Makers of Melbourne

Welcome to Makers Of Melbourne – the ‘go to’ guide for our technically integrated age.

Makers Of Melbourne has been created to consume and assimilate Melbourne culture. We're male focussed, but not male specific, sorting through the dross to weed out the creative stars, standout events and stylish folk that make this city unique. 

MOM aims to embrace all facets of what makes this city a creative hub. Our aim is to inform without condescending – to keep you abreast of what’s going on without regurgitating Press Releases & to seek out this city’s sub cultures to give our readers the inside scoop on what’s REALLY happening with the people who make Melbourne Melbourne.

Filtering by Tag: mens style

The Event: Up There Store, Little Collins Street

The boys behind men’s fashion boutique Up There recently opened their third location in Melbourne. They invited Makers down to the newly acquired Little Collins Street store to check out the wares.

Excitingly, the new space is Up There’s first street level store in Melbourne’s CBD and the fit out is second to none. As always, the lads promise (and deliver) the perfect merging of service and product and these guys really know their stock inside out! 

Selling a range of classic brands including Norse Projects, Bleu De Paname, New Balance and Converse, the lads have also thrown American brand Public School into the mix. Having won every fashion award under the sun in the last few years, Public School is the ‘it’ label on the New York fashion scene and is exclusively available through Up There in Australia.

    

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

Up There Store
208 Little Collins Street, Melbourne CBD

 

 

 

Interview: Rob Mason

There was a time when barbershops were ubiquitous, functioning not only as a place for a man to get his haircut, but as a community touchstone for men to meet up, catch up on the news and possibly get a stiff drink. But then the good old barbershop ceded to the ‘Salon’ and the barber gave way to the stylist, with not a straight razor or bottle of whisky in sight.

Thankfully, the traditional barbershop has undergone a serious reimagining in recent years. There seems to be no stopping the resurgence in this good old fashioned service, and a new generation of Melbourne Barbershops has given local guys the opportunity to enjoy a similar experience to those of previous generations.

Even artists like Kanye West are now employing a full-time travelling barber and although he may not (yet) be employed by Yeezy, local barber Rob Mason recently trimmed the mane of international style icon Nick Wooster while he was in the country filming a Woolmark campaign.

Rob: “I used to do a lot of work with GQ and while he was in town Nick needed a haircut. Wayne Gross (from GQ) had seen the space and the haircuts and it was totally up Nick’s alley so he just brought him down. Nick Wooster seems to want to seek out a ‘hidden gem’ as opposed to a chain. There was a film crew here and probably about four photographers and a whole heap of people just following him around for the Woolmark documentary. We had music pumping so no-one could talk to him and he slept throughout the whole thing.” 

The classically trained Mason opened his new barbershop Morris Motley, within a modern warehouse in Cremorne earlier this year. Having his own space has given Rob a newfound sense of freedom and the end result is a relaxed masculine environment.

Rob: “We’ve been open around two months, and it took about six months to put together. I used to manage a salon so I already had a clientele. It happened quite instantly when we did kick off. The business looks like a start-up but because I had that clientele and I’d been working with these products for so long it all came together really quickly.”

The Nik Bouras designed space is slick with a classic twist.

Rob: “I said, please make it look like New York.”

Clients can relax in deep leather armchairs whilst they wait for Rob to work his magic. There’s also an open lab space, where the enthusiastic hairdresser has been working on his own range of grooming products, which are due for release before the end of 2014. What originally started out as a hobby for Rob has turned into a full-blown obsession and the chance to create a legacy, doing something he loves and filling what he sees as a  substantial gap in the men’s grooming market.

Rob: “I knew that I could make a difference. Guy’s products are so primitive compared to women’s. I started getting focused on the chemistry and dermatology around two and a half years ago. I started by taking a graph of all my clientele that seemed to have dermatitis or little red marks on the skin and it was around 70%. I started studying and I realised that the ingredients in men’s products that are so bad and so cheap that they just make it worse. It seemed like a problem that was so easily fixed. When I’m not cutting hair I’m in the lab tinkering about.”

The native Tasmanian, who has called Melbourne home for the past four years, credits the burgeoning success of Motley to his years of practical experience, not to mention the credit of a very strong team behind him.

Rob: “I went to Uni and didn’t really enjoy it and the only other thing that interested me was hairdressing. I liked the idea of working by myself or one on one with a client. My girlfriend at the time used to model for salons and I would go and pick her up and see the stylists working with hair and it looked like fun. It’s been a huge slog but worth it - Like anything, you become obsessed with what you do and try to become the best at it.” 

As men pay an increasing amount of attention to their grooming routines, there’s no doubt that this men’s only hair salon will continue to evolve to serve the ever changing needs of the client.

Rob: “It [the return of the barbershop] has reintroduced guys to masculine haircuts and they need to be cut well and tailored to the head. A man is always going to feel good if he looks handsome, it’s a no-brainer.” 

Street Style: Chris

Chris always looks like the best dressed man in the room (or in this case, the street). The perfect personification of everything Melbourne tailoring brand Oscar Hunt stands for - no nonsense classic dressing without the fussy frills. Chris was photographed in South Melbourne wearing Oscar Hunt trousers, shirt & double breasted jacket, finished off with a pair of tan derby brogues from Loake. 

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Street Style: Jamie

It was hardly a surprise to learn that the stylish Jamie worked at the boutique of Japanese design company Kenzo. Well layered against the cool of a typical Melbourne Spring evening, Jamie interspersed his head to toe Kenzo garb with a pleated button-down from Erdem. 

Interview: Oscar Lake

While the concept of what is considered good or bad sartorial taste comes down to personal choice and personality, it’s hard to deny the appeal of a man in a well-cut suit. It’s even harder to deny the appeal of a personally tailored suit, especially when it’s being offered as an affordable clothing option by Oscar Lake, a man who, at the ripe old age of 30, is proud to call himself Australia’s youngest tailor.

Oscar Lake photographed by Sam Wong

Oscar Lake photographed by Sam Wong

“I’m not aware of anyone else my age that is in this line of work,” Oscar begins as he sits down with Makers over a glass of whiskey at the Oscar Hunt showrooms, where the youthful blonde has held the position of head tailor for the past 12 months.

It’s easy for Makers to see the parallel between the tailor and his employers. The retail operation has its own humble beginnings; the once itinerant fashion brand was born out of temporary showrooms in both the Cullen and Olsen hotels before finding itself a more permanent home in the Melbourne CBD. Oscar studied fashion design at Box Hill and was working in womenswear before making the decision to plunge into a more traditional trade.

“I thought that bespoke tailoring would be the most difficult thing I could do,” he says with a chuckle, “so I decided to learn how to do it.”

The young tailor spent the first five years after graduation working in Armadale before joining the ranks at Oscar Hunt. The way he tells it, the decision to move into made-to-measure seemed like a no-brainer.

The new Oscar Hunt showroom in Melbourne's Hardware Lane

The new Oscar Hunt showroom in Melbourne's Hardware Lane

Oscar: “I felt like the move to made-to-measure would be a smart one as the bespoke community here in Australia is decreasing in size. [Mine] was a decision to try and work with a business that is at the head of the new frontier of suiting, where service is still the most important aspect. We can produce something that is as close to bespoke and handmade but with less cost and more efficiency, but retaining the same amount of style and quality.”

It’s an important distinction to make. Few and far between are men with the money – or even the desire – to opt for truly bespoke suiting. As American author, Meg Lukens-Noonan came to explore in her awarded book, The Coat Route, this most traditional of all tailoring styles is a dying art.

Made-to-measure offers the next best thing. While bespoke involves hand making a pattern for each individual, made-to-measure finds its niche in creating individualised alterations from a pre-made pattern. It takes a keen eye to distinguish between the two.

Tailors like Oscar, while not preserving the skill of bespoke, are at least helping to keep the dream alive. By drawing new clientele into the realm of tailoring with an option that finds itself occupying the high ground somewhere between off-the-rack and a true bespoke service.

Oscar Lake photographed by Sam Wong

Oscar Lake photographed by Sam Wong

Oscar: “We’re able to tailor for men with unusual body types and help them find clothing that they wouldn’t generally be able to find somewhere else. We’re selling a luxury product, meaning that our clients expectations are very high and they expect a good quality finished product.”

Oscar Hunt’s new CBD quarters tell the tale of a successfully growing business and, for Oscar at least, the reason behind the rising appeal of a service that embraces both tradition and the day-to-day financial realities of the working classes is clear.

Oscar: “If you’re looking at a man across the room in pretty much any suit, regardless of how expensive the fabric is or how much they’ve paid for it, it all comes down to the fit. And if it fits well, a man will feel more confident.”

The new Oscar Hunt showroom in Melbourne's Hardware Lane

The new Oscar Hunt showroom in Melbourne's Hardware Lane

Street Style: Andrew

The Makers of Melbourne street style team stopped Andrew on a late Saturday afternoon in the Melbourne CBD. His Alfred Dunhill traditional leather holdall & the tailoring of his Balmain peacoat were dead giveaways that here was a man who appreciated quality, even when dressing for a casual day out. Andrew's leather & canvas boots were handmade in Istanbul by Helm & his jeans were from PRPS.

Street Style: Anthony

Et Al Designer Anthony Capon

Et Al Designer Anthony Capon

Anthony Capon has been designing for Melbourne fashion label Et Al since 2008.

The Season 2 Project Runway winning designer is the personification of what Et Al is all about - relaxed monochromatic tailored style that couldn't be the product of any other city but Melbourne.

Anthony is wearing all Et Al pieces with the shoes a collaborative teaming of Rollie x Et Al. His vintage bowler hat was a gift from his housemate.

Street Style: Tsubasa

Fresh from Japan on a fly-in visit to Melbourne, we caught sock manufacturing impresario Tsubasa on a South Melbourne coffee break post-meeting with our friends at Beggar Man Thief. Out to discuss the footwear store’s new sock program, Tsubasa impressed with an outfit that looks casual but was all quality, from his Visvim shoes and Maiden Noir Trousers to his Carhartt jacket and Up There made in Japan shirt. “I used to be in to labels when I was younger,” says Tsubasa, “but now it’s just all about understated quality.”

Street Style: Bosco

Bosco is an understated guy. Softly spoken and not overly flashy, he's a stylish individual with an eye for classic pieces that marry well and are built to last. We stopped Bosco in South Melbourne where he shyly agreed to let Makers of Melbourne take his picture. His ensemble comprised a pair of New Balance sneakers, classic Levis jeans, Beams Boy scarf & Breton style tee by APC.

Street Style: Kieren

Kieren was stopped by the Makers of Melbourne team as he left Fitzroy cafe 'De Clieu' & it soon became apparent that every piece of clothing he wore had special significance for him. From his vintage American Varsity jacket to his embroidered Mexican chambray shirt, there was a history to how each item had come to be a part of his wardrobe. New Zealand artist & friend Joe Sheehan had given three of only a dozen handmade Jade keys to Kieren as a gift, which he wears as a necklace on an antique fob chain. His outfit was completed with a classic 1960's Rolex, Japanese designed S2W8 navy suede moccasins & a pair of Flat Head jeans. 

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The Event: The Menske Project

Like all great ideas, Menske began with identification of a commercial niche that appears largely to have been ignored: that of male-focussed retail. The bloke-friendly pop up above Allpress’ Collingwood roasting house and cafe has been pulled together by men’s apparel designer Courtney Holm. The inspiration? A recent New York trip that saw Courtney stumble upon a space devoted entirely to collation of designs for men.

“I try really hard to avoid using words like ‘craft’ and ‘market’,” Courtney admits, explaining that even in creative Melbourne the majority of artisan-style pop ups focus on a more feminine aesthetic. “We just wanted to create a space where guys could come and find a whole group of brands that appeal to them.”

Certainly there is nothing of the cutesy about it. Instead the majority Melbourne-based brands run the gamut from cult wallet maker, Bellroy, to shoe designer &Attorney, men’s skincare product from boutique brand, lief, and striking haute sport-style apparel from Courtney’s own label, Article.

Coffee is plentiful and Gertrude Street menswear retailer Pickings & Parry has its barber on loan for the weekend.

But the pop up’s creation is not all about retail. For Sydneysider Courtney, the event is equally designed to cultivate relationships between makers, ‘Menske’ being a Nordic word with a textured meaning: a noun, if you like, to describe honourable and courteous intent among Mankind.

“There can be a kind of protectiveness around the fashion industry that I don’t really understand,” she says, explaining her approach while offering an insight behind the name. “I just think it’s better for everyone if we can get together and share our energy and our ideas.”

Menske is on at 84 Rupert Street in Collingwood this Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13. Open from 11am-8pm Saturday and 11am-6pm Sunday. The next series of Menske pop ups are scheduled in Melbourne this coming August and December.

 

Street Style: VAMFF 2014

While VAMFF (the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival) runway series may have had a heavy focus on the ladies, there were still a number of male attendees at the Docklands Central Pier shows. Forget the dime a dozen navy suits - here are a few boys who, through sheer originality, stood out from the typical fashion pack. 

Will wearing Vintage jacket, ACNE tee, Uniglo trousers & French Connection hat

Will wearing Vintage jacket, ACNE tee, Uniglo trousers & French Connection hat

Model/DJ Xander Pratt wearing all Eduardo Xavier. Steampunk accessories

Model/DJ Xander Pratt wearing all Eduardo Xavier. Steampunk accessories

RMIT fashion designer teacher Dr Peter Allan in Japanese demin label 'Big John overalls & Levis jacket.

RMIT fashion designer teacher Dr Peter Allan in Japanese demin label 'Big John overalls & Levis jacket.

Photographer Sam Wong in his mother's jacket & $2 tee

Photographer Sam Wong in his mother's jacket & $2 tee

Taylor in Topshop top, Thai sarong, New Balance sneakers, Alexander McQueen clutch.

Taylor in Topshop top, Thai sarong, New Balance sneakers, Alexander McQueen clutch.

Interview: Christopher Pickings

“Global economics and the way things are happening in the world are changing people’s perceptions on what quality is. People are wanting to see the craft, to see an actual basis of quality behind something that’s expensive.”

                                                        -       Christopher Pickings

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Legitimacy is written all over Chris Pickings. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he looks every bit the retro incarnation of the old-school butcher’s son, outfitted in his heavy denim and William Lennon boots, a living expression of the working class style encapsulated in his new men’s store, Pickings & Parry.

But – unlike so many of today’s tattooed, moustache-twirling set – Chris proves the rare exception: a person less possessed of romantic notions of nostalgia than a man preserving the legacy of a family that continues to espouse the traditional values of a bygone era. 

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Chris: “My grandfather was a train driver who became a butcher with a shop in a village called East Boldon, a business that my father took over, that my mother ran until she passed away six years ago and that my sister and I continue to run. It makes no money but it’s been in the family for 60 years, it employs people, and so we keep it.”

His words reveal much, of both his working class roots and the strength of character run through with a seam of integrity that serves as the foundation of his personality – a characteristic that harks back to his grandfather’s time. 

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Perhaps it was the early death of his father that instilled such strong personal values: lost to him at the age of 10, Chris spent his teenage years absorbing the legacy that was left to him, continually flicking through his father’s collection of ‘60s motoring magazines and adopting his wardrobe of leather jackets as a way of being close.

It is easy to imagine all those years of immersion have found themselves expressed in Chris’ store, a showcase of classic work wear styles given a modern twist. And all of it set against a backdrop of old-school barber’s chairs, shears humming to the buzz of the 50-year-old Faema E61 coffee machine on the shop counter.

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Chris: “The store is a working class gentleman’s club and I guess that’s what I’m trying to recreate – to change the buying culture back to that idea of working hard for the money and spending it on good things that last.”

He points to his aforementioned William Lennon boots.

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Chris: “These have been made in the same way for 100 years and the great granddaughter of the founder is still the sales person for the company. It’s the same family, the same factory, the same nailed soles.”

For Chris it appears there really is no compromise and you can’t help but feel his last are words imbued with more than a little personal meaning.

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Chris: “In the past people would think nothing of buying a Louis Vuitton handbag just because of what it was, not caring how it was made and where it was made. But that’s like an empty promise. If you buy something that is going to age with you and you can hand it on to your kids… well, those are the things that have a connection to who you are.”

Pickings & Parry

126 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

ph: (03) 9417 3390

e: info@pickingsandparry.com

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Interview: Roger Leong

“Every generation wants to define itself against the previous generation. Men of my age have been wearing jeans for decades and the younger generation wanted to find themselves against that. So they won’t wear jeans – they will dress up. And that’s really where we are seeing the popularity of the Neo-Dandy movement.”

-       Roger Leong

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A conversation with Roger Leong, NGV Curator Fashion and Textiles, offers a serious fashion education. Forget paying thousands for trend forecasting: the man who has spent his professional life studying fashion in an historical context knows that, when it comes to trends, it all stems from where it’s been before.

Roger: “It’s a really difficult thing to say why certain fashion’s become popular, but it is certain that fashions return – and that the cycle of men’s fashion is much longer than women’s fashion. But of all the fashion that has come and gone, my favourite era is definitely the first half of the 19th Century.”

Roger describes it as “the Pride and Prejudice period”, when men moved from wearing opulent embroidered silks draped in less sophisticated cuts (“often in fabrics more elaborate than that which was worn by the women”) to embracing the idea that clothing should enhance the male form through pattern cutting and manipulation of cloth.

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Roger: “Tailoring for men walked hand-in-hand with a growing interest in athleticism – an interest in disciplining the body and creating a well-built, muscular frame, an idea that hadn’t existed before.”

He points to George Bryan “Beau” Brummell as the movement’s key personality, a man who modelled himself on Greek statues, who focussed on the fit of his clothes from the exact proportion of a pocket to the width of a lapel.

For Roger, this is where the current landscape of men’s fashion finds its most direct connection.

Roger: “That early era of tailoring really was about the refinement of the craft and I don’t think really fundamentally that things have changed much since then.”

Roger Leong, Curator – NGV International Fashion and Textiles.

 

 

Makers Of Melbourne - VAMFF Cultural Event

As part of this year's Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, Makers of Melbourne in collaboration with Beggar Man Thief will be holding a panel discussion, Fashion Maketh the Man. For 90-minutes on Tuesday, March 11, some of the biggest names in men's fashion will gather at ACMI to dissect how history, culture and social change influences men's style. Listen to Sydney uber tailor John Cutler, Grenson CEO Tim Little, stylist Philip Boon, author Meg Lukens Noonan and NGV curator International Fashion & Textiles Roger Leong - among others.
Champagne on arrival. Tickets are $25, limited to 70 seats. Arrival at 6pm for a 6.30pm start. Contact Sarina for more information & tickets:

(m) 0488088290 (e) sarina@beggarmanthief.com.au

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Event: Royal Botanic Runway

The inaugural Royal Botanic Runway transformed the majestic Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne into an international runway event on the evening of Thursday, 30 January 2014.

This charity event featured world-renowned Australian designers: Akira Isogawa, Aurelio Costarella, Collette Dinnigan and Martin Grant, who each produced stunning pieces to be worn by over sixty local and international models. 

But it wasn't just on the catwalk that the best of Melbourne style was evident with the boys also turning out to support the charity fashion parade.

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Director of fashion label Lui Hon, Luka Maich wearing Rick Owens sneakers

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Daniel in Fendi

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Trent in Crockett & Jones

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Tim wearing vintage oxfords

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Anderson wearing sneakers by Balenciaga

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