one that eventually would). These

successors. Real riot girls like Abbe May, Bertie

are not usually the sorts of people who succeed in

Blackman, Kimbra Johnson and the late Chrissy

Australia. We are very good at propping up our heroes

Amphlett. They’ve got better outfits, stronger visual

to a point, but cutting their legs out from under them

identities and more balls than most of the blokes

when they get too ahead of themselves, when those

combined. Ms Johnson turned up to the Grammys

leather jackets start looking a bit too fitted and the

in the most out-there, brilliant Jamie Lee Major

make-up stays after they leave the stage. It’s called

dress anyone had ever seen. She even outshone the

‘tall poppy syndrome’, and we practically invented it.

perennially shimmering Prince, who was presenting

The only obvious successors to the outliers are other outliers, and all of them have made sure to

her award. Now that was rock and roll. Mr Manolo still knows that Nick Cave “likes

decamp overseas before trying anything excessively

his pants four inches from the floor and slightly

radical. Luke Steele, the kohl-rimmed Perth boy

bootcut, and nobody else can pull that off.” But there’s

who played in an avant-garde indie band, emerged

no reason why they shouldn’t try. We can’t keep

from the cocoon fully formed and dressed like a

recycling ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ on Australian Idol,

French revolutionary from space for Empire of the

hoping that it will bring us closer to some form of

Sun, no longer belongs to our country, let alone

salvation. We need danger and mystery, even if we

the planet. Daniel Johns, Steele’s longtime friend

have to force it at first. “In the '70s, there were bands

from across the plain, turned from a long-haired

who glammed up because that's just what they did;

surf rat into a purple sequined jacket-wearing, piano-

they wore make-up and ridiculous clothes,” says

pounding glam rocker. All it took was a few laps of

Mr Zuel. “It doesn't mean that they liked it. Shirley

the States and an eating disorder. “They understand

Strachan from Skyhooks, for example… that band

the British concept of having to go beyond the songs.

was incredibly lurid in their presentation, but as soon

That may get you buying the record, but it won't get

as it was possible, they pulled out from that altogether.”

you out to a show,” says Mr Zuel. “Post-Oasis, every

Ultimately, we need our fabulous rockstars,

band had to say that they wanted to be the biggest in

our ethereal, otherwordly men in leather pants or

the world. While people might be called arrogant for

Doc Martens or red velvet suits because nobody likes

that, it was still celebrated. Do that in Australia, and

to go out to a show or turn on a television and be faced

you’re just a dickhead.”

with a slightly more famous version of themselves.

Back on the ground, nobody’s really trying to

I, like you, am ordinary. We deal with ordinary

challenge or be celebrated for anything. Just ask

people every day, so having them out there as the

Alvin Manolo, who ran the now-defunct St. Augustine

flagbearers of our culture does nothing but let that

Academy brand that specialised in dressing proper

same culture stagnate.

rockstars like Nick Cave. “I think Australians are quite

When I am in my fifties, women will not wail

relaxed, where people maybe think we're kind of lazy,”

collectively over Shannon Noll, Bernard Fanning

he says. “We are not really a showy culture. Empire

or Angus Stone. Without the man, fewer people will

of the Sun, for instance; those two are really great

remember the band. Just imagine if all four of the

dressers for stage but most of our guys don't really

Beatles had been Ringo.

do that. I remember at one point sending white suits over for Angus Stone for the ARIA [Awards], but he just ended up wearing a ripped up T-shirt, baggy pants and no shoes…”. No shoes. Seriously. This isn’t just a generational thing, either. Have you seen Caleb Followil’s country-couture duds or Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys lately? The kid is barely into his twenties and has already remade himself into a living incarnation of Johnny Depp in Cry Baby, all big quiff, black leather and classic Ray-Bans. They seem to mint a new rockstar in the UK every two minutes. They love those charismatic, flashy frontmen in the US. Right now our single biggest star is Gotye, and frankly he doesn’t want to be seen in public at all. In fact, Australians generally pride themselves on trying to be invisible. After thirty plus years in the business, Mr Zuel has this philosophy down to something of a mantra: “You don't identify yourself or separate yourself from others. You don't put others down by making yourself bigger. Others might elevate you, but you do that with self-deprecation and you make a point of saying 'I am you. I am just like you. Yes, I've got all this money, but I'm still an ordinary guy.'”


“w e nee d ou ∏ ethe i n le athe


d o u ∏ fa b u lo us ∏ ock sta ∏ s , ethe ∏ ea l , othe ∏ wo ∏ d ly men the ∏ pant s o ∏ Doc M a ∏ ten s ”

Michael Hutchence, circa 1990.



Cai Guo-Qiang, Head On, 2006, 99 life-sized replicas of wolves and glass wall. Wolves: gauze, resin and painted hide. Dimensions variable. Deutsche Bank Collection, commissioned by Deutsche Bank AG.



Big Bang Theo�y As one of Chinese art’s biggest names, Cai Guo-Qiang has become something of a celebrity. But, asks Alison Kubler, with a grand new exhibition in Australia, does he merely represent our desire for an art experience?



Chinese art was well represented as part of Mr Gioni’s vision. Once the very definition of outsider art, Chinese art is now firmly established in the 21st century canon, and as such has suffered the swings and roundabouts of contemporary art fashions. Hotly collected a decade ago, its fortunes have faded somewhat, at least on the secondary market, even as the Chinese have emerged as consumers par excellance. Quite what determines longevity in the art world is something almost inexplicable – a heady combination of curatorial approbation and collectability at the big end of town. It is fair to say that Australian public galleries, dealers (namely Ray Hughes) and collectors were ahead of the first wave of Chinese artists, buying and collecting work by artists before they became big names. Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art lead the public charge with its Asia Pacific Triennale, first initiated in 1993. Twenty years on, the event is arguably the most important survey of contemporary Asian art on the international calendar, showcasing the work of artists who are now


household names, such as Takashi Murakami.

the new inside. As evidence of this trend, the 2013

Triennale from its infancy. Fondly referred to as

Venice Biennale, under the directorship of Massimiliano

the artist who likes to blow things up, his work is

Gioni, Director of the Fondazione Trussardi (arguably

characterised by a fondness for fire and gunpowder,

one of the art world’s leading museum-less institutions)

elements that speak to his cultural background and ideas

and historically the youngest curator of the prestigious

about the duality of existence, creation and destruction.

art event, upped the ante by letting the barbarians at

Unpredictable mediums at best they are hugely thrilling –

the gates well and truly in. In several cases, national

when they work. A work Cai planned for the third

pavilions usually given over to individual country’s big art

Triennale in 1999 was aborted when the fireworks

stars showcased left-of-centre artists, while Mr Gioni’s

exploded in an offsite factory where they were being

central thematically curated exhibition showpiece The

prepared, destroying months of planning. For the

Encyclopedic Palace was a roll call of nobodies (soon,

event three years prior, the artist constructed a series

inevitably, to be big names), outsiders, dead artists

of interrelated works including nine large gunpowder

and renegades, all of which left the wealthy Russians

drawings and an extensive group of plans, maps and

brandishing cheque books in a conundrum about what

blueprints for a planned but ultimately unrealised

exactly to buy. As a zeitgeist moment in art history

explosion involving 18,000 metres of explosive fuse

it constitutes something of a where-to-now for the

following the Brisbane river. That is to say, the flotilla

commercial viability of art in an economic climate where

of vessels carrying the explosives sank to the bottom of the

values are unstable and have become almost irrelevant.

river before they could ignite; a fizzer, so to speak.

n fashion parlance, contemporary art could be said

Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang has had a long and

to be experiencing an outsider moment – outside is

slightly fraught association with the gallery and the

Erika Barahona-Ede. © FMGBGuggenheim Bilbao Museoa, 2009.



The perceived failure of these works ultimately

Back to Earth, the artist will present some of his most

describes a contemporary desire for an artistic experience,

celebrated and spectacular works including Head on, a

as though the way in which art might be valued or assessed

large-scale installation that amounts to an exercise in the

can be measured by one’s experience of it. Witness, for

suspension of belief: a great arc of 99 lifelike wolves (not

example, contemporary art’s reinvention of itself as the

taxidermy but painstakingly created models) flies through

new entertainment, the art gallery and museum as the site

the air, bouncing off a glass wall in an act that is at once

of events and functions designed to get audiences in. This is

futile and fantastical – a sort of Game of Thrones meets

art as spectacle, as theatre, and Cai is the master of smoke

installation piece of art. The work belongs to the prestigious

and mirrors, further evidenced by his directorship of visual

Deutsche Bank collection and will travel to Australia for the

and special effects for the opening and closing ceremonies

first time, something of a coup for the gallery, the exclusive

of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Here, of course, there

Australian venue for the exhibition. The centerpiece of the

were no fizzers, but simultaneously, the failure of other

exhibition, however, are two major site-specific installations

works to launch ensures their longevity as an idea – it does

created for the gallery. An artist’s impression of the

not amount to a conceptual failure. Despite our seemingly

proposed work, Heritage, features 99 life-sized animals,

insatiable demand to be entertained, the original intent,

different species from around the world, gathered together

the idea of Cai’s work, remains pure and untainted. In

at a watering hole that will take the form of an actual lake

accordance with the temporal nature of his work, often

created in the gallery. A meditation on diversity, the work

all that remains of the artist’s theatrical explosions

includes pandas, lions, tigers, and kangaroos, all drinking

are ‘drawings’ in gunpowder, the tangible remnants

together from a lake surrounded by white sand, inspired by

of a moment. In 1998 in collaboration with Japanese

a visit the artist made to Stradbroke Island in Queensland.

fashion designer Issey Miyake, Cai translated one

It’s a fantastical folly; the purest expression of art as theatre.

of these gunpowder drawings onto the designer’s

A second installation, shrouded in secrecy at time of writing,

Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth

pleated silk dresses.

draws inspiration from the ancient trees of Lamington

opens at the Gallery of Modern Art,

National Park in South East Queensland. Both promise

Brisbane, on 22 November, 2013

to be mega Instagram moments, if nothing else.

and runs until April, 2014.

In a departure from things that go boom, for his first major solo exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art, Falling



Mr Callinan wears Prada suit, shirt, glasses & shoes, his own socks. 48


BE T W E E N THE L I NES The music of Kirin J Callinan is infused with questions of sexuality, mortality and morality. For some, writes Josh Hall, it is not always easy to digest. The bouncer didn't seem to believe him at first. “I'm playing

abrasion, wrenching unfamiliar gnashes from his battery of

tonight,� said the man in the coral blue Adidas tracksuit, hauling

pedals. He jabs at the audience with repeated one-twos of

a duffel bag over his shoulder. I caught his socks out of the corner

terror and humour, stringing them out with tortuous jokes

of my eye; they looked knee length, gaudy and striped, part

before pummelling them again with wretched noise. He wears

covered by sandals that appeared to be made out of the plastic

a headset mic and no shirt like a deviant aerobics instructor,

bits that hold drinks cans together.

playing songs so relentlessly vicious that they cause irritable

Tipsy Bar is not Kirin J Callinan's natural habitat. It's a

walkouts, both at Mr Callinan's own show at Tipsy and

basement venue that looks like a strip club, with a ceiling of

during his set at Hoxton Bar & Grill the following night

barely head height and vaguely nefarious-looking owners. The

supporting PVT.

doors swing like a saloon entrance, and the six-channel mixer

The first thing most Brits heard of Mr Callinan was his

is held together with gaffa. Later I saw him in the toilets, perched

extraordinary second release on Terrible, the American

on a ledge by the urinals, his head in his hands and his legs

label founded by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor. 'Embracism'

outstretched. He was studying a notebook. I thought it best

is perhaps the most arresting track of the year. Over a lilting,

not to interrupt.

proto-EBM instrumental, in which a globular bass line,

On stage, Mr Callinan holds court. His default expression is

auto-panned to the point of disorientation, is pricked by

that of the butcher: eyes wide, corners of the mouth upturned,

buzzsaw, pitch-shifted guitars, Mr Callinan delivers a furious

brow furrowed into the shape of derangement. He leaps without

sermon that vacillates between flush-of-youth bucolicism

warning from barre chord melancholy to instrument-abusing

and sleazy-as-fuck eroticism.

Photography Georges Antoni | Styling Jolyon Mason Grooming Jenny Kim 49


Hermes sweater & pants, Oliver Peoples glasses. Opposite: Burberry shirt, sweater, pants & shoes. 51

A c i ∏ c l e fo ∏ m s a ∏ o u n d tw o la d s C i ∏ c l e o f b oy s T h e ∏ e's g o n n a b e a f i g h t i n th e p lay g ∏ o u n d Sl ee v e s ∏ o lle d u p So c k s p u lle d d o wn B l o o d f l o ws f ∏ o m o n e k i d's n o se B u t th e o l d e ∏ b o y s wan t mo ∏ e T he y wan t st ∏ i p s t o ∏ n f ∏ o m u ni f o ∏ m s I t's a tes t o f st ∏ en g th Two boys ∏ o llin g a ∏ o u n d i n th e d u s t I n th e d u st Emb∏ace

Gucci sweater. 53

Rollas sweater, Farage blazer, Gucci Dior pants. belt. 54


According to a report in The Vine, the pair's slot began with an announcement that the organisers had forbidden them to carry out their planned performance, but that they would screen rehearsal footage instead. A video played, in which a middle-aged 'epileptic' (inverted commas Mr Callinan's) is shown fitting while a strobe is shined in his face. There were walkouts and hecklers, including a muscular man who lifted Mr Callinan onto his shoulders, only to be thrown out by security. Were the audience members plants? “It was a big production,” Mr Callinan demurs. “I don't wanna ruin the story. If anything, it was a joke on us. The whole idea of myself and Kris doing this collaborative audiovisual experiment…it just felt really obvious,


actually. And it also felt very ego-driven, so maybe we turned it r Callinan's guitar is serrated to the point of

back on ourselves. Some people got it, and some people didn't.

irrecognition, but it is his voice that really pierces:

We presented an idea, and it blew up way out of proportion.”

a martial rasp that comes with an integrated distortion

While Mr Callinan's current solo show might not induce the

of the sort producers spend a lifetime trying to perfect. When

same degree of outrage, the artist plainly revels in his ability to

I meet him the morning after his second show, he tells me that

create teeth-grinding awkwardness. The musician gets nervous,

his extraordinary vocals arrived “when my balls dropped, I guess.

he says, and he can't help but make the audience feel nervous too.

It was high school. I was playing football; I was a goalkeeper.

“When you're on stage with a microphone or two, or three as it

And as a goalkeeper you've got to talk a lot. I always seemed to

sometimes is, you're elevated – one man in the room with a big,

be made the captain of teams growing up - probably because

boomy voice that's twenty times louder than anything else in the

I just talked a lot.”

room, commanding attention. Everything that you're expressing,

On a sofa in XL's West London offices, a mews building

hopefully they're gonna feel that as well. So if I'm nervous and

accurately described by the PR as “like a teenage boy's bedroom”,

anxious, they're gonna feel it.”

there is little of Mr Callinan-the-borderline-psychotic to be

That anxiety is the signal quality of a Kirin show. In Hoxton

discerned. He is faultlessly polite, thanking staff members by

he asked for the time in order to work out how many more songs

name when they deliver coffee, and insisting that I help him

he could play. Despite repeated attempts, not a single person

finish the plate of pastries at which he constantly picks during

would answer. That, he says, “was bizarre. Sometimes there's

our hour together. Even his face seems different; his features are

such a fear in the audience, where no one will say a word. You

somehow softened, his jawline less violent. This is another Kirin.

could hear a pin drop. You'll ask a very direct, simple, matter-

“It's not like I sat down and wrote a script,” Mr Callinan says,

of-fact question that you could ask a stranger in the street…but

but he acknowledges that his stage persona is akin to a character

me asking for the time, no one, not even my manager or my

piece. “On stage it's certainly all an act, but I don't want to get

label or my friends there were game to even say anything.”

it confused with being fake. In your life, society is built in a way,

“And then other times it can be more rowdy, and my job

and you work out the way you're going to interact with it.

becomes actually a lot easier. I did two shows in Sydney recently,

Whereas on stage, I've worked out another way.” So is the on-

in a crypt under a cathedral. The crowd for the second set had

stage Mr Callinan a more accurate representation of the way

heard there was no alcohol and were just getting plastered

the off-stage version would like to behave? “No, I think maybe

before they came. There were mainly two culprits, but it grew

the opposite. I've been concerned with becoming that guy. This

and it became this really fun thing. I was having a bit of a buzz,

kind of sick, damaged pervert. These are words you'd maybe

an earthing issue with my guitar, that if you held the lead it would

associate with the onstage character. I've been concerned that

stop. So [I had] this guy come up and get down on his knees and

if I put that out there too much, and express that idea, and if

hold my lead, which became very subservient and a sexual kind

that's what people understand me to be, maybe it's going to loop

of thing. I appreciate that.”

back and actually become me.” There are people who seem unable to separate the two personas. Following a performance at Melbourne's Sugar Mountain Festival, Mr Callinan was “physically attacked. A guy grabbed me by the throat and put his hand in my mouth. It kind of shook me up.” The Sugar Mountain show extrapolated the most abrasive elements of the musician's character. Ahead of the performance he announced that he would, along with visual artist Kris Moyes, attempt to induce a fit in an epileptic audience member. “As if,” Mr Callinan says, “we were important enough artists that we had the right to do that under some banner of performance art. It's a horrific idea, that you could endanger someone's life. Of course we didn't do that. But just to say it seemed to really put people right out of joint.”




exuality, masculinity, and childhood form an unholy thematic triumvirate in Mr Callinan's work. While 'Embracism' plays so grippingly on adolescent

homoeroticism, 2012's 'Thighs' is just as compulsive thanks to its counterpointing of a nauseating, Vaseline-lensed vision of Nabakovian sexual abuse against a startlingly beautiful guitar track. It feels painful to listen, as if by doing so, by finding it so bewitching, you are somehow complicit in a story that seems so utterly repugnant. Mr Callinan's ideas about masculinity are similarly complex. “I'm a man, apparently,” he says. “I like sports and women, and other men in a different way. I'm Australian. But at the same time, I used to cross-dress a lot. I'm wearing stockings right now, and little Chinese ladies' shoes.” Does he consider himself to have experimented with transvestism? “It was more just kind of fun. With my girlfriend, I'd dress up in her clothes with her. We'd go out. My first ever solo show I was wearing a lot of makeup. I was also quite pretty when I was younger. I'm a little more haggard now.

Having left his girlfriend and her son, his mountain village,

“But it's becoming more and more masculine. 'Embracism'

and his football team behind, Mr Callinan has reverted to the

was a breakup song. I wanted to do away with these intangible,

life of the itinerant musician. He no longer has a home. During

maybe feminine ideas of love or spirituality, or even quantum

the recording process he was sleeping “literally under a stairwell,

physics and these intellectual ideas that my girlfriend was

or on a couch, or occasionally a spare bed. I've just been floating

very much into. And once we broke up I was like, what I

– but incredibly, the most productive I've ever been.” Are the

believe in is my physical body that I can touch, this table here

two things connected? “Absolutely. My relationship ended,

in front of me, this hammer and nails. Very masculine things;

and that went to shit, but the inverse happened with music. I

the physical world.”

could have done this years ago, but it took the right combination

His ex-girlfriend clearly remains a hugely important figure

of things.”

for the musician, and his tone changes as we speak about her.

For Mr Callinan, that combination is a tough one. He closes

The forthcoming album is, he says, “a breakup record. It's the

his first set with the lyric 'Hell is here on earth,' and I wonder

girl in the 'Way To War' video clip, actually, and that's her son.

whether this is an accurate reflection of his mood. “On this trip,”

We were together for a number of years, and living together,

he says, “I just haven't been excited. I used to get so excited

with her son, in the mountains, in the country. And it was after

about the smallest things about travelling - you know, how

breaking up with her that I started making this record. It's

people's houses differ in different parts of the world, or how

interesting, having been a father figure for a number of years.

showers are different or something.” Is that lack of excitement

Not that I was his dad, obviously, and I wouldn't want to take

to do with the fact that he has achieved something that was

that place. But living with a kid and being a role model for him

previously a goal? “I've never really had goals; I've just kind of

was really inspiring.”

lived. But of course, I've been in a number of different bands, made

His life in the mountains was, it seems, quite child-centred.

a number of different albums or played on other people's albums,

As well as living with his girlfriend's son, Mr Callinan coached

but this is the first one that's having a simultaneous international

an under-15s boys' football team. “That was amazing,” he says,

release. To have that with my first solo record is pretty strange.

“because I hadn't had a connection with fifteen-years olds since

I'd kind of let go of that idea. But it doesn't mean anything until

I was 15.” He enjoyed being fifteen himself, “and then coaching

people actually like the record and come to the shows, and have

kind of reconnected me to that.”

an emotional connection with it. And I've been through it before with another band [Mercy Arms, a Sydney-based outfit distributed by MGM, who split up, Mr Callinan says, shortly after playing at Marathon Kebabs in Camden] signed a massive international deal, and it never really eventuated and the band fell apart. So I'm not getting too carried away with it.” Tentative as he may be, Mr Callinan is one of the world's most exciting new artists. His work is difficult, painful - profane, even. His is a world of violent gestures and even more violent emotions; a world in which perversion pervades, but in which puckish humour is never far away. He is conspicuous in his intricate conception of what it is to be male, and in his unblinking treatment of sex. Mr Callinan is genuinely unique. He is a serious talent, stockings and all.

Kirin J Callinan's Embracisim is out now via Siberia Records/Remote Control. Styling Assistance Alex Rost & Andy Mead | Photographed at Sun Studios, Alexandria 58

Z Zegna suit, stylist's own sweater, Prada glasses. 59







The Greatest Show On Earth He may wear the same thing every day, but Thom Browne is one of the most influential menswear designers in the world, writes Mitchell Oakley Smith



Photography Jordan Graham | Styling Jolyon Mason Grooming Sam Addington



“I love giving the collections a life beyond clothes,” says Thom Browne. It’s two weeks before his spring/summer 2014 presentation in Paris – one of his finest and mostrealised to-date – and the designer shows no sign of stress or anxiety. But that’s Thom Browne: politely deadpan in his signature grey suit, today with shorts and sockless brogues, a far cry from the Rocky Horror-meets-Nutcrackermeets-bondage policeman-esque clothes he was working on at the time. Why all the drama? It’s a menswear, after all, and men don’t usually wear crazy clothing. Are the props and the elaborate sets and the make-up necessary? For Mr Browne, the clothes require a presentation to be brought to life, to be fully communicated. “I’m surprised by designers that just send clothes down a conventional runway. I don’t find that inspiring.” What’s interesting, however, is how little the clothes are altered in the months between the show and the shop floor, evidence that there are, in fact, men out there daring enough to wear a full-length flared coat, for example. “We sell ninety-nine per-cent of what we show,” says Mr Browne. “There are some commercial versions of some of the looks, but on the whole all the clothes really do sell. Even the furs,” he adds, referring to the fur-trimmed coats and cropped jackets shown on these pages. Since launching his namesake label, Mr Browne has presented a slew of highly-theatrical, daring men’s collections that at once intrigue and baffle viewers, including oversized lobster and whale prints (spring 2013), Amish-style hats and fur coats (fall 2013, featured on these pages) and 1920s-style fringed flapper dresses (spring 2012). But these collections, along with those under his artistic direction at Moncler Gamme Bleu, share one thing in common: a rigorous underpinning of traditional suiting. The prints may be wacky, the makeup feminine and the proportions so grotesquely disfigured that the clothes seem shocking, but every item Mr Browne sends down his runway – or presents on his stage, as is often the case – is merely an extension of those grey suits he himself wears each day with a bit of a makeover.



But, of course, Mr Browne’s particular brand of

what menswear could be, inspired by a sort of 1960s

suiting is far from the regular off-the-rack numbers

American businessman’s aesthetic, popularised by

that fill department stores, although even they too have

television shows like Mad Men. If it weren’t for the

come to be influenced by his aesthetic. Flat-fronted,

shrunken proportions and adherence to traditional

high-waisted, cropped trousers (or mid thigh-length

styling – the suits are best worn formally, with a

shorts) and narrow-lapelled blazers, cut off mid-wrist

white shirt, tie and polished shoes – they might be

and not nearly covering the backside, Mr Browne’s

considered boringly conservative, but the way Mr

signature suit looks “as though the laundry had shrunk

Browne twists and evolves it each season is testament

it with him inside”, wrote Guy Trebay in the New York

to his unique design talent; he embodies an almost

Times. Added GQ’s Michael Hainey: “He is a game-

punkish sensibility to reject conventional notions

changer… He’s always stood apart.”

of what constitutes a well-dressed man. Interestingly,

Indeed, when the fashion world at-large was busy

some of Mr Browne’s signature jackets, with panels

producing long, extremely lean silhouettes by the

pieced together with safety pins, were shown in

million – an aftershock of the skinny-jeans movement

the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Punk: Chaos to

pioneered by Hedi Slimane, then of Dior Homme, and

Couture exhibition, demonstrating the cultural

Raf Simons – Mr Browne presented a new vision for

worth of his clothing.

Messrs Stenmark wear Thom Browne clothing, shoes & accessories throughout.







Mr Browne, 47, was born in Allentown,

In 2010, the designer launched a small collection

Pennsylvania, and following his study of economics,

of womenswear that, thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama

moved to Los Angeles to work as an actor, a detail

wearing of one of his coats to President Barack Obama’s

not lost on editors that draw a connection between

inauguration, has grown considerably. “I love doing

his background and the theatrical nature of his

menswear but women’s is a whole new world, a whole new

presentations. Mr Browne then moved to New York,

challenge,” concedes the designer. And though his design

where he began work in the Giorgio Armani sales team,

process remains the same and he sometimes employs

and later worked in the creative division of Club

similar fabrics, the aesthetics between his men’s and

Monaco before launching his brand in 2004, though

women’s offering are quite different. “There is nothing

he began making suits back in 2001. It’s perhaps a result

worse than women’s tailoring that looks masculine. I do

of his non-fashion background that the designer is

feminise what I do for women.”

such an astute businessman. He’s well aware of the

Despite the profound effect he has had on menswear

limitations inherent in the creation of such a distinct,

during the past decade – that men now regularly wear

boundary-pushing aesthetic, and as such, he’s sought

cuffed trousers and no socks is thanks to the designer –

to ensure long-term success for his business by way

Mr Browne is surprisingly humble. “It’s nice to do

of collaborations. His ongoing work with Brooks

something that people recognise,” he explains, “but I

Brothers (his 2006 Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers

don’t sit back and say, ‘Hey, I’ve revolutionised the male

has since become a permanent venture, with a standalone

silhouette.’ I wanted people to see what I had to say. I

store in New York City’s West Village), accompanies a

had no interest in what somebody else was saying, and

commercial partnership with Dita Eyewear and his role

it’s why I fully embrace the clothes. I really believe in

at Moncler.

them.” It’s this dedication to a singular vision that earned Mr Browne the title of Menswear Designer of the Year at the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s annual awards in 2006 and again in 2013. As he says of the honours: “It’s better than not winning, and anyone that says being recognised [like this] gets tired is just sad. I approach design a lot more conceptually than a lot of American designers, so for them to appreciate it is really, really nice.”

Jordan & Zac Stenmark/IMG Models Photographic Assistance Georgia Blake & Camilo Fuentealba

Thom Browne is available in Australia exclusively at Harrolds.





SUNSET tones It’s a rather obscure trend to pick up on, but the skyline – whether printed sunsets and sunrises or simple colourways – couldn’t go unnoticed, popping up in no less than eight designers’ collections this season. Its most obvious incarnation, obviously, was at Calvin Klein Collection where, in a daring move for the label, its menswear creative director Italo Zucchelli introduced photographic cloud prints, the form tinged with warm sunlight as though viewed aerially from above. The reference to sunsets was direct at Prada, too, where designer Miuccia Prada applied abstract prints of bathers sitting beneath a dark sun in vintage-style colourways that evoked a nostalgia for 1950s Hawaiian holidays or Apocalypse Now darkness, however you chose to view the Italian label’s alwayscerebral clothing. Elsewhere, Yohji Yamamoto presented several looks with a sun-inspired gradient colourway, while Missoni riffed on its classic woven pattern in warm shades of red, purple and orange. The set at Fendi – spectacular golden sand dunes – was the perfect background to sunset prints and earth-toned suiting. From left: Yohji Yamamoto, Calvin Klein Collection.



SP∏ING SUMME∏ 2014 Collections Preview At the recent menswear shows in London, Milan and Paris, hundreds of designers presented their wares to the international press and buyers. Following the blog posts and Instagram pictures and celebrity sightings, hindsight provides us the chance to reflect on the season that was and to distill the looks into some identifiable threads. Of course, menswear is not so defined by trends as womenswear, but there were nonetheless some rather distinct styles, colours and themes prevalent. Herewith, we muse on what we’ll all soon be wearing.

Story Mitchell Oakley Smith Artwork Elliott Bryce Foulkes 71


FLORAL CAMOUFLAGE Floral prints have been big business for a few seasons now, so much so that they’re now prevalent in nearly every menswear collection, but in Europe florals were, rather shockingly, groundbreaking for spring, defying the statement the fictional Miranda Priestly made to the contrary. What defines this new take on floral is its digitalism, almost camouflage in appearance. At Gucci, one of the strongest iterations of the trend, an intricate print of flowers and leaves is printed in black over a nude-coloured t-shirt and pants, as though a full-body tattoo, while in the collection of Japanese label Kolor, large flowers are printed in steely blue and charcoal over a grey double-breasted suit, almost imperceptible to the eye from a distance. Of course, florals made visual statements in the collections of both designers, as well as the collections of Dries Van Noten, Jean Paul Gaultier, Miharayasuhiro, Rag & Bone and Valentino, amongst others, but the cleverest were those that subverted the classic print into something new. From left: Jean Paul Gaultier, Kolor (top), Gucci.







LICHTENSTEIN Art influencing fashion is certainly nothing new when we think historically about the relationship between the two fields. A brief tour of the past century demonstrates designers’ reinterpretation of a particular artist’s style for the body, as in the case of Yves Saint Laurent’s shift dresses printed with Piet Mondrian-style colour-blocked squares (1965), or, more recently, Rodarte’s tribute to Fra Angelico in 2011 and Alexander McQueen’s exploration of Byzantine art in his final collection for his namesake label in 2010. But what is it about the pop artist Roy Lichtenstein that designers are still referencing his canvases that shocked and appalled viewers? That a major survey of the artist’s work has just opened at the Centre Pompidou following a successful run at the Tate Modern certainly made his work of-the-moment and, perhaps not surprisingly, most of the references to Mr Lichtenstein came via Europe, including Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, Jonathan Saunders, Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier and Kris Van Assche. Where some, such as Mr Bailey and Mr Saunders, directly referenced Mr Lichtenstein’s trademark pin-dot patterns, Mr Maier, for one, cleverly explored the two-dimensionality of the artist’s work with contrast outlines applied to shirt and jacket collars and lapels. From left: Looks 1 & 3 Jonathan Saunders, looks 2 & 4 Burberry.





WHITE SUITS It’s not exactly new – think of the seminal look of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever – but the white suit was everywhere this season, appearing on the runways of countless designers, both young and established, as a bright, fresh mirage. Of course, its most obvious incarnation was by tailoring houses, particularly in Milan, such as Giorgio and Emporio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Ports 1961, but what made it really interesting was when it was designed in a more unstructured, casual way, imbuing the classic ensemble with a newness that is so craved at the seasonal collections. For his debut as artistic director of Ermenegildo Zegna, Stefano Pilati pulled apart the suit's structure, giving it a softer drape, a more languid line, while Jil Sander and Paul Surridge at Z Zegna gave it sharp edges in firmer fabrics. Elsewhere, such as at Pringle of Scotland, Marni and Moncler, the blazer teamed with shorts was a boyish alternative. From left: Pringle of Scotland, Lanvin, Marni, Ermenegildo Zegna.



The Rocketeer As the master of Italian fashion, Giorgio Armani manages to infuse traditional tailoring with sci-fi style. He speaks with Mitchell Oakley Smith about his dynamic youth line, Emporio Armani. Giorgio Armani needs no introduction. Nearing

creative role with that of an entrepreneur wasn’t an

consistency may be lost. I think the Armani offering

80, he is perhaps the oldest working designer

extra effort, but I do not have a precise formula and

is quite extensive and varied, to be able to cater to

in the luxury fashion industry – not that you

I don’t know if this balance could work for everyone.

different target audiences.

would guess it by the futuristic spirit of his

I only know that it works for me. How are Emporio Armani and Giorgio Armani

clothing, particularly in Emporio Armani, a line established in 1981 as a way of connecting

Having been in the business for more than


with a younger customer. Responsible for both

40 years, you’re in a position to share

the creative and managerial aspects of his

wisdom. What do you think is more

Giorgio Armani is elegant, modern and sophisticated;

namesake business, Mr Armani alone can

important: aesthetic consistency or

it stands out in its excellence in craftsmanship, an

be credited with the success of what is now

creative experimentation?

extreme attention to detail, purity in its lines and the use of top-quality materials. Emporio Armani is

a global, multi-tiered empire, spanning fashion, childrenswear, furniture, homewares, beauty,

They are terms that I wouldn’t say contradict each

a line that I pioneered in 1981 to win over a younger

fragrance, eyewear and hotels. For his fall/

other. Experimentation is important, but if carried

audience that was more fashion conscious, and over

winter Emporio Armani collection, Mr Armani

out with intent, it naturally translates into aesthetic

the years it became a collection with a dynamic, daring

aimed to “start with classic pieces of the male

coherence. My style has evolved a lot over the years.

and metropolitan spirit.

wardrobe and distort them, revising their lines

It follows and reflects the changing times. This is

and proportions”, a concept he executed with

because I have experimented and continue to do so,

And within Emporio Armani, what are the

the use technologically advanced fabrics,

observing reality and the way in which it changes. At

similarities between the men’s and women’s

such as neoprene and bonded leather, which

the base of it all is my taste for purity, sophisticated

collections, if any?

lend the collection a future-facing aesthetic.

simplicity and for a natural elegance that I express in everything, from clothing to furniture.

That which defines both of the collections is a modern vision of style which translates into continuous

MITCHELL OAKLEY SMITH Thank you for making time for this interview.

The East has always influenced your work.

research and innovation. The Emporio Armani man

It’s really quite amazing you still have

What fascinates you about other cultures?

and woman are young and independent, they share an attentive look that is interested and curious,

time for interviews whilst juggling the economic and creative aspects of all the

I’ve always loved certain ambiances of Eastern

focused on reality, and they know how to interpret

Armani lines. How do you find a balance?

culture, its pure elegance and refined sense of taste,

fashion in a spontaneous and personal manner.

the innate sense of balance and composition, elements Giorgio Armani

from which I have taken great creative inspiration.

It’s a skill that I have honed over the years, and I

The recent fall/winter collection (featured on these pages) shows strong and clean

think it is one of my distinguishing characteristics.

Some designers that are starting to

silhouettes. What was the idea behind this

I became an entrepreneurial designer following the

approach the eastern market make their

masculine aesthetic?

death of my partner Sergio Galeotti, the person who

creations based on a specific Asian buyer.

always stood behind me and encouraged me to stay

How do you manage to respond to a global

My idea was to start with classic pieces of the

on course. I immediately understood that in order

clientele with different cultures, seasons

male wardrobe and distort them, revising their

to grow in the way I wanted I had to maintain my

and wardrobes?

lines and proportions, thanks to the use of innovative

independence; to do that, I had to completely take

materials such as neoprene. I think that this

the reins, even from an economic point of view. It

I don’t think the solution is to differentiate the

collection expresses my vision of style very well,

was natural, though it was very challenging. I'm an

product, I really couldn’t conceive of working this

which is rooted in the contemporary world without

extremely pragmatic person, and combining the

way. If a stylist allows him or herself to be influenced,

unnecessary nostalgia.



Mr Pierce wears Emporio Armani clothing & accessories throughout.

Photography Romain Duquesne Styling Jolyon Mason Grooming Peter Beard | Hair Jenny Kim 79








Rory Pierce/Chadwick Models Photography Assistance Rasa Juskeviciute 83


Mr Gibbeson, Pestalozzi, Hall & Grenenger wear clothing by Evelyn Wong. 84


The G�aduates A menswear drought in Australia? A new crop of talent emerging from the country’s leading design institutions would suggest otherwise. Manuscript presents the work of five designers to watch. Photography Liz Ham | Styling Jolyon Mason Grooming Max May | Hair Jenny Kim Story Mitchell Oakley Smith 85



ublishing a men’s fashion magazine

explains. “Design is such a point of interest for

can be communicated through clothing. The

in Australia is no easy feat. We live

me but before I dive into my own label I’m really

graduate’s classmate, 22-year-old Vladislav

in a sartorially savvy but altogether

hungry to soak up all the knowledge I can, hopefully

Kanevsky, similarly aimed to push the boundaries

rather small country, with a true

working for a label in New York.” Doing just that

of menswear, creating a new consideration of

fashion industry younger than the

is 26-year old Perth-born designer Timothy Watson

the form. “I didn’t want to be constrained by our

average age of our reader, which

who, after graduating from a three-year Bachelor

understanding of masculine or feminine in the

certainly proves challenging when pulling together

of Arts in Fashion Design at Curtin University in

conventional sense,” explains Mr Kanevsky.

the multiple shoots that make up each of our issues.

his hometown, was awarded a scholarship from

“This collection explores androgyny without the

How many times we have cried out for more

the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation,

predictable extreme of gender ambiguity. It is

clothes, interesting designs, bolder cuts and

seeing him pack his bags bound for the design

reminiscent of the last era of the dandy where

innovative fabrics. Who better to fill the market

studio of Thom Browne in the Big Apple.

masculinity was implied with confidence and a

gap? The designers of tomorrow, of course! As in issue III of Manuscript, for our annual

“The experience has been fantastic so far,” explained Mr Watson from his base in the hip

comfort with one’s self.” Aptly titled Crocodiles in Tuxedos, the designer

graduate designer portfolio we sifted through the

borough of Brooklyn. “I’m settling in well and

focused on the concept of anthropomorphism

collections of bright young things from around

Thom is just incredible to work for.” What

“where the man, symbolic of the consumption of

the country, this year welcoming over thirty

impressed the judges of the scholarship, including

luxury, transitions into the primal devourer, the

submissions. Of course, not all were good. Across

Calvin Klein’s Executive Vice President of Global

crocodile.” Simply and effectively, Mr Kanevsky

the board there is a tendency for students to pay

Communications, was the young designer’s

finished his clothing with the applique of crocodile

homage – or, to put it more bluntly, plagiarise –

exploration of contradicting forms and shapes

scales and beading, creating a luxurious patina

their design icons, and, on occasion, the quality

in menswear. “I wanted to explore bold shapes

that hints at notions of trophy-ism in the luxury

of craftsmanship falls below par. But, as with the

on men and ended up working predominantly

industry. “Luxury, being a desired and largely

hidden gems we uncovered in 2012 – including

with spherical silhouettes,” says Mr Watson of

unobtainable commodity, is the trophy. The

the TAFE Design Institute’s Yuliy Gershinsky

his creations. “I felt as though these forms

same traits we might value in the animal we

and University of Technology’s Vivien Shen –

offered the wearer a sort of protection and decided

display on ourselves, just as feathers suggest the

this year’s round-up included some names we

to further enhance the protective element by

exoticism of birds of paradise.”

believe will be up in lights in a few short years, too.

drawing on the structure of sportswear and hi-

Interestingly, two of the five designers featured in this portfolio are female. Following

vis workwear.”

They’re certainly doing something right at RMIT, given three of the five designers featured

They might not be hi-vis in the sense of the

in this portfolio emerged from the same course

in the footsteps of her UTS alumni Ms Shen, we

reflective clothing worn by construction workers,

together, including 23-year-old Jack Hancock.

recognised the brilliance of Evelyn Wong at the

but the clothes of Melbourne-based designer

Currently working as an intern with pattern maker

university’s end-of-year runway presentation.

Mia Zielinski are certainly attention grabbing.

and designer Glen Rollason in Melbourne so as to

The 25-year old designer graduated with a

The 30-year-old graduate of the four-year RMIT

gain greater experience in tailoring, Mr Hancock’s

Bachelor of Design in Fashion & Textiles, under

University Bachelor of Arts in Design degree

collection is perhaps the most traditional in the

the wise guidance of Manuscript contributor

first studied costume designer at James Cook

sense that he looked at classical notions of men’s

Todd Robinson, and, additionally, a Bachelor of

University, Townsville, helping to explain the

dress, but like his peers he so cleverly subverted

Arts in International Studies at the Politecnico

theatricality of her graduate collection. “I enjoy

and interrogated the form that the resultant

di Milano, Italy, taking six years in total. It’s

exploring alternative modes of dissemination

collection – an exaggerated take on Edwardian

a long time spent studying fashion, but the

for my work, like film, performance art and

suiting, achieved through the combination of

experience is evident in Ms Wong’s confident

installation,” explains Ms Zielinski. “I want to

layering – feels entirely modern.

graduate collection.

keep exploring unorthodox materials like resin,

Curiously titled Biology of the Wondrous,

“I wanted to investigate the manner in which

silicone and fiberglass, and am reveling in the

men dressed themselves, to create a formula for

the capsule collection of contemporary suiting

creative freedom that I’ve experienced since

the production of design that would then create

references the wonderfully meticulous illustrations

graduating from university.”

a formula to dress,” explains Mr Hancock. “Layers

of German-born naturalist and biologist Ernst

Ms Zielinski’s collection, Pop Goes the

means options, and I wanted to put fabric on the

Haeckel, employing various shades of mint and

Surrealist, takes its namesake literally, heavily

body in a different way, such as with bias-cutting

muted lime green to expose the dimensionality

influenced by the pop surrealism and counter-

and whole-cloth usage.” As a collector of late

of the fabrics used. “Menswear has traditionally

culture of artists such as Mark Ryden and Salvador

19th and early 20th century garments, the young

been more considered than womenswear, not as

Dali. The latter is particularly evident in some of

designer is interested in the mood of the era: “the

overwhelming,” observes Ms Wong. “I enjoy

the accessories the designer created to accompany

sadness, sorrow and romance of the Victorian era,

these established codes, but I like that there are

her clothing: resin-dripped visors, printed pigskin

even as modernity began to kick in.”

cracks forming within them and we’re seeing a

foot appliques, and detachable moustaches.

new junction in menswear.” In exploring these

“There are so many elements woven into this

cloth that have labored for many years in the

gaps, the designer created classically tailored

collection that it becomes quite busy, but when

classroom and now, rather excitingly, enter the

men’s silhouettes in unlikely fabrics, such as silk and

you break the pieces down they are very wearable,

industry full of fresh ideas and talent. Wishing

memory polyester, that shed new light on the form.

if bright, created with volume and transparency.”

them well, we continually look forward and

As you might imagine, Ms Wong believes her

Ms Zielinski’s designs might not exactly slip

And with that, we salute these children of the

welcome submissions from students graduating

time in the hallowed halls of a university has come

easily into the average male’s wardrobe, but her

from fashion courses in Australia this year.

to an end. “I’d like my next learning experiences

collection demonstrates the breadth of the genre

Write us, send pictures of your clothing, pop in

to be from the work force; the real world,” she

and how broader ideas about culture and society

for a chat. We’d love to hear from you.


Mr Hall wears shirt & shorts by Mia Zielinski, Benah bag, Ice phone, Christian Louboutin shoe. 87


Mr Dunworth wears Tim Watson jacket & pants, Vanishing Elephant shoes. Opposite: Mr Pestalozzi wears Vladislav Kanevsky shirt, jacket & pants, Strand Hatters fez, Gucci bag. 88



Mr Dunworth wears Mia Zielinski bodysuit, Dinosaur Designs vase, Jeremy Scott for Adidas shoes. Opposite: Vladislav Kanevsky shirt & pants. 90




Mr Dunworth wears Jack Hancock shirt, jacket & culottes, Gucci hat. Opposite: Mr Pestalozzi wears Evelyn Wong vest & pants. 93



Mr Hankin wears Mia Zielinski visors. Opposite: Mr Gibbeson wears Evelyn Wong shirt & blazer. 95

Mr Hankin wears Tim Watson jacket & pants. 96


Mr Grenenger wears Mia Zielinski shorts & moustache, Converse shoes, Urban Ears headphones. 97

Mr Gibbeson wears Vladislav Kanevsky shirt, jacket & pants, Alexander McQueen clutch, available at Matches. 98


Mr Hall wears Evelyn Wong shirt, jacket & pants. 99

Mr Hall wears Jack Hancock shirt, bib & pants, R.M.Williams hat. 100

Mr Hankin wears Jack Hancock shirt, bib & pants, Strand Hatters hat. 101


Mr Gibbeson wears Vladislav Kanevsky shirt, jacket & pants. Opposite: Mr Grenenger wears Evelyn Wong shirt & vest. 102




Mr Hankin wears Tim Watson jacket. 104


Zachary Grenenger, Richard Hall & Nicolas Pestalozzi/Priscillas Jack Gibbeson & Saxon Dunworth/London Management Group Jacob Hankin/IMG Models | Photography Assistance Elle Green Digital Operation Cara O’Dowd | Styling Assistance Alex Rost Hair Assistance Dom Harrison for Prema Ms Kim used Kiehls hair products throughout. 105


Stockists Andrew McDonald Shoemaker / ASOS /

Bantu /

Benah /

Burberry /

Christian Louboutin / Cloud Nine / Converse /

Crane Brothers /

Dinosaur Designs / Double Monk /

Emporio Armani /

Evelyn Wong / Farage / Fudge /

Goldwell / Graz /

Gucci /

Harrolds /

Hermes /

Herringbone /

Ice /

Jeremy Scott for Adidas /

Jimmy Choo / / Kiehls

Incu /

/ Levis

Jack Hancock /

/ Louis Vuitton

Jac+Jack /

Matches /

/ Mia Zielinski

Moroccanoil /

O&M /

Oliver Peoples /

Prada /

Orlebar Brown /

R.M.Williams /

Saba /

Saturdays NYC /

Strand Hatters /

Surf Stitch /

/ Thom Browne

/ Topman

/ Tigi

/ Vanishing Elephant

Vlad Kanevsky /

/ Zambesi

/ Z Zegna


ISSUE 07 - SPRING 2013