February 28, 2013

View: Harrolds

Today sees the unveiling of the 2013 campaign for luxury men's department store Harrolds, lensed by Georges Antoni and styled by Manuscript's fashion director Jolyon Mason. Showcasing the retailer's new collections - including pieces from Saint Laurent Paris, Alexander McQueen and Thom Browne - the campaign demonstrates the sheer breadth of Harrolds' offering, ranging from fine tailoring to casual fashion. View the accompanying film here.





February 25, 2013

Visit: Dior Homme

It has been open for almost a month now, so if you haven't yet visited the Dior Homme store on King Street, Sydney, you should make a point of it whilst designer Kris Van Assche's spring/summer collection (photographed by Manuscript here) is still fresh from Paris. Attached to the Christian Dior store on the corner of King and Castlereagh Streets - and the first of its kind in Australia, modelled on the brand's store on Avenue Montaigne, Paris - the Dior Homme store can accessed internally via a discreet corridor or by its own entrance with a distinctly masculine store facade. The space, largely mirrored and black lacquered in line with the sleekness of the aesthetic perpetuated by Mr Van Assche, houses Dior Homme's seasonal ready-to-wear line in addition to its permanent product categories of footwear, eyewear, leathergoods, watches, jewellery, fragrance and suiting. 

February 24, 2013

East

With the emergence of India as a growing luxury market, it stands to reason that designers should look east for inspiration. The resulting clash of culture is, we believe, a sartorial success. 

Photography Kylie Coutts | Creative Direction Jolyon Mason
Styling James Dykes | Grooming Claire Thomson | Hair Kimberley Forbes

Above: Orlebar Brown shirt, Francis Damian Jordan suit, Peter Lang earrings & 
necklace, Maniamania neckpiece & ring, Prada sandals, stylist's own socks. 
Top: Bally sweater, Chanel headpiece and chain. 

Jac+Jack shirt, James Perse sweater, Peter Lang earring, Chanel bag. 

Hugo Boss suit, Herringbone jacket worn over top, Hermes scarf & 
cuff, Giorgio Armani scarf, Milu shoes, stylist's own bag. 

Gucci shirt, Emporio Armani pants. 

Chronicles of Never shirt, jacket & scarf, Kirrily Johnston pants, ASOS eyewear, Henson rings. 

Ronan Lock | Photographic Assistance Mitch Fong 

Nip/Tuck

British label Orlebar Brown is one of those brands that continue to grow so organically, and with the expansion from swimwear and into sportswear comes a new invention. Its signature sport shorts, Pup II and Boxer II, and Collins jacket are designed to easily condense into a travel-sized waterproof pouch, as demonstrated in this video.

Autumn Is Coming...

Long Live Sport, Indeed!


When Hermès sent leather skipping ropes to its media partners at the close of last year, one might have guessed that the French house's theme for the year ahead had something to do with sport. And so it is that a series of videos celebrate the athletic underpinnings of this year's offerings, such as the above Le saute-mouton d'Hermès. View all of the videos and explore Hermès' Vive Le Sport campaign here

February 20, 2013

The Boys of Summer, Part 2




There were 14 actors on set when this magazine’s cover was shot, which is a lot of confidence and testosterone in one room. While some were playing basketball, others hanging about discussing upcoming auditions, Louis Hunter was reading a novel with an intensity mirrored in his portrait. It makes sense then that his approach to acting is that of someone wise beyond his years. Indeed, it’s not every 20-year old that plays opposite Cate Blanchett, which Mr Hunter did in 2009 in Sydney Theatre Company’s War of the Roses. Mr Hunter has been acting since he was five and enjoys the diversity in the mediums in which he’s been able to perform, including television series Out of the Blue. “I think both have their strengths and their weaknesses. With theatre you get that immediate response from the audience, but for film and television you get to reach so many more people, and with techniques and tools you’re able to clearly communicate the kind of story and message the director or writer has in mind; that’s really special.” Mr Hunter is perhaps more widely known for his role on American supernatural teen drama The Secret Circle. “It was a big gig…there are things about it I loved and will cherish, and others I’d like to forget. The cast made it really easy, and I learnt a lot from the directors.” As for the future, the actor’s objectives are ambitious but, it seems, not unattainable. “I’d pick something ridiculous, something by Scorsese, or Francis Ford Coppola, as a dream role,” he says. “There are so many different things I want to explore in storytelling – so many things I want to do and discover.”

Alexander England admits that while the use of baby oil was a bit unnerving, the Manuscript shoot was not only fun but a great chance to make the acquaintance of those he hasn’t seen at auditions. “I’m kind of a ‘big guy’, so to meet guys who go for other kinds of roles was good,” says the 26-year old actor who’s already carving out his own niche. Television audiences first saw the graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts as Conrad Fischer in the bushranger drama series Wild Boys. “When we were at drama school, we never learnt to act while on horseback, trying to keep your horse in camera and maintaining a semblance of character,” he says, dryly. “I did come off a few times throughout shooting, so that helped to spice up the acting environment and keep things more real.” Talk about method. Being cast as Tony Greig in the mini-series Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, he knew he’d be scrutinised widely for playing the South African-born cricketer who became synonymous with cricket commentating on Australian TV. “I mentioned to a few people that I got the role and they all launched straight into their Tony Grieg accent, and I thought, geez, if I can’t get this right then I’m going to be crucified because everybody in their lounge rooms will be thinking they can do a better Tony Grieg than I can.” However, receiving approval from the man himself waylaid any fears. “I have heard a couple of radio interviews where he has said that ‘the young England chap had done an all right job’, so that’s as close as I’ll get to a pat on the back from him,” he says. Next up is portraying another wellknown face, as a young James Packer in Paper Giants: Magazine Wars. “I think being big is paying off at the moment! [But] I’m playing James when he’s about 20, so it’s not a James that most people are familiar with. He’s just a young man looking to prove himself in a world that was moving very fast.” Sounds like someone else we know.

Hugo Johnstone-Burt is an actor with drive. Literally. “I’m a huge car fan. I’ve got a car at the moment that I’m obsessed with, it’s a Volkswagen Golf GTI,” he says. “Some people read, some people paint, I look up car bits online, that’s my thing.” He found his other passion, performing, as a teen, thanks to his high school’s habit of handing out merit cards to worthy students. “I’d never received one, and for my first ever drama class in Year 9 I was given a merit card. I thought, this is awesome, if I can show off and get a merit card for it, then this is what I want to do for the rest of my life!” the 25-yearold explains. Attending NIDA certainly played a part in refining his technique, but he says the transformation was bigger than that. “It wasn’t me just growing up as an actor, it was me growing up as a person. I know it sounds stupidly clichéd, but I went in as a 19-year-old boy and came out as a 22-year-old man. It makes you throw yourself headfirst into things.” Turns out these very skills would soon come in handy. After making his television debut in Underbelly: The Golden Mile (“I was absolutely packing it when I walked on the set”) he was cast as Fish Lamb in the TV adaptation of Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet. Playing a partially brain-damaged character who lives in his own version of reality really threw down the gauntlet. “It was so challenging. I lost several nights’ sleep over it. It was so much fun to do, but there was always the question of am I going too far or am I not going far enough.” It’s fair to say he was right on target, receiving two nominations at the 2012 ASTRA Awards for Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor and Best New Talent. He’s currently familiar to Home and Away viewers as bad-boy Jamie Sharpe, a stint he wrapped earlier this year. “I never really pictured myself in the Bay, but I loved it, I loved every second of it.” And he will be seen on the big screen in 2013 in Goddess, starring alongside Laura Michelle Kelly, Ronan Keating and Magda Szubanski. In the film, which Mr Johnstone-Burt describes as “a mish-mash of genres”, a former star now living a quiet married life in Australia becomes an internet sensation, quite timely for audiences still recovering from a Gangnam Style onslaught. And after that? “I’m always striving for the next bigger thing, for the next award or the next great performance,” he says. “I don’t think you can ever say you’ve made it."

Words Kate Venman (Louis Hunter) & Cameron Bayley 
(Alexander England & Hugo Johnston-Burt) | Talent wear Prada clothing

An Italian Celebration

It's a good thing Gucci built a museum in Florence. Given the legendary place some of its products have come to maintain within 20th century culture, the Gucci Museo - a space featuring both permanent exhibitions of historic products and temporary installations of contemporary art - serves not only a flagbearer for the storied Italian leathergoods house but also for Italian sartorial culture at large. Case in point: this week's opening of a special exhibition to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Gucci's iconic horsebit loafer. Created in 1953 by Guccio Gucci's son, Aldo, as the brand expanded into footwear, the loafer remains the most iconic shoe produced by the house. "The horsebit loafer has lived many lives since its creation sixty years ago, earning itself an important place as a wardrobe staple for both men and women alike," explains Gucci's creative director Frida Giannini. "The double-ring and bar motif taken from equestrian hardware remains an icon linking Gucci's unique history with its modern day attitude." The exhibition narrates the legacy of the horsebit loafer, from its origins in the fifties through to its induction as part of the permanent collection of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985, through to its contemporary incarnation in a range of exotic fabrics. Additionally, the windows of Gucci stores across the world will be transformed with a vibrant video installation

February 19, 2013

The Boys of Summer, Part 1

The year ahead holds promise for an explosion of emerging talent. 
As part of a week-long series, we introduce the actors on the brink of stardom.

Photography Georges Antoni | Styling Jolyon Mason
Grooming Natasha Severino | Hair Diane Gorgievski



Growing up on the Gold Coast, 27-year old Eamon Farren (top) moved to Sydney study at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2005, attributing his acting interest to a great high school drama teacher. “After high school I went to do an economics degree at university and realised very quickly that I should just be an actor. I got the courage up to audition and was lucky enough to get in," he explains. After an immediate run of independent Australian films including Blessed and Lucky Country “I realised I also loved film, and the balance of theatre and film is a great one. You get the technique and art from theatre and can apply that to film even though they’re different mediums. I like to straddle both worlds”. In 2010, not only was he a runner-up for the Heath Ledger Scholarship, Australians in Film, but he was thrown in the deep end in Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks HBO series The Pacific. “It was a dream job for a young male actor. It was one of those experiences that you can’t compare to anything. Boot camp was physically intense and the shooting of it was an after mark of the actual experience.” This year Mr Farren will perform with the SydneyTheatre Company in Mrs. Warren’s Profession [March] and in the role of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet [in September] But if he could choose any role, he’d have a crack at that dream role for most actors: Hamlet. “It’s one of those roles you forever want to try again. As far as storytelling, it’s the ultimate.”

Growing up hunting and fishing in a big family, Travis Cardona’s (centre] upbringing was worlds away from the theatre. However, after joining Corrugated Iron Youth Arts, an organisation funded by the Northern Territory government, and going on to act in a professional production as an understudy during ninth grade, Mr Cardona realized his passion, putting it down to “the whole storytelling aspect, I think. As a kid I was a big fan of stories. Acting and plays was the next step.” Having since performed in series such as All Saints and Dance Academy, as well as Griffin Theatre’s Savage River, when asked if he could choose between theatre and television, Mr Cardona remains torn. “I think with theatre you get that big adrenalin rush, but with film you can watch it back and create something completely surreal or different”. Mr Cardona is set to play a character that is visually impaired in Belvoir Theatre’s This Heaven, on now. Set in country New South Whales, the play is based around a family whose circumstances lead them to a tricky balance between love and anger. “With the script you put a lot of time into the words on the page and what you’re saying. I talk it out a lot, nutting out exactly what your character is hearing, and what the other characters are saying”.

Coming from a family of 12 children helped Caleb Alloway develop a knack for standing out from a very young age. “I remember when I was seven or eight I asked if I could learn the piano. Mum saw that I was into the arts and I started taking part in the local musical society productions”. Mr Alloway has often played characters dealing with emotionally intense internal struggles, in theatre productions like The Paris Letter and Canary. “They’re great roles to play; I love to research and get inside those kinds of characters. It’s all about changing someone in the audience so they feel like they can make a difference.” In preparing for these roles, Mr Alloway credits his mentors. “I worked with [actor] Peter Cousens earlier this year... working with someone of that calibre is great. We sit around a table and talk about the characters, but I also draw on my own life.” Mr Alloway was also a part of Underbelly Razor as Constable Keith Sullivan, a dramatic departure from his previous on-stage roles. “It was so different and my only TV experience to date. It was quick, huge and a bit of a blur.” In early 2013, Mr Alloway will appear as part of Peach Theatre Company’s highly anticipated comedy The History Boys at theSydney Opera House.

Words Kate Venman | Talent wear Prada clothing

The Architecture of Clothing

It's ambitious for the modernist architecture of Oscar Nieyemer to serve as a starting point for a fashion collection - not least because of the various curves that define Mr Niemeyer's work, but also the detailed construction inherent in the buildings - but so it is for Melbourne-based menswear label From Britten's autumn/winter collection. "It's not just appliqué," explains Alexander Britten-Finschi, one half of the label with his brother Tim. "It took a very long time to get the patterns and details right," he explains of the wool and cashmere-based collection. 


February 18, 2013

See: Liz Ham at MCA Art Bar

This Friday night in Sydney marks the new edition of the Museum of Contemporary Art's popular Art Bar. Curated by Emma Price of female art collective The Kingpins, according to a MCA spokesperson this Art Bar "is for lovers". As such, roving performances and video installations speak about themes of of intimacy and desire. And there's a kissing booth, too. We are, however, most excited about the inclusion of Sydney-based photographer and regular Manuscript contributor Liz Ham (whose image above from Issue I remains significant). Ms Ham will show a slideshow of personal photo-documentary and portrait work, collected over a number of years. As one of the country's leading contemporary photographers, this is a rare opportunity to see the an alternative side to her work. Book tickets at mca.com.au/series/artbar

Now Open: Jac+Jack


Following the beautiful Stephen Ward-lensed portrait series by Sydney-based luxury basics label Jac+Jack comes the opening of its large new retail concept at Paddington's Intersection site. Sitting alongside such labels as Josh Goot and Mecca Cosmetica, the George Livissianis-designed store, the brand's third following its recent opening in Hawksburn, stocks Jac+Jack's men's and women's collections alongside a selection of imported and local designers such as Current/Elliott, Superfine and Three Over One. As Mr Livissianis explains of the design: "I started by looking at the new collection, the feeling of the existing stores and the campaign shots. I focused on the brand - considered and effortless - and the idea of quiet luxury." In response, the designer employed timber plywood, concrete, steel and stone materials to contrast against the softness the collection. 

February 17, 2013

You're the Top

There's but one British retailer that can lay claim to revolutionising the way 
the contemporary fashion system operates, writes Mitchell Oakley Smith. 

At the opening night of Topshop in Sydney in October the police turned up and asked a group of young women camped outside the old Gowings building on the corner of George and Market Streets in the CBD to move along. These eager shoppers weren’t hanging about to get a glimpse of the variously assorted musicians and actors that were in attendance. Topshop had been promoting special offers for the first people through the door at 9am the following the morning, and these women wanted to nab a bargain. Doesn’t Sydney have enough high street retailers following the city’s retail refurbishment? Better still, if they loved Topshop so much, couldn’t they have visited its Melbourne store, opened a year earlier? Such suggestion would, it seems, be music to these shoppers’ ears.

Earlier that day, amidst a frenzy of 20-somethings running around the store’s four floors at a bloggers-only preview ahead of the media event that night, I met with Topman’s managing director David Shepherd. Despite his day job behind a desk, Mr Shepherd seemed entirely unperturbed by the chaos of the store, what with the short few hours until the launch event. Speed, it seems, is what defines the success of the company. “We’re as good as last week’s sales, as last week’s trends,” he explained. “When something is slow, we move onto the next trend.” Indeed, Topshop is known for its speed to market, delivering new products weekly. 

What this means is that if leopard prints hit the designer runways – fashion’s traditional system is that clothes are shown six months prior to their arrival in store – Topshop will have leopard print windows in just over a month. “It might be black jeans. At the moment it’s Aztec prints. Next month it’ll be something else. That’s our point of difference.”

Point of difference? Some might say that Topshop’s rise is independent designers’ demise. But that said, the retailer has reached such a point of style authority in its own right that the traditional boundaries between high street and high end have become blurred. In its women’s division, Kate Phelan was recently appointed creative director, following two decades as the fashion editor of British Vogue, evidence of the creative potential inherent in the company. As Mr Shepherd puts it: “Mixing designer and high street has become cool. A mixand- match approach to dressing.” 

Topman, under the longtime creative direction of Gordon Richardson, is known for its regular collaborations with emerging designers, including Kim Jones and Peter Jensen, and support of graduate menswear designers, which it showcases at London Fashion Week. But interestingly, the collaborations are more effective than those that define the luxury market: in addition to offering young designers access to an exponentially broader market, a financial injection at the beginning of their careers and the opportunity to work within the framework of an international company, Topman can essentially rebrand itself as a creator of trends, rather than a follower of them, endorsing the designer names as an extension of its own. Far beyond a high street retailer, it becomes a platform for emerging creativity.

What Topshop offers stems far beyond on-trend, decently made clothing. With its rigorous marketing strategy promoting an unrivalled connection with youth culture, the brand represents a promise to a cooler, better-looking future. If fashion is, as has been considered, art – the act of clothing the body a performance of sorts, offering a chance to transform oneself – then perhaps Topshop is something of an entry token. With its relatively affordable prices, the retailer offers a democratic approach to fashion, something previously reserved for the wealthy or in-the-know. In this way, it provides an accessible platform upon which one can imbibe in fashion's flights of fancy, signalling a collapsing of traditional high and low hierarchies within the industry.