March 28, 2012

CLEAN CUT


The designer Calvin Klein was always about the future, and up until he left his namesake company, he pushed for new ideas, radicalising the style of American fashion in the process. That ethos remains at Calvin Klein, where British designer Kevin Carrigan, creative director of ck Calvin Klein, has pushed boundaries for over a decade. For spring/summer 2012 - a collection of punchy brights, clean cuts and technologically advanced fabrics - Mr Carrigan continues to demonstrate his sharp vision for the company's more accessibly priced line. ck Calvin Klein is rather well-suited to Australia: the simplicity of the design coupled with the climate-adaptable fabrics make it easy for men to wear and, if men want anything in dressing, it is, on a whole, ease. Mr Carrigan describes it as "a kind of modern classicism", but it goes beyond this. The democratic, forward-thinking approach to fashion is, dare we say it, where the future of menswear lies. And now that Australian ck Calvin Klein stores stock the same season as their northern counterparts, these shiny new items are available now. 






March 26, 2012

INTRODUCING: TIM GREGORY & OLIVER WATTS


"What we provide is a different sort of criticism," explains Tim Gregory of his collaborative art practice with Oliver Watts. "It is not a criticism of fervent proselytising, nor is it ironically distant. We try to uncover a form of truth within a certain place, thing or event." The doctors' particular brand of art - in which they provide criticism via video and audio guide about certain cultural happenings - is an attempt to uncover the enmeshing of visual culture, art, politics and history in the everyday. And whether it's supposed to be or not, it's wildly amusing.


Dr Gregory & Dr Watts photographed by Kylie Coutts on 30 January 2012 in East Sydney, Australia. See Gregory and Watts: Cocktail Hour at Chalk Horse Gallery, 8 Lacey Street, Surry Hills, until 21 April. 

March 25, 2012

ART REVIVAL



Following an impressive $53 million redevelopment, Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art will reopen its doors this Thursday, establishing the venue as a major cultural centre for contemporary art and creative learning. To celebrate this widely-anticipated event, the museum (which has been presenting exhibitions offsite over the past year while work was carried out) will be hosting a week-long series of artist talks and public programs. On top of this, three blockbuster exhibitions have been programmed to promote it. 



The inaugural international show on the museum's spacious new top floor is Marking Time (March 29-June 3), which presents major works by 11 artists from around the world, all dealing with the concept of time. The exhibition unfolds over a 24-hour period, with some works only coming to life at night, lighting up the museum's front lawns at Circular Quay. One of the MCA's most exciting exhibitions to date, it includes Christian Marclay's artwork The Clock as its own special event. Described as "the most complex thing ever made by any artist so far this century", the Venice Biennale-shown work is a suitably impressive piece for such an occasion. The Clock comprises several thousand short clips from cinematic history, each referencing a particular time of day or specific moment. Edited together, these clips form a continuous 24-hour film sequence synchronised with real time. The Clock will be shown in its entirety on the MCA's opening day, then played continuously during regular museum opening hours with a special 24-hour presentation of the work every Thursday. 

Christian Marclay, The Clock 2010. Single channel video, duration: 24 hours, copyright the artist. Photo: Todd White Art Photography, courtesy White Cube. 

March 21, 2012

THE BRITISH WAY


"Burberry Tailoring is founded on a rich history of fabric innovation, inspired by the timeless style of the iconic trench coat," says the brand's chief creative officer Christopher Bailey of the new initiative. "The modern sartorial design and traditional hand-finished details create an effortless and understated silhouette with a distinctly British attitude." In keeping with the mood for tailored, individualised garments that has dominated the menswear industry in recent years, Burberry Tailoring is a suit initiative with three cuts from slim through to classic. 


Available at Burberry's Sydney outpost from next week, clients may select from a range of notch, fishmouth and peak lapels, all of which are lined at the shoulder, chest and lapels with traditional horse hair canvas. According to the brand, this material shapes to the wearer's body over time and reinforces the cut of the jacket for a sharp finish. 


Visit the Burberry website for more details. 

HELMUT

Despite the prominence of Helmut Newton's work in France - by way of his photographs in titles like Vogue Paris - there has been no dedicated retrospective of his work in the country. That is, of course, until this weekend, with the opening of a 200-plus photograph exhibition at Paris' Grand Palais, which runs until mid-June. Conceived by Mr Newton's wife and collaborator, June, the exhibition brings together original and vintage prints, including an extensive series of polaroids, that showcase the major themes of the photographer's work: fashion, sex and humour.


In honour of the important exhibition, and in paying tribute to Mr Newton's brilliant body of work, photographer Liz Ham and fashion director Jolyon Mason joined forces to create an extensive homage to the photographer for the new issue of Manuscript, but they do so by means of subversion. What we think is interesting and sought to interrogate is Mr Newton's pushing of the boundaries of gender. In a time of rising female empowerment, and in line with the changing fashions of the '60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, Mr Newton choreographed his settings to show women as being powerful, often using men's clothing, such as suiting, to do so. How interesting then to have a female photographer, one known for her distinctly feminine aesthetic, photograph a man - and thanks are due here to the professionalism and willingness of model Corey Wallace - dressing as a woman dressed as a man to readdress the issue today.



Helmut Newton, Grand Palais, Southeast Gallery, Paris, until 17 June 2012. Issue 02 of Manuscript featuring the above shoot is on sale now. 

March 20, 2012

MITCHELL OGILVIE OPENS


Brisbane isn't traditionally associated with style. A smaller population than Sydney and Melbourne compacted with unrelenting heat seems to have prohibited designers from setting up shop in the Sunshine State, but there's an underlying formality to Queenslanders: a people who get dressed up not only for the fun of it, but also as a way of marking the significance of an event. It's no surprise then that the opening of Mitchell Ogilvie store in December last year - the most recent in a slew of high-end openings including Hermes and Chanel - was a decidedly well-dressed event. The men's retail staple had much to celebrate, least of all 30 years in business, which it marked by relocating to a bigger space a few stores up from its old post on Edward Street


When Mr Ogilvie, the store's founder, began his then small suiting store in the early 1980s, the young man knew little about running a store or buying clothing. Things couldn't be more different three decades on, the store boasting made-to-measure Brioni and Pal Zileri suiting. What makes Mitchell Ogilvie special is how it houses these brands, particularly when very few retailers in Australia understand the importance of a beautiful space. Designing the new two-level space himself, Mr Ogilvie aimed to encapsulate the warmth of his family home, doing so with imported French oak parquetry floors, timber finishes and whitewashed walls. The retailer also commissioned the creation of a large artwork by world-renowned, Brisbane-based photorealist artist Michael Zavros, due for installation shortly. A private made-to-measure fitting salon on the bottom floor is a lesson in refined elegance, and dedicates privacy to the intimate process of a suit fitting. It's not all old-world charm though, the upper level stocking the ready-to-wear lines of Paul Smith, Etro and Brunello Cucinelli alongside Tom Ford accessories and custom-made Mitchell Ogilvie for Gascoigne & King candles. 

THE EDIT: ORLANDO REINDORF, THE STANDARD STORE


Having run a successful wholesale business, Flying Standard, for several years, Orlando Reindorf and his partner Nicola thought it high time to put their experience to good use with the opening of a bricks-and-mortar retail store in Sydney's Surry Hills in September of last year. The brands they work with - April 77, YMC, Marshall Artist, for example - give an indication of the store's aesthetic, but the retail experience the pair has created needs to be experienced first-hand. For our Wednesday retail edit, Mr Reindorf had a little trouble listing just one thing he's excited about this season. "We have just released our first collaboration with Trickers - Trickers for The Standard Store - with a brogue and a boot. These lock onto the trend for heritage and authenticity but have a contemporary look," says Mr Reindorf. But that's not all. "Henrik Vibskov's brilliant men's collection is one to look out for: chinos with a super cool twist. The man has an artist's eye with a skill for cutting, giving us classic pieces with quirk." And, if we indulge him with one more: "YMC. It's the benchmark brand. Where YMC goes, all else follows. British workwear-inspired pieces, regularly using their industry clout to secure credible colas with the likes of Gloverall." 

March 19, 2012

SUITS YOU, SIR


If Vanishing Elephant led the way for classic-style, well-made, affordable menswear, then perhaps its latest foray will spark yet another trend in the market. The Sydney-based label has introduced a formal suiting line available exclusively from its Melbourne store and online at vanishingelephant.com. The slim, two-button styles are made in grey wool check and printed cotton, and are accompanied by classic flat wool suits in black, grey and navy, with cotton colours to follow in the coming months, along with muted-colour merino wool knits in both Henley and crew necks.    

March 18, 2012

INTRODUCING: MR CARTER



Australia, given the small size of its population and geographic distance form the world's major fashion capitals, is a hard country in which to build a viable apparel business. It's for this reason that the Australian fashion industry was for many years corralled in a culture of replicating overseas designers and, in recent years, many independent business have closed. Within the even smaller men's market, there's a slim handful of labels Manuscript respects, so it's always promising to see the launch of labels that combine a new aesthetic vision with high quality production, namely Pageant, an avant-garde Melbourne-based label designed by Amanda Cumming and Kate Reynolds (read a profile on the designers in our new print issue), D.A.C, the affordable-yet-sharp label by Sydney-based Liam Farrow and Mark Howes, and Mr Carter (pictured above and below), which launches this month. 
"We were pretty skint when we conceived the label, which is really a response to our own lifestyle," explains designer and co-founder Zach Carter, who launched Mr Carter with his younger brother, Sam. Mr Carter cut his teeth working in London as a designer for several years, including a year spent at Vivienne Westwood's Anglomania line. The idea behind Mr Carter, explains the designer, is to offer clean, gentlemanly styles created with high quality fabrics, such as Japanese cotton, at prices that encourage purchase. "There's definitely room for what we're doing, and we're really excited about the response we've had and moving forward," says the designer." 

PAINTERLY QUALITY


At Giorgio Armani, the designer’s dedication to handcrafts is evident in the new men’s autumn/winter men’s collection, where light-coloured wool pullovers are embellished with hand-painted colours. Given a human hand cannot impart the same homogenous result of a digital printer, areas are unevenly covered, with some areas deeper in colour, the imperfection, if we can so call it that, a mark of individuality. 

March 15, 2012

INTRODUCING: RAFAEL BONACHELA


"This is the first time we have drawn on text so significantly in the research and development process," says Sydney Dance Company's artistic director Rafael Bonachela of 2 One Another, the new piece it presents for the first time this month. Having worked intimately with poet Samuel Webster through the final months of 2011 - the latest creative in a strong of collaborators Mr Bonachela has introduced to the company since taking its reins in 2009 - 2 One Another is a physical interrogation of human interaction, drawing on Mr Webster's text as inspiration. Could we support the world together? the poet asks. If I place my hand here and you put yours over there, maybe there's enough strength between us to make sure it never falls down. "The work required deep contemplation and as such is a very personal work," reveals Mr Bonachela. "We hope this will resonate with audiences in a real way."


Mr Bonachela photographed by Jordan Graham on 25 January, 2012 at Sydney Dance Company's studios, Sydney, Australia. As featured in issue 02 of Manuscript.
2 One Another plays at Sydney Theatre, Sydney until 31 March, 2012. 

March 14, 2012

EVERYBODY'S INVITED


We're suggesting nothing new in saying that online shopping is imperative to the vast majority of apparel businesses today. There's rare exceptions, of course - certain stores that pride themselves on a luxury bricks-and-mortal retail experience, for example - but for the most part, driving revenue from e-commerce sales has quickly become bread-and-butter for most designers. Melbourne-based denim label Nobody has jumped on the bandwagon this week, now offering 30 years of design history and know-how in the denim world via their online store. What's interesting about Nobody is that every pair of jeans is made in its Fitzroy, Melbourne facility and it's one of few brands accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. It's also a brand that prides itself on personalised details: dyes, washes and customisations are done by hand, ensuring no two pairs are the same. In celebrating the launch, Nobody is offering free shipping across Australia. Add to cart. 

PRINTED MATTER


Prada has released a series of six hand-painted silk scarves as an addition to its spring/summer 2012 menswear collection. Though essentially for summer, the scarves – with prints commissioned by Prada to depict the label’s favourite cities, including London, Paris and, most interestingly, Shanghai – bode well for the Australian winter and, given their high quality, will no doubt become sought-after in years to come. 

March 13, 2012

SMOKIN'

Swiss luxury label Bally has produced a limited-edition run of 100 ‘Scribe’ cigar humidor boxes. Hand-crafted from Sri Lankan Macassar ebony, each individually numbered box is fitted with a humidification regulator and thermo-hygrometer. While each box is designed to store up to 300 cigars, it's also sized to house the brand’s made-to-order ‘Scribe’ shoes.  

THE EDIT: CHRIS KYVETOS, HARROLDS

Above: Caruso double-breasted cashmere coat, Pal Zileri three-piece suit, Xacus French-cuff shirt, Alexander Olch wool tie and pocket round, Tom Ford eyewear. 

As we introduced last week, every Wednesday we'll be asking our favourite menswear stores their pick for the season. According to Chris Kyvetos, the creative director behind Harrolds' brilliant rebranding and new Sydney store, the colder months call for elegance. "At Harrolds we are always thinking about the suit as a total look," he says. "It's the little details that bring the beautiful Pal Zileri suit [above] to life. The wool tie and pocket round are by Alexander Olch, a really exciting American designer exclusive to Harrolds in Australia. The classic double-breasted cashmere overcoat draped over the shoulders like a cape takes it to the next level."

March 12, 2012

IT'S ALL LIGHT



We're completely enamoured by the work of Jason Sims. Having graduated from the University of South Australia in 2006, the Australian artist works with light and mirror to create an illusion of depth, creating space for self-reflection, both literally and metaphorically. There's parallels between his work and the likes of James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson with the use of light and colour, but Mr Sims intention and, as a result, outcome is an original one. With a solo show, Nowhere, opening today at the new Aeon Arts in Sydney's Waterloo, the artist speaks with Manuscript. 

What is the idea behind Nowhere?
Nowhere is an evolving series of light boxes that I have been making since 2009. The works are an exploration of what it means to exist, inviting contemplation of the structures in which we live, physically and socially, and presenting an endless expanse of infinite possibility. 
Why Nowhere? 
The light boxes create an illusion of space, a never-ending void that can be interpreted as leading to nowhere. On the other hand, I like that the gallery space space is nowhere. the title also contains a nice play on words: nowhere and now here, referencing the present, which is fundamental to my work. 
What interests you about light work? 
I've always been fascinated by light and electricity - it's kind of magical. I also like installation because it's experimental. The viewer as player is fundamental. 
And how long does each piece take to create? 
I tend to work on a number of pieces at a time but each takes about a week to construct, after the research and development. The light boxes are created from wood, mirror, reflective glass, LED and fluorescent lighting. 
What's next for you? 
I'm hoping to do another exhibition next year in Hong Kong. I've also got a heap of new ideas, so can't wait to get back in the studio. 



Nowhere opens today at Aeon Arts, 2 Danks Street, Waterloo, and runs till March 31.

NOT KIDDING


Leading online retailer ASOS – the e-commerce website that launched a dedicated Australian division at the end of last year – has released an exclusive capsule collection, Kidda!, by British menswear designer Christopher Shannon. Reworking his archive prints, Mr Shannon presents a sports-inspired collection of jersey basics with prices beginning at $60 for t-shirts. It’s certainly not ASOS’ first collaboration, but definitely one of the most exciting given the keen global following Mr Shannon has amassed since graduating from Central Saint Martins with the Dunhill Menswear Award in 2008. 

March 11, 2012

NEW BEGINNINGS


As men, we tend to err toward classic items that have proven their worth. It stands to reason then that many men’s clothing and accessories labels have deep heritage, Eastpak included, the bag label now 60 years old. Originally Eastern Canvas Products, Eastpak today produces the same utility duffel bags and army-style backpacks as it did in the 1970s, many of them today in bright colours and featuring bold prints, and each season, the label commissions world-renowned creative to produce capsule collections, with previous editions including Raf Simons, Rick Owens and Christopher Shannon. This season, Dior Homme artistic director Kris Van Assche takes the bags to new places, his collection of seven designs lessons in structural lines and flexible fabric. 

March 8, 2012

THE MASCULINITY ISSUE


On sale Tuesday 13 March. Click here for stockist details. 

March 7, 2012

AIN'T GONNA RAIN ANYMORE

The ridiculous rain in Sydney today - 120mm falling on the CBD this morning alone - has us reaching for the elegant duck-handled umbrellas shown in Burberry's autumn/winter collection. If the British brand knows anything, it's how to handle a downpour, as occurred (albeit metallic confetti) at its recent show at London Fashion Week. 

HEART OF DARKNESS

Now that British high street retailer Topman operates in Australia - via its new store on Chapel Street, Prahran - Australian men are increasingly privy to affordable wardrobe updates. And good ones, too, given the quality of the brand's design and production. Hitting stores this month are pieces that employ the explorer-like aesthetic of colonialists: Indian paisley prints and tobacco colour palettes in short-sleeved, button-down shirts and pleat-front trousers. The look is in line with what's happening in global trends - references of historic periods in mellow, pared-back designs - but Topman's creative team make it feel fresh by way of unique details. And besides, with the amount of product offered by the retailer, you can be guaranteed that everyone will look different. 

March 6, 2012

THE EDIT: DION KOVAC, MEANWHILE



In a regular new series, Manuscript asks its favourite menswear retailers what we should be excited about for the season ahead. First up, Dion Kovac: one of Sydney's most prolific movers-and-shakers, having pioneered boutique, curated fashion-cum-art spaces including Our Spot and One of a Kind prior to opening Meanwhile in leafy Elizabeth Bay in April last year. "This season," says Mr Kovac, "I'm really loving the hunting mac coat from French favourite A.PC. The jacket is fully lined with a tartan print and corduroy collar, and the oiled cotton fabric will keep you nice and dry for the winter."

March 5, 2012

IN THE BAG


The men's fashion industry isn't exactly an innovative one. Traditional sartorial notions and a staid marketplace don't welcome innovation, but After The Apple is bucking the trend anyway. Established in the spring of 2009, the Australian women's leather accessory brand is this season reaching out to men following the urging of the husband of the label's founder, Rachelle Dendle, who speaks with Manuscript about the new venture. 

Why branch out into menswear after success in the women's market? 
From the very beginning we have offered a dozen bags in multiple colours, always with the intention of matching a women with the bag best suited to her. At my husband's urging, I created a bespoke After The Apple bag about a year ago that was so popular with male friends and colleagues that it became obvious our ethos was just as appealing to men. My intention is to eventually offer a dozen bags for men, beginning with two this season and a range of wallets due for release in October. 

How did you translate your signature for a male customer?
We follow the principles that After The Apple adheres to when making any product: quality, organisation, strap options, versatility, robustness and style. 

What inspired the range this season? 
Our 'Sloth' range was inspired by beat poets, authors and adventurers, such as Alan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. These are bags for men confident with their place in the world but happy to move at their own pace and direction. The bags are designed for motivated gentlemen with strength of purpose and a desire for products to match. 

Do you have a favourite piece? 
The 'Tall Tote' and the 'Man Holdall': wonderful companions for discerning gentlemen of style and sophistication. These are bags of purpose with a function for every element, a role for every component. 

What's one bag every man should own? 
Not every man is a photographer, but every man should aspire for the organisation provided by iconic British photography bag maker Billingham - the 550 has it all. 

March 4, 2012

THE RIGHT CUT

"A made-to-measure suit," says Sydney fashion designer Brent Wilson, "is specifically crafted to fit the individual it is made for." The explanation is simple enough, as is the customer process - consultation, fabric and stele selection, fitting, delivery - but the the level of detail and care put into the creation of a one-off suit is far from it. 

"It's important to remember that we give you as much or as little guidance as you require," says Mr Wilson, who has, since 2003, run his namesake label from a store in Sydney's Galleries Victoria. The designer still produces ready-to-wear pieces, expanding his business to include a second line, aptly titled The Basics, but he has seen a dramatic growth of interest in customisation. 

"I think the ease of the process, quick turnaround time and affordability defy the amazing end result," says Mr Wilson, who recommends that every man begin with a simple, two-button black suit. The designer creates every piece in high quality wool and silk and wool blends, but style is open for interpretation. "Timeless, traditional styles are most popular," he says, "but you name it and we can do it." 

Brent Wilson offers a made-to-measure at his Sydney store by appointment. Contact +61 2 9283 2339 for more details. 

March 1, 2012

NEW ORDER

Gareth Moody is very clever. The Sydney designer, who began as one third of then denim label Tsubi (yes, with a T), set up his own label, Chronicles of Never, in 2006 after taking the time to fully realise his aesthetic vision. What began as a capsule collection of brass and blackened silver jewellery is now a fully-fledged operation, including seasonal men's and women's collections, the Moody look of architectural proportions and high quality fabrics evident in every project - fashion, jewellery, optical - that he puts his name to. Following the creation of a capsule collection for luxury men's retailer Harrolds, Mr Moody this season presents a new line, GLM for Lee. Dropping into stores nationally from April, Mr Moody speaks with Manuscript about branching out. 


Designer Gareth Moody.

Why did you choose to collaborate with Lee?
First and foremost, I felt the collaboration had an obvious synergy through both brands' history with and connection to denim, Lee's obviously overshadowing mine, but there was a link nonetheless and it was something I was keen to explore. Secondly, collaborations these days are a part of a healthy business model. Being a boutique brand it is important that I dip my toe in the deep end from time to time. And besides, who would pass the opportunity down?
So it's good for you to do these kinds of things. 
I believe so, because it opens up your audience, creating customers in new sectors of the market. It's impossible to service all the requirements of the business through a strictly boutique wholesale business, so this other avenue allows for a wider audience. It's also an interesting learning curve, as the methods and processes are outside the norm for me. It's been an exciting and much welcome experience. 
Is it an ongoing project?
It's a two-capsule arrangement, with autumn/winter being the first. We're currently working on spring/summer, which will appear later in the year. 
How do you maintain your signature whilst making it relevant for Lee?
The two brands are cut from a different cloth, but it's important to note that it's GLM [Gareth Lachlan Moody) for Lee, not Chronicles of Never for Lee. It has been tricky though. In the end I decided to lend a little of my signature CON style to the Lee customer. After all, that is why I was singled out for the project. But it's a melting pot: Lee fits were blended with CON colours and styling - a true collaboration in the sense of the word. It's angular yet relaxed, technical and considered yet deconstructed and relaxed in its form. And we've used leather, denim, wool and various cotton jerseys. 
Do you have a favourite piece? 
The leather homme jacket. 
You created a video to accompany the piece. What's the idea behind it? 
Well the collection was based on the film, which is a portal into another time and world. 



Stills from the GLM for Lee film, shown exclusively by Manuscript. View the film here.