August 30, 2012

INTRODUCING: LEONARD MATTIS

Gone are the days when people learnt one skill and practiced that for their entire lives. This is the 21st century, after all, and in the creative world, it's important to differentiate one's aesthetic and mode of work so as to stay ahead. British-born, Sydney-based hairdresser Leonard Mattis is well aware of the competitive nature of his industry, but his efforts to parlay his natural eye for style and design aren't a bid to outdo his peers; he's simply interested and engaged in the cultural landscape that surrounds his salon, in a sleepy enclave of Surry Hills. 

Born and raised in London's East End, and having earned his stripes at the acclaimed Smiths Salon in Soho, Mr Mattis moved to Australia in 1998 for love and hasn't left since. The hairdresser spent for years travelling and consulting under the guise of Antony Whitaker Hairdressing, and a decade ago, made the leap to open his own namesake salon. Since then, he's built an ever-growing client list and, more recently, expanded his space to allow for further, organic growth and to support extracurricular projects. Indeed, next month he'll unveil an exhibition by Sydney artist Lexi Land, with a special event to celebrate its opening with music outfit Van She, and the salon's two-level space will play home to a revolving roster of exhibiting artists from then on. 

Interested in design, architecture and the visual arts - with coffee table tomes piled high throughout the salon as an indication - Mr Mattis took it upon himself to redesign his apartment-cum-salon, opting for an all-white colour palette that's both calming to his clients and acts as a blank canvas for the artwork, including one of Ms Land's paintings that can be seen below. The aim, he explains, is to keep things interesting for both his clients and himself. 

IN CONVERSATION: ANDREW O'BRIEN

Melbourne-based painter Andrew O'Brien will tonight unveil a new show at Sydney's Corporate Culture in Chippendale. The solo show, comprising 22 works, 12 of which are large in size, demonstrates Mr O'Brien's natural mastery of what is a traditional medium. The artist spoke with us about the show. 

MITCHELL OAKLEY SMITH How long have you been working on this show? 
ANDREW O'BRIEN I started the first series of works over summer, with a series of outdoor sketches based on the landscape at Quarantine on the Mornington Peninsular. I was very influenced by the area's unique landscape, which has the ocean separated by only a couple of hundred metres from the bay. The area is remarkably temperate, with unique maritime climate that varies from sea fogs, winter tempests and blazing hot rhythmic days. 
MOS Does it differ greatly from your previous work, or is it an extension of that? 
AB The work is an extension of the previous show in terms of the underlying archaeology of the handling of the paint. Its main departure is in relation to colour and the use of contrast as a bolder means of expression. The forms are more tightly packed, bound and delineated on the canvas, and this is a response to the physical isthmus of Quarantine. I think subconsciously there is a cultural narrative about the role of quarantine that may be found in my work. That said, it's the relationships that colour and form have with one another that should engage the viewer. If the show is a success its because I have been successful in engaging the viewer. 


Andrew O'Brien opens at Corporate Culture, with an introduction by Belle's Neale Whitaker, 
tonight at Corporate Culture, 21-23 Levey Street, Chippendale NSW. 

August 29, 2012

THE WEEKLY

In a week of collaborations, we never expected to announce this fascinating concotion. Dom Perignon is launching a limited edition of its 2003 vintage with a helping hand from visual legend David Lynch. Mr Lynch has reinvented the traditional look of the Dom Perignon bottle with an extraterrestrial glamour, suspending some darker, scintillating secrets within. A palette of "mineralised verticality that gradually opens to suggest a bitter, iodised and saline nobility," contrasting the "candied fruit, plant life and exquisite camphor leaf freshness." Certainly Mr Lynch and Dom Perignon make for mysterious drinking buddies. 

Golf and great denim... together? That's the case with AG Adriano Goldschmied and Travis Matthew in a new line of jeans. Based on the existing silhouette of AG's 'Protege' style, the range is comfortable and stylish, making them an easy wear during a putt or on the town. 

"Functional, stylish and timeless" is how Cuan Hanly of Jack Spade describes the label's collaboration with Barbour. In the new capsule collection, Barbour's classic wax jackets have been revamped alongside four styles of bags, including Jack Spade's signature messenger. Jack Spade is the latest label to collaborate with Barbour after recent projects with Temperley London and Anya Hindmarch, and certainly seems appropriate that the line is timeless. 

Just in time for the racing season, Italian tailoring house Ermenegildo Zegna has dropped its latest runway collection into stores. It may European fall/winter, but the Australian buy features many lighter, more trans-seasonal pieces from the collection, including high quality suits, shirts and accessories. Zegna's love for Australia is widely known, given its support and patronage of the Australian wool industry, so it makes sense that the house should focus its energies on what is largely regarded as an Australian pastime. 

Edited by Patrick Weyland-Smith. 

August 28, 2012

CRANE BROTHERS ARRIVES

The menswear trend of made-to-measure and bespoke clothing shows no signs of abating with this week's arrival of New Zealand-based tailoring house Crane Brothers. And just as well, for there's nothing sharper than a man in a well-tailored, well-made suit. It's something owner Murray Crane is well aware of, having begun is namesake business in Auckland in 1999. The expansion to Sydney - where Crane Brothers will offer appointment-only made-to-measure services in a suite in one of the CBD's last remaining heritage buildings - comes as a result of demand, having made trips with a suitcase to service growing clientele over the past few years. "We feel, after twelve years, that the time is right to step outside our comfort zone into a more international marketplace," explains Mr Crane. 

Mr Crane is no stranger to menswear. With a varied and rich history in accessory design and production, the tailor worked with New Zealand brands Terra Firma, EX-23, Cerissi and, perhaps most notably, Zambesi, where he helped establish its menswear offering. The decision to move into tailoring and away from the more commercial realm of seasonal fashion was a wise one at the time, for Mr Crane's business now boasts an unrivalled reputation in the market. While Mr Crane will make regular trips to the Sydney outpost, it will be manned by Karl Clausen, who comes with experience in the custom and bespoke tailoring department of Dunhill, as well as a senior role at Ermenegildo Zegna's New Bond Street in London. 

The showroom comprises made-to-measure suiting, shirts and ready-to-wear, as well as Crane Brothers' growing range of jewellery and accessories, and in its historic surroundings, acts as a traditional men's club in the heart of the city. 


August 27, 2012

T.M. TO TRADE

1898-established shirting and suit maker T.M. Lewin is set to enter the Australian market in a significant way this week the opening of its first standalone store in Sydney on Thursday, following earlier entry via department store Myer in February. The company, which prides itself on high quality menswear at affordable prices, is doing so in response to Australian consumers' interest in the product, explains its international director Mark Dunhill, who took time out to speak with Manuscript. 

MITCHELL OAKLEY SMITH The business has been in the market since earlier this year, and you now have 9 concessions in addition to this standalone store. Why Australia? 
MARK DUNHILL The reason why we're here is that our brand seems to resonate with the Australian consumer, which we worked out through what was happening online. I think there's a big cross-fertilisation between Brits and Australians, with Aussies coming to England to work and vice versa, and they tend to adopt the brand when over in the UK and bring it back in their suitcase, to to speak, and start telling their friends about it. We felt the market was perfectly suited for what we do and that there was an opportunity for us to come out and communicate our mantra of great quality and affordable prices with the same level of service we provide in the UK. 
MOS Is the store a reflection of the British store design? 
MD What we like to do is create an environment where men can relax - a bit of a men's sanctuary. Perhaps it's a redundant cliche, but many men are still not as happy shopping as women; it's a necessity rather than a pleasure. What we want to do is create an environment where they don't feel like they're in a typical store. If they feel comfortable and happy to spend more time, they are then more likely to revisit us. There's also he cues of our heritage, the arts and crafts feel of Edwardian times, whilst incorporating a little quirkiness and modernism where we can. 
MOS And at 114 years old there certainly seems to be some longevity in the brand. 
MD Yes, it's been around for a good while. It's a really interesting company because Mr Lewin, the founder, was obsessive about making great shirts for his customers. He was one of the first to do mail order, sending his catalogues around the world, and he was a design innovator, too, being the first to come up with shirts that unbuttoned the whole way down, rather than the smock that pulled over the head. He staked a claim to be the inventor of the modern shirt, and that was his obsession. 
MOS History can be a benefit and a border to clothing brands.
MD You're right, it can be a burden, and it can be an alibi for complacency, but brands that sell themselves on their history are in trouble, because no customer is buying fashion because of a brand's history, they're buying it because it speaks to them today. You've got to be relevant. 

T.M. Lewin opens this Thursday at 129 King Street, Sydney NSW. 

August 26, 2012

IN CONVERSATION: WARD ROBERTS

It must be the week for mesmerising Australian art. Following yesterday's interview with video and photo artist Daniel Crooks, today we speak with Melbourne-based photographer Ward Roberts whose book, Courts, was launched last night. The culmination of a four-year project documenting sporting courts and fields across the globe, Mr Roberts' debut monograph, published by Erm Books, is an intriguing documentary of the calm abandonment of these locations set amidst dense urban landscapes, from Hong Kong's pastel high rises to the brick palette of New York City. Below is an exclusive preview of pages from Mr Ward's Courts.
What's the attraction to courts? 
As a kid I played sports every weekend and spent a lot of my younger life being very active. I was curious to find out if this was still a universal lifestyle. 
The images are so striking in combination. Was a book always the goal?
A book was never my intention when I began the series. It just seemed like a nice goal as the series progressed. 
What lengths did you travel to creative these images? 
During my travels I photographed in Melbourne, Hong Kong, London and New York. It's taken me four years to collect every location. When it came to shooting I'd often spend days on end searching for courts. 
Do you have a favourite image? 
I came across a court on the island Cheung Chau in Hong Kong. The court is right next to the beach and presented itself as such a quiet spot. The light that day was quite unusual as it gave the slight impression that a storm was coming. 
What's next? 
I'm planning on making the move overseas. As for my photographer, I have four series planned that will be short on large format film and will be moving away from square format. With at least one of the series I plan on pushing myself in a direction I wouldn't normally focus on or feel comfortable shooting. 

Courts by Ward Roberts, $20AUD, ermbooks.

August 23, 2012

KEEP YOUR COOL

Australian suiting label Herringbone has gone down-tempo for spring/summer, producing a collection and campaign inspired by the Australian lifestyle. The collection combines seasonal pastels and brights in shades of blue, citrus lemon, lilac, cool mint and tangerine, dropping into stores as the weather warms. An emphasis has been placed on casual pieces, with a plethora of tailored shorts, deconstructed jackets, chinos and loafers. What's more is that shirts, a Herringbone staple, have been refreshed with a new extra-slim fit, kept classic in timeless linens, cottons and silks. The collection is available from the brand's 10 standalone stores. 



August 22, 2012

BASSIKE BRICKS-AND-MORTAR

Proving that traditional retail hasn't had its day just yet, Australian basics label, aptly titled Bassike, will open the doors to its first Melbourne store on September 1, the fourth in addition to its existing Paddington, Avalon and Mosman stores. "Bringing Bassike to Melbourne has been a really exciting goal for us to work towards," explains co-founder Deborah Sams. "It's a wonderful milestone for the business." The store will stock the all of the label's ever-growing product categories, which currently includes leather, tailoring, ready-to-wear, organic cotton jersey, eyewear and Japanese denim. In addition, the store will stock a range of international labels including Repetto, Petite Grand and Dries Van Noten eyewear. The store, like the Paddington flagship, was designed by Sydney-based architect Kelvin Ho, and consumes the entire ground floor of an oversized block, with the space configured to adapt to seasonal collections, installations and events. 

Bassike: 617 Malvern Road, Hawksburn, Victoria. 

THE WEEKLY

We reported on the launch of Ralph Lauren's rugged denim line, Denim & Supply, last year, and in a quick turnaround for an international company, it has announced it will open two branded concessions in David Jones Melbourne to showcase the range of "earthy and unpretentious" denim. According to a release, Denim & Supply offers a "soft palette of ivory and navy mixed with washed indigo", focusing on distressed, faded and weathered looks with nautical tones. The men's and women's Denim & Supply stores will open on September 14. 

Fashion doesn't sleep. Indeed, in our globally connected world you can click, purchase and receive anything, anytime, and Italian luxury house Gucci is well aware of the power of e-commerce. Gucci.com.au has launched in the country, allowing those down under to shop 'round the clock, and they're offering an exclusive Guccissima leather mouse pad for the first shoppers. 

Swedish denim brand Cheap Monday is releasing a new line but, to our surprise, there's no denim in sight. And just as well, really, given its a line of underwear being release, allowing you to coat your entire lower half in the popular brand. The inaugural collection consists of briefs, trunks and woven boxer shorts, all of which are clean-cut and comfortable. Alongside classic black and white, the range is available in seasonal berry-toned colours of plum, raspberry and blueberry. The range will be available in Australia from General Pants Co, The Iconic and Maple

High-end men's retailer Harrolds is unleashing a three-day weekend sale to close the season. As if you needed any more incentive to shop at the luxury store, its offering up to 50% off its stable of leading international designers including Tom Ford, Rick Owens and Thom Browne, all of which are, coincidentally, exclusive to the store in Australia. The sale begins this Friday (24 August) and runs through Sunday at its Sydney, Melbourne and Crown Casino stores. 

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicks off in New York City in two weeks, leaving what feels like no breathing time following the recent menswear and couture shows in Europe. But while Milan and Paris offer the only dedicated menswear events, the Big Apple's schedule is also full of familiar names from the menswear department including Joseph Abboud, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste and Michael Bastian (pictured). Some highlights, at least from the schedule, include Marlon Gobel (the promotion video seems to indicate an extraterrestrial outlook on New York glamour), Chinese designer Vlov Qingqinq-Wu and Osklen (already giving fans a preview with some twilight skyline colour on the label's Twitter account). The event begins September 5. Image: Michael Bastian at New York Fashion Week 2011, ©Dan & Corina Lecca.

Paul Smith, perhaps the most iconic of British menswear designers, is sharing his colourful world with bootmaker John Lobb. Mr Smith's outstanding use of colour combined with the high quality of John Lobb's designs results in a range of classic Oxfords (some with colourful laces), sleek slip-ons in lightweight calf suede, and a colourful range of derby shoes. Although there's nothing yet confirmed for Australian buyers, despite Mr Smith's recent opening of a Melbourne store, the first in the country, these should are the perfect addition to a summer wardrobe. 

Edited by Patrick Weyland-Smith with additional reporting by Mitchell Oakley Smith. 

August 21, 2012

IN CONVERSATION: DANIEL CROOKS

If you're anything like the team at Manuscript, you could spend hours looking at the work of Daniel Crooks, whose inaugural exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery in Redfern, Sydney, opens today. Mr Crooks has for the past decade been a leader in video art, with works featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art's recent Marking Time exhibition and the Adelaide Biennial's Parallel Collisions. Like the works featured in those shows, Mr Crooks' photographic and video works manipulate our existing notion of space and time. What makes this show special, beyond seeing the artist's works collectively, is the sheer size of some pieces, with several portraits measuring 4x4 metres in size. We caught the artist for five minutes to discuss his work. 

What is the idea behind Remapping? One of the main threads in my work is the treatment of time as a physical material, so suing the moving image to really look at time as a tangible and malleable medium. My aim is to render the viewer's model of the world a little less concrete. 
What is the process of creation? Everything is shot with a video camera and then processed in the computer. I use off-the-shelf software but also write code to control most aspects of the process. 
Do you have a favourite piece? It depends. Usually the one I'm working on is the least favourite as it'll be causing the most headaches. 
What's next? I'm working towards a large commission next year and also a residency at the FutureLab in Linz.

Daniel Crooks: Remapping opens today at Anna Schwartz Gallery, 245 Wilson Street, Darlington (next to Carriageworks) and runs until September 29. Visit the website for more details
Top: Daniel Crooks #9 (Takeshki), 2012, Lambda photographic print; framed, 130x130cm. Above: self portrait. 

ISSUE 04

With the temperature rising in Sydney today - a high of 25 degrees expected - we thought it the perfect time to release a preview of issue 04 as we hit the print button. Pictured above is new face Brandon Lund in what is a 10-page preview - the first of its kind in the world - of the spring/summer Z Zegna collection, the second under the direction of new creative director Paul Surridge, who spoke exclusively with Manuscript following the house's triumphant showing in Milan in late June. 

The issue also features an in-depth look at the new album, Pacifica, from Australian electronic music outfit The Presets; profiles of fashion designer Jim Thompson of Three Over One, type artist Luca Ionescu, stylist and costume designer Matt Stegh, and visual artist Tim Moore. And that's without the fashion shoots, regular pages and, of course, our cover, which we're happy to keep a secret for now. The issue will be in stores next week and, for the first time, will be available in selected stores throughout Asia.

Photography Michele Aboud | Styling & Creative Direction Jolyon Mason
Grooming Amanda Reardon | Hair Jenny Kim | Model Brandon Lund

August 20, 2012

BEST FOOT FORWARD

Men's footwear label Meandher offers versatile, trans-seasonal designs crafted from nubuck and suede leathers that exude modern luxury. Meandher was born in 2006 as designer Emily Cooper's response to her brother's search for well-made, smart shoes. Having already worked as an accessories designer for Australian labels Leona Edmiston and Nina Maya, Ms Cooper's awareness of quality has been further developed by her studies at the prestigious Ars Sutoria Institute in Milan where generations of footwear designers and pattern markers have been trained. Here, she takes time out to speak with us. 

What is the concept behind Meandher? 
I aim to provide great quality shoes for men with a relaxed attitude and sense of style. The idea came from my brother's neverending search for great men's shoes and my own passion for footwear. 
What do you aim to offer men? 
Our mantra is "gallant shoes for gallant men" and our vision is of quality. Ultimately we would like to provide men all over the world with great quality, comfortable footwear that looks good. 
What shoe should every man own? 
The 'Samson'. It's our founding style and remains our best seller. It's created from nubuck leather upper, giving it a worn aesthetic, with contrast lacing. 

COLAB: AESOP x MR PORTER

At a menswear dinner last week, luxury consultant and trend forecaster Robert Buckingham made the observation that "you know when an area is about to boom in terms of retail, because Aesop will open a store." And he's right. The 1987-company has, in a quarter-century, become the go-to company for skin, hair and body care, with over fifty international stores and counters in the world's best department stores. With the shifting nature of the retail landscape to online, it makes sense that the company has teamed with leading luxury menswear e-tailer, Mr Porter, to create a bespoke skincare kit. The Dapper Gentleman, available online now, is presented in a no-fuss black case and contains the brand's face cleanser, Moroccan neroli shaving serum, mandarin facial hydrating cream and rosehip seed lip cream. Click here to buy now

THE AVIATOR

There's nothing like an anniversary in the fashion industry, to celebrate and reinvent the past as a way of looking forward. Not that Ray-Ban needs to reinvent itself - it's doing brilliantly as it is and remains one of the largest brands in the optical market - but we're certainly impressed with their efforts nonetheless. Celebrating 75 years, the brand has selected four aviator-style sunglasses from its archive to reinterpret and release in a limited-edition capsule collection. It was in 1937 that the first Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses were designed, and the same tear-drop style remains unchanged today, testament to its timeless appeal. What's more is that the light-sensitive photochromic lens, a special shade of amber aptly titled Ambermatic, darkens and lightens depending on light and temperature conditions. The Ray-Ban Ambermatic collection is available exclusively at Sunglass Hut.

August 19, 2012

CALL BRAD FOR HELP

With all the superhero remakes on the big screen, we couldn't help but do our own. Peter Edward Richardson evokes Dick Tracy in our homage to the great pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.

PHOTOGRAPHY JORDAN GRAHAM | STYLING JAMES DYKES
GROOMING MAX MAY | HAIR SOPHIE ROBERTS

 Mr Edward Richardson wears Hugo Boss shirt, Anton trousers, Topman coat, 
Alexander McQueen scarf, available at Robby Ingham, Skin Deep hat. 
Top: Lagerfeld shirt, Calvin Klein suit, Emporio Armani trench coat, Eton tie, stylist's own hat.
 Skin Deep shirt, Tom Ford suit, available at Harrolds
 Paul Smith shirt, Hugo Boss suit, vintage raincoat from Grandma Takes A Trip, Skin Deep hat.
 Alexander McQueen shirt, available at Robby Ingham, vintage blazer, available at Grandma Takes A Trip, Tom Ford tie, Skin Deep trousers, Anton's coat. 
 CK Calvin Klein shirt & suit, Burberry trench coat, Akubra hat. 
Calvin Klein shirt, Tom Ford vest & trousers, available at Harrolds, Prada tie, vintage blazer, available at Grandma Takes A Trip, Topman pocket square. 
Ermenegildo Zegna shirt, World jacket. 

Peter Edward Richardson/The Agency Models | Digital Operation Jeremiah Wolf 
Photographic Assistance James Bailey | Styling Assistance Jess Tan

SPECIAL DELIVERY

It seems we weren't the only ones curious to know what would be inside a Svbscription package, the mail-order gift-to-self (or other, if you're feeling kind) service out of New York by the guys behind Portable, that which we reported about here in May. Two weeks ago we received in the post a small timber box with sliding lid, inside which was a steel, which we promptly put aside, rather confused by. But then, a week later, arrived a much larger box, which could only be opened by said tool (or prised open with determined hands). Herewith, Svbscription's inaugural delivery, the products within based around the theme of travel. We can reveal that, apart from the raw plywood box (which many will want to keep), contained within is a Steven Alan blanket, Want Les Essentials De La Vie leather travel wallet, a Mr & Mrs Smith hotel gift card, Malin + Goetz travel grooming essentials, small journal Travel Almanac and Special Delivery briefs. It is indeed a rather nice gift to oneself. The question now is what will be contained within the next delivery, "designed for study, work, creation and learning."