Menswear is making one hell of a comeback – and at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival GQ Australia Menswear Runway – it was at its very peak. Seldom does a fashion show take my breath away or engage me so intently that I forget to take photos, but this was a runway that achieved both. As I bantered with A Good Man before the show about the importance of Australian emerging menswear brands, I definitely did not think I would be as surprised as I was with what followed.
Opening with an interpretive dance performance and a string of models entering from the “wrong” end of the runway, the sounds of David Bowie’s dramatic voice bellowed around the room and set an incredible scene for some of the industry’s most talented menswear designers.
Arthur Galan AG: The sophisticated sportsman.
Arthur’s use of unique fabrics and his attention to detail have had men putting their right foot forward since 1998. Neatly cropped pant cuffs, strong and stiff collars, sleek and sporty jackets; Arthur Galan AG has perfected the modern man.
Bassike: Casual cool.
Deepening the mood and dipping to the dark side, Bassike delivered a very sullen collection on long-locked models with hoodie-hidden faces. Famous for a sustainable philosophy and simplicity in design, the latest from Bassike has a staple place in every man’s wardrobe.
Calibre: Super sexy, a little French.
Calibre is cool and collected, and not one to disappoint, brought exactly that to this year’s runway. Classic t-shirts with tailored blazers, Dandy-inspired neck ties, layers upon layers but in a very minimalistic manner – the Calibre man is one who takes pride in his appearance a distinct nonchalant-ness.
From Britten P/L: Hyper Cool.
Rather than detail the countless awards and accomplishments that From Britten P/L are famously known for, I will just say this: From Britten is a flaming red hot spot on The Fashion Advocate radar. Melbourne-based brothers Alexander and Tim Britten-Finschi have always designed with an experimental yet practical aesthetic in mind, and the most recent collection is no different. Oversized, emphasized, elongated and contrasting, whilst always maintaining wearability; the fashion industry needs brands such as From Britten P/L to continue to push boundaries in menswear.
MJ Bale: Tailored and traditional peacocking.
MJ Bale is synonymous with suiting. English-inspired, dapper and double-breasted, fine-lines of checks and layers of tweed textures; MJ Bale are modern tailors for men of character. Polished, pointed and pertly primed – the MJ Bale man is one who works hard to play hard, and dress very, very well. No one suit stood out more than another, but all were immaculately perfected.
Vanishing Elephant: The cool kids.
Double denim, woolen weaves and chunky boots – Vanishing Elephant’s VAMFF 2015 collection was all about the cool cats and casual vibes. Very Johnny Depp and very comfortable.
I wouldn’t name a single standout even if I had to – each designer possesses something unique to their own label and grouped together, offer pieces that every man should have room for in their wardrobe. Other than being utterly impressed by the overall production of the GQ Australia Menswear Runway, I am now extremely excited for the future of menswear.
The Fashion Advocate
*Images: Lucas Dawson