Photography by: Miss SL
As a cold and cloudy Thursday evening descended upon Melbourne’s CBD, the gentlemen of the city flocked to City Square, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week’s central hub, to celebrate Melbourne Spring Fashion Week’s inaugural menswear-specific event “Mr” – all that is dapper and manly in the fashion world.
Truly, gone are the days of a sea of black and white monochrome at a fashion shows. Instead, the bespoke suit now reigns supreme – as each well-dressed lad put on their best to view a selection of products, looks and labels, enjoy a coffee or beer, and finally have the opportunity to enjoy some male-specific runway shows as part of the official MSFW festivities.
MSFW were heavily touting the special Style Workshops for the night, which promised to be a critique and analysis of some looks on models in order to inspire the men in the crowd who wanted to push their sartorial selves further. However, I’d have liked to see more variety in the outfits critiqued by the three-man panel. Surely suits, fancy accessories and no socks can’t be our only option this coming season? Still, the looks and advice were valuable for those in the crowd looking to navigate these modern sartorial looks.
The evening was interrupted briefly by gaps between the runway shows, which are usually the best time to wander the booths to peruse some labels and product. But while a couple of brands had representatives successfully interacting with potential new customers, most of the brands who had organised space were lifeless and unengaging. It was like waiting around for the next event at some sort of trade show, rather than a fashion event. Also disappointingly, The Kopparberg Cider Bar was awkwardly tacked onto the back of the venue, and so instead of encouraging visitors to mingle and enjoy all the festivities once a show finished, you were either looping around back to the entrance to have another go, or you stayed outside at the bar. There was no option for both, which would have encouraged a lot more fun and interaction.
Those minor discretions aside, Mr was a huge success. A great variety of labels were showcased on the night, much to the excitement of the crowds who had packed the translucent venue to capacity – and they certainly weren’t disappointed. Autonomy have moved far from the attitude I’ve previously seen from them, to a more preppy and modern nautical look which was surprisingly refreshing. Roy Christou’s Honor Among Thieves continued to own their style, with bold varsity street looks and colour-blocked shirts. Saxony seamlessly paired their dark tones with tailored utility looks, while Levis went quite literal into the upcoming summer season with a range straight out of a 50s beach movie, ukuleles included. Ben Sherman, Jack London and Dom Bagnato all showed the return of tailoring and the made-to-measure suit as the champion of men’s fashion – just in time for Spring Racing – but each gave the looks their own unique and undeniable twist.
And so – a heartfelt thank you and congratulations to MSFW’s for finally giving us guys some attention and our own event. A potential for some improvement but it’s good to see so many turn out and support the ever-growing men’s fashion scene.