Earlier this month we showcased the sports-meets-sartorial collaboration between online ASOS Black and sportswear label Puma, and now comes the film to celebrate its online release. From director Ben Newman is this short documentary into fearless graffiti collective Os Pixadores from Sao Paulo, Brazil, who risk life and limb to leave their tags across the city.
From publishing house Assouline this season is the weighty, 260-page tome Gruau: Portraits of Men, showcasing the work of one of fashion's most respected illustrators, Rene Gruau. The brush behind some of the most iconic fashion imagery from the 1940s to the '80s, including Dior most legendary advertisements, Gruau's bold colour palette and slim silhouettes - both of which feel entirely modern - are celebrated in this hardback. As Mr Gruau once said: "A line... is the basis of all art. With a single line we can express grandeur, nobility and sensuality; the line synthesises sensations and concentrates knowledge.
The Australian men's fashion market isn't exactly a fast-moving one - much as we at Manuscript challenge it - but two seasons in, Sydney-based label Mr Carter has found a place that sits comfortably between fashion innovation and commercial viability, with its spring/summer collection taking its cue from Venice Beach circa 1970. As its founder and designer Zach Carter explains: "During this time, southern California was experiencing a serious drought, leaving an abundance of empty swimming pools available for trespassing skateboarders to practice their tricks. From these suburban backyard haunts to the asphalt streets that connected them, this was the place that created the legendary Dogtown and Z-Boys skateboarders." Mr Carter captures this era of misfits with sun-bleached blonde hair, tanned bodies, tube shocks and sneakers, captured in the below campaign by New York photographer Gary Golembiewski.
two highly skilled but emphatically bored Conservatorium of Music graduates
stumbled into the role of punk-dance prophets for a new generation of
Australian hedonists, it didn’t sound like a formula for a serious, lasting
career. Yet somehow, almost a decade later, Julian Hamilton and Kimberley Moyes
find themselves standing on a precipice so far above their contemporaries that
they have nobody to rebel against but themselves. Internationally acclaimed and
locally deified, The Presets return this spring with Pacifica, their third and perhaps
most dangerous outing yet. “We’re in a really gifted position right now where
we’ve worked really hard to get all of these people’s attention”, says Mr
Moyes, The Presets’ propulsive drummer and keyboardist. "Now we have a lot
of people waiting to hear what we do next, so let’s deliver it to them in the
most ambitious way that we can."
it’s turning up to the ARIA awards clad in Romance Was Born or remixing Kings
of Leon, The Presets revel in shocking their audience. It’s a trick they
perform to devastating effect on Pacifica, which was preceded by what Mr Moyes
refers to as the ‘face-melting techno’ of lead single ‘Youth In Trouble’ that
had tastemakers aflutter about the supposed new direction of the group who have
led Modular’s electronic brat pack – The Avalanches, Cut Copy and Van She – for
what seems like an era. They were right, of course, but also completely wrong.
A sprawling, ambitious record that encompasses a whole new spectrum of sounds
and ideas one would never typically associate with the group, Pacifica is
perhaps the best magic trick of all because it reveals what The Presets have been
masking their entire lives; namely, that they’re actually proper musicians. “One
of the concepts for the record was to base the centre around the piano and the
drums. We wanted every song to have some kind of subconscious meaning, which is
‘This is Julian and Kim and this is who we are and where we came from,’” says Mr
Denim label Wrangler has, rather interestingly, joined forces with custom motorcycle specialist Thrills to create a limited edition capsule collection of denim and jersey separates. All pieces bear the Thrills x Wrangler-specific artwork, and the capsule includes a vintage moto-inspired denim vest and Wrangler's new 'Slinger' fit jeans in indigo selvedge. Filmmaker Riley Blakeway has created a short film, Welcome Stranger, to promote the release, shot in country Byron Bay, home to Thrills. Below is a series of exclusive film stills; watch the full film here.
Last week we took you behind the scenes of the Harrolds campaign shoot, lensed by photographer Georges Antoni with styling by Manuscript's Jolyon Mason and art direction by 3Deep. Now comes the video: a mystifying preview of the department store's luxury collections.
What do sneakers need? Socks! And that is exactly the lateral thinking that has lead to collaboration between Sweden's Happy Socks and Keds in their new dual branded footwear release. In red and blue polka-dotted cream canvas, the Keds classic Champion style sneaker is matched with some bold striped horizontal stripes in matching colour scheme. Why not let your sneakers make a statement?
According to the Telegraph in the UK, ex-Pringle artistic director Alistair Carr - who left the company in April in what was said to be a mutual decision between him and the company - has been appointed head designer of McQ, the younger diffusion line of Alexander McQueen. Speaking of McQueen, the label's mainline, Alexander McQueen, is the latest label to join the upcoming London Collections: Men showcase, set for January 7 to 9. London Collections: Men was created to display "the breadth of British fashion talent, from the world's most innovative emerging talents to global menswear brands and Savile Row tailors. Alexander McQueen is one of the most inventive British brands to emerge in the last twenty years.
We couldn't help but laugh at these tongue-in-cheek t-shirts that popped up in our Instagram feed recently. Like House of Holland before them, this company employs the t-shirt to subvert notions of luxury brands we know with an underground twist. The website sheds little light on who the company, Conflict of Interest, is exactly, noting that "they operate in secret so that you can stunt in public."
This month marks the 25th anniversary of American eyewear label Oliver Peoples. The brainchild of Larry Leight, the company got its start when the founder purchased an estate of vintage frames, having since championed simple, classic shades. As one of the first eyewear designers to have been elected a member of the CFDA, Mr Leight's expertise in the field of eyewear is unparalleled. Here, he speaks with Manuscript about the quarter century milestone. The anniversary design 'XXV' was
discovered amongst your archives from 1989. What updates did you make on the
Barely any. Of course there are little details and exact, precise measurements
that were defined when we decided to actually produce the styles, but the
overall design and concepts stayed very true to the original design I had in
mind. In the 25 years of Oliver Peoples, how has the eyewear fashion market
What is very different today as opposed to 25
years ago is the internet. The world is getting smaller and smaller and access
to information and all sorts of products is at our fingertips. In the past,
brand awareness was achieved strictly by word of mouth and magazine editorials.
Global exposure is today possible through the different channels of
social media. It’s still a form of word of mouth but Facebook, Instagram,
Twitter, Pintrest etc. all help get the brand message out there. In the eyewear
industry specifically, I believe the largest change is
that there is a significantly greater variety available
to choice from and Internet allows the consumer to be more educated about their
options.When Oliver Peoples first launched, eyewear was
still considered somewhat of a medical accessory. Now, 25 years later, there
has been an extreme rise in awareness on the commercial side - department
stores which used to carry very few brands are now turning their focus to this
market which, according to direct buyer feedback, they recently began to
consider as a key accessory next to shoes and bags and a buy-in item for major
designers. As opposed to perfume or beauty, which used to be the first attainable
brand extension licensed to be explored, I believe people now look to the
Oliver Peoples has always been a
harmonious blend between modernity and vintage. Looking at how the vintage era
is influencing fashion currently; do you think eyewear (and to a greater
extent, your own designs) began the vintage craze?
Yes, absolutely. Back in the late 1980’s when we
first launched, the trend was very geometric, in the style of YSL. Our vintage
inspired designs were a huge departure from what people were doing at that
time. Our customers have said many times that we changed the direction of
eyewear globally and created a category of intellectual, vintage inspired
eyewear that did not previously exist. Over the next 10 years (between 1987-1997),
everyone has started doing a vintage look and the trend continues to this day.
Like in all fashion, things come and go, but I do believe we were one of the
first to blaze the trail in eyewear.
In the 25 years of the brand you've collaborated with brands such as Prada,
Paul Smith, Helmut Lang and Jil Sander. Any other designers you'd be keen
to collaborate with?
Those collaborations, other than Paul Smith, were
ones that I worked on personally, not related Oliver Peoples. Paul Smith is a
license that we have had since 1994. There are so many designers that I respect
and admire and I feel that working with another designer, if it is a natural
and unforced collaboration, can be really interesting and fun. To combine and
fuse talents and vision is a unique experience and each time the result is
What are you looking forward to most in
the future of eye fashion?
I’m looking forward to the day when the lead time
of production gets shorter and more technology is available. Most people don’t
know that our design process can take anywhere between 9 and 16 months. In the
future, I hope that our factories can produce prototypes and production of the
highest quality plastic frames and custom plastic colors in a much shorter
amount of time. This would of course help when it comes to trends, but in
general, when you are realize your visions quicker, you are able to live in the
now. It is human nature is to want for today. When you are creating a design,
you fall in love with it, and it’s hard to have to wait a year before you get
to enjoy it in the real world. I’d love to be able to produce a small
quantity of a custom plastic frames in 1 or 2 weeks in my own office which
means technology would have to really advance to get to that level.
From Canberra of all places comes Australia's newest menswear accessories label: Henry Carter. Named after the founder's grandfather, Jason Segrott began the label two seasons ago and the range - neckwear and accessories - can be purchased online. "I set out to create something unique in the Australian marketplace," explained Mr Segrott. "Something that doesn't compromise on quality and uses the best artisans in the world for production but its still affordable." Henry Carter specialises in 7-fold and classic, lined ties, as well as pocket squares, socks, Scottish cashmere scarves, knit ties, bow ties and, next month, shirts, with the majority of pieces handmade in Naples, Italy.
It takes Jonathan Zawada, 31-year old multihyphenate creative, and I some four weeks to pin down a time to speak via Skype for this interview. He’s not pretentious or above doing an interview – far from it, as the following discussion attests – just busy. In a career spanning just over a decade, Mr Zawada has risen from merely a graphic designer to an internationally recognised name in fields as broad as video direction, print design and illustration, radically flip-flopping between all of them depending on the job he’s given. You could say that Mr Zawada gets all the good projects – commissions from ASOS, Surface to Air, Nike and the New York Times – but he’s known for his ability to do interesting things with more corporate brands, too, with a portfolio spanning Bloomberg, BMW, Coca- Cola and Mecca Cosmetica. And as Mr Zawada reaches new heights following a relocation to Los Angeles last year and solo art shows on the cards, as well as a new baby, Pip, in the mix, he shows no signs of fatigue.
MITCHELL OAKLEY SMITH: You’ve been living in Los Angeles for a year now. How’s it treating you?
JONATHAN ZAWADA: I love working here. It seems like anything is possible, and people are really positive. Everyone wants to help and be doing stuff and gets behind one another, which is great. In terms of living it’s not the greatest. Annie [Wright-Zawada, Mr Zawada's wife] once described it as an endless Parramatta Road, which it is in some ways, but at least it’s cheaper [than Sydney].
MOS: Is that why you moved?
JZ: I’d come over here twice – once for a group show and another time for a solo show at Prism [Gallery]. The show had gone well and it seemed like a good time. Not much was happening in Australia at the time, so I wanted to try out something different. I’d been trying to do more art [in Sydney] but renting studios was really difficult, whereas here it’s really easy; space is abundant and it’s cheaper.
MOS: The contemporary art scene in LA has radically evolved in the past few years.
JZ: It certainly seems that way. And my theory has always been that Australian people have a chip on their shoulder. There’s always the assumption that you haven’t really made it until you’ve made it somewhere else, like New York or London, and so everyone second-guesses decisions they make. Here, on the other hand, it’s not like people are striving to go elsewhere. They’re focusing on what they do right now.
MOS: Do you think that being Australian differentiates your work over there, or are we so globalised today that geographic influences aren’t so prevalent?
JZ: I don’t know, actually. I haven’t met too many LA natives, really. One thing I have noticed is that Australians seem to be able to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time; there's a real can-do attitude. All the Aussies I meet here are really prolific and working extra hard. I think being in Australia, with its various restraints, teaches you to be more economical and varied in what you do, just to make things happen. It can be difficult not being able to achieve what you want, but I love that part of Australian creative life too.
MOS: We’re not as laidback as our reputation suggests.
JZ: Exactly. The more you work with others, the more you realise that Australians aren’t lazy or laidback. At least the last generation, anyway.
MOS: I asked earlier about your work having something distinctly Australian about it, because others have written, and in many ways its true, that because your work is so broad it’s hard to pin down an overarching aesthetic.
JZ: It’s probably the wrong word to describe it, but there’s definitely a conceptual underpinning to what I do. I approach each job the same way, and the way I work is with pretty much the same process. It’s the aesthetic style of the outcome that varies. For me, a lot of the work I put into my practice is not the visual side; it’s thinking about the challenges and problems inherent in the brief and the concepts associated with it. The outcome tends to be solving that problem in my head and then moving onto that final stage. I guess it changes a lot because as the problem is solved there are a lot of solutions.
MOS: Is there one medium you prefer working with more?
JZ: Not really. I love working with lots of different things. A lot of my work lately, especially in my art practice, has involved lots of mediums slung together; there’s scripts I’ve written, oil paintings, sculpture… I like combining processes as much as I can. I enjoy drawing with pencil on paper, and although I haven’t done it much in the past few months, it feels really natural. But then I love working on the computer with new software, too, and I’m happy to sit down and fiddle with things digitally.
MOS: It’s interesting because, unless you look closely, many people would assume all of your work is digitally created.
JZ: There’s a lot of artists that love picking up a notebook and scribbling bits down, but I don’t feel like I have a natural style for that. I don’t doodle much. I always wish I had my own style, where if I felt like drawing I could just draw, but I’ve never really had that.
MOS: It makes sense then that so much of your work has been about responding to a specific brief.
JZ: Yeah, I like a brief. When I started working, ten or 15 years ago, the vision I had of graphic design then – and graphic design was a different thing at that time – was that you got a brief from a client and you executed a solution, and it was always to promote that client. It’s changed a bit now in that clients want to attach their brand to a pre-existing designer style, but I don’t like the approach of using a client project to promote myself. It should be about promoting the client, not yourself.
MOS: You said in an interview once that you are a terrible collaborator, and yet nearly all of your projects require you to work with others in some way, which makes that hard to believe.
JZ: I love responding to a brief. I love solving problems. I love meeting people. I’m not particularly social but I like being social via meetings. I think it’s important to be a good communicator and that a good communication channel is key to a good project. Very few projects require me to sit alongside someone to create something together.
MOS: I guess that level of collaboration has been limited to your work with Annie and Shane [Sakkeus].
JZ: Shane and I had been friends a long time and I’d been going out with Annie for years before we did anything together, so there wasn’t anything at risk. There was a whole lot that had already been said, and those projects just worked.
MOS: How do the more commercial collaborations – like those with ASOS and Surface to Air – come about?
JZ: They were both out of the blue. Those kinds of one-off product projects are usually out of the blue, otherwise it’s through someone I’ve worked with before as a nameless graphic designer, like Colab [eyewear]. ASOS came about through It’s Nice That, which I’d been involved in. In some ways [this kind of project] tends to be more straightforward but I feel you get a bit more respect than with others.
MOS: There’s been not so enjoyable ones?
JZ: Surface to Air was a particularly bad experience for me. In contrast, I have had amazing working relationships with people like Tina Kalivas for a long time, and that’s really collaborative. With someone like Surface to Air they are under no obligation to make the experience enjoyable. They get the PR out of it to help sell their normal, straight-up line, and they never risk enough money for the collaborative project to be a big deal if it doesn’t sell well, so it doesn’t matter if the artist is unhappy because they’re never going to work with them again. Which sucks. It should be a 50-50 relationship, as how the press sees it, but really it’s 95-5 with those projects.
MOS: And yet these collaborations, so to speak, are so prevalent in the fashion industry, from luxury to designer to mass market. Why do you think they’re so popular?
JZ: I think an artist’s name has a lot more weight than it did in the past. A collaboration might not sell product, but it creates a story, generates press, with the brand theoretically publicising the collaborative project when, in fact, they’re using it to promote the stuff they do that’s not collaborative, because often the collaboration isn’t so retail-friendly or commercial. I’ve been caught out and discovered that firsthand. When things are labeled a collaboration there’s the implication that it’s 50-50, but in reality it’s more a case of ‘we’re already making this X bag or t-shirt and we want to put your Y print or whatever on top of it’. There’s no real discussion going on. Sometimes, though, it works brilliantly. [Takashi] Murakami with Louis Vuitton was a blending of the two, a meshing of the two worlds, and it was great.
MOS: Some people would argue that the application of an artist’s work to a fashion garment devalues the artist’s work, as happened with Murakami.
JZ: I don’t tend to agree. I don’t think it devalues an artist. When it’s not done right, maybe then it devalues an artist’s work, like with my Surface to Air project. I produced the artwork with the assumption that it would be reproduced at a certain quality and size. But when it’s done correctly and the artistic integrity is maintained, I don’t think it inherently devalues an artwork by virtue of it being on a garment.
MOS: Is the clothing then deemed art?
JZ: I think there are definitely boundaries between the two. I have quite defined boundaries between the two in my practice and maintain a separation between the two. If I make something with my own hands, I consider it art, but if it’s massproduced I don’t think it is. With Tina or ASOS, there’s a lot of design that takes place and so many production processes, and that doesn’t speak to me of the idea of art, which is a fluid flow of ideas. I guess we tried to address this with Trust Fun, by doing something in the middle. We produced the pieces in small numbers or hand made most of them, like the jewellery, which we loved from an environmental perspective. But all that said, I think that the term ‘art’ is pretty malleable. In a museum show, pretty much anything can be construed as art. For example, I love car design, and there’s a lot of old car design that I consider to be art. Really, the term ‘art’ is, a lot of the time, ill suited for discussion. You can say the word and it means a very different thing to different people based on their experience.
MOS: Going back to Trust Fun, I found that project interesting in that you’d already worked with other fashion designers – like Tina, Insight and Ksubi, and Shane with Josh Goot. Was it a reaction to all of that?
JZ: Yeah, we’d been doing so many fashion projects, and worked together on Follow magazine. I’d been doing a hell of a lot of t-shirt prints and was getting the shits with the process of it. I thought that the idea of printing the same t-shirt in multiple quantities was really archaic, and I think Shane felt the same way, and so we began with tiedye, which we couldn’t get any other brands interested in at the time. Then it went to digital printing, which is an amazing technology in that every garment can be different in terms of the print. It goes against the grain of commercial fashion, in that each piece is different. So I guess we did things for Trust Fun that we wished we could do or wanted to do for clients but had been turned down. That then translated to our fashion comic, Petit Mal.
MOS: Speaking of publishing, it’s amazing that a place like the New York Times, undoubtedly the world’s greatest media institution, has picked up on your work.
JZ: Yeah, definitely. I get really excited by those projects, like the one I did for Bloomberg. The Times had asked me to do things previously, and it’s always so exciting, but with those sorts of things you usually get an email late at night asking for artwork in two days time with little in way of a brief, which is understandable for the operation, but it can be terrifying and unceremonious and exciting all at once.
MOS: Do you still spend much time in book stores?
JZ: Not really anymore, especially now we’ve moved. I left all of my books at home.
MOS: Where do you find inspiration?
JZ: I haven’t been looking at the internet, as I’ve been painting so much. More and more I trust my own approach to the brief and am having to look for inspiration less and less. Aesthetics tend to be a product of the concept.
MOS: What about other graphic designers and illustrators – are there others you admire?
JZ: Heaps! There are so many amazing designers – Peter Saville, Barney Bubbles, Hipgnosis. Early on I had very specific points of reference, but then Tumblr came about and with the images not attached to names, I guess my influences became more disparate. I feel like a result of being older that I don’t look at other things too much. I go on a different tangent from job to job. There’s a bunch of people and things that inspire me, like Bjork, but not so much in a visual sense.
MOS: Actually I recall you mentioning Bjork in a previous interview as someone you’d like to work with. Is there an ideal project in mind?
JZ: Less and less so. The jobs that are the most enjoyable or rewarding are the ones you least expect to be. I really like the surprise of something new that I don’t know anything about, and I guess there are different measures of what constitutes a good project. I love my working relationship with The Presets. They, maybe more than anyone, have a lot of faith in me and let me go off and do what I do best. We have similar mindsets and a lot of stuff doesn’t need to be said, which is the same as with Tina. The thing I’m most proud of though is Trust Fun.
MOS: Going back to your artwork… you’ve created large-scale paintings, installations, and sculptures. A lot of people, at least in Australia, don’t know this side of your work.
JZ: Well, the oil paintings came about out of something I was working on, and after doing one I thought I would do a group of them for a solo show. It simply seemed like the best way to execute the idea I had in my mind. There’s no way I could have done them in Australia. I wouldn’t have had the means to survive and there wasn’t the forum or support for it. But anyway, I’ve always tried to keep my work – art and design – separate. I had small shows of pencil work at Monster Children [Gallery] and Sarah Cottier [Gallery] in Sydney, and my design work often didn’t have my name attached too it, at least earlier on. The show I’m working on at the moment has oil paintings but also installation work and sculpture, and I’m not sure I’ll use those mediums again, but I always approach my practice with whatever seems like the best way to do so. That’s the part of the process I enjoy most: learning something new.
MOS: Where is the show?
JZ: At Prism in Los Angeles, just near my house. I’m also doing a bunch of different design things, too. There’s a lot on.
MOS: People often say that having a baby forces you to be creative in the compartmentalised moments you have available.
JZ: It’s true, which is probably why it hasn’t been so challenging. I’ve always had so many jobs on that I’ve never had the luxury of spending the whole day on just one job. I do things in incremental additions and work on multiple different projects at once. With the oil paintings where, because the paint is wet, it requires hours at a time, it can be trickier to work out a balance. The first week or two after Pip was born I managed to produce a 24-page book for The Presets, along with some vinyl artwork, and it was challenging but I like working in little blocks of time. I get sidetracked or procrastinate if I have too much time.
MOS: It doesn’t seem like you have trouble creating anyhow, with the prolific amount you turn out.
JZ: I like doing things as quickly as I can, not for economic reasons but because it seems healthy to me. I get a brief and don’t pay it any attention for
the first few weeks, just let it linger in my mind until an idea forms, usually when I’ sleeping, and then I’ll execute it in the last few days.
A few months back, Manuscript was invited to document behind the scenes at the spring campaign shoot for Harrolds, Australia's luxury department store for men. As it happens, Harrolds and Manuscript have a long relationship, our fashion director, Jolyon Mason, responsible for styling the retailer's campaigns, so we were keen to let you in on how its brilliant seasonal imagery comes together. Directed by 3 Deep's David Roennfeldt, the concept for Harrolds' campaigns is mapped out for the course of several seasons, with imagery of various animals layered beneath portraits of a model. This season moves away from the blue background of last season's eagle, in its place a jaguar with a rich, red wash over the top. "We choose the animals based on its virtues and the meanings it has, and then choose models to suit," says Mr Roennfeldt. "So with this one, the jaguar, it's all about strength, power and notions of masculinity." As for the clothing, the retailer's creative director Chris Kyvetos says: "For the first time we are introducing more of our fashion looks to the customer," noting that autumn/winter pieces from the northern hemisphere such as the Thom Browne varsity jacket. "As far as tailoring goes, we're trying to showcase the notion of mismatching textures in shirts and ties, steering away from classic suits." See the campaign here.
There's nothing more dashing than good eyewear, and this slick new boutique in Paddington's retail hub has it in spades. Onepointsevenfour has opened in the site previously occupied by Zambesi on Glenmore Road - the area of which has seen something of a revival recently, with Josh Goot set to open around the corner this weekend - and plays home to the eyewear collections of Alexander Wang, Kris Van Assche, Thom Brown and Dries Van Noten. And in paying homage to the notion of eyewear as an art form, many pieces are create from unique materials such as buffalo horn, 24-carat plated titanium and snakeskin. The man behind the store, Joshua Matta, brings with him industry experience of over 20 years, having co-designed eyewear for Sass & Bide, Akira and Zambesi.
It may not have much to do with menswear, but Danish shoe designer Camilla Skovgaard is set to release her first line of men's shoes and, quite simply, it's a brilliant film. Ms Skovgaard teamed with acclaimed City of Life director Ali F. Mostafa (pictured below) to create the short film, which debuted at the beginning of New York Fashion Week. Shot in Dubai, where Ms Skovgaard began her career and still maintains a residence, the film showcases pieces from her autumn/winter 2012 and resort 2013 collections, set to a custom track by Zebra Katz.
Yes, the collaborations keep on coming from the fashion industry, but unlike many others, this one is brilliant. Leading online retailer ASOS has joined forces with Puma's menswear department to create ASOS BLACK X PUMA. A seamless fusion of fashion and sportswear - as is largely happening throughout both mens and womenswear in recent seasons - the 60-piece collection comprises both apparel and accessories, demonstrating Puma's technical sports finishes in an aesthetic, rather than performance, context. This results in traditionally tailored two-button suits updated with technical fastenings and bright orange detailing, as well as jackets with sporting shapes, including gilets and puff jackets. Key pieces are captured in the photographs below, modelled by leading talent from the worlds of sculpture, graffiti and graphic design.