Melbourne, Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program 2015

Offsite Runway Series: MAN I by MAN Collective, Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program 2015

0 Comments 11 March 2015

Held at the stunning upstairs studio at Allpress Espresso, the runway show by MAN Collective was an exploratory look into and past the current state of menswear by seven designers, who have been mentored under Dr Peter Allan at RMIT.

The designers all have a running thread through all the fashion. The influence of the coast and nostalgia are recognisable. Although they are have their own styles, there are instances of familiar techniques shared, for example the use of Manchurian collars and turtlenecks range between several of the designers. There is also a shared emphasis on androgyny, comfort, oversize, and the colour white. The choice of models also provided an interesting juxtaposition for the fashion-forward designs they wore.

As the audience sat down and lined the perimeter, the first model came up the stairs and started his walk. He wore a grey wig and walked naturally through the studio. The rest followed his path and Chris Ran Lin’s collection was showcased to us. From clean, straight lines to oversized cable knits, his work from the detail and out seemed to be influenced by the ideals of the romanticised fisherman and militant retro futurism. His showing was a good mix of conceptual and ready-to-wear pieces.

When the drum and bass faded out, Anthea Papamanos’ soundtrack started. An overbearing influence of Mediterranean comfort clothing and Australiana is evident in Papamanos’ collection. Her use of the idyllic coast lifestyle also comes out with grey and blue dominating the hues of the clothing, as well as the strong use of white and other clinical colours. From oversized polo shirts to sweaters to track suits, and what looked to be very comfortable sleepwear, there was a very strong flow of her ideas and design elements on show.

Elin Eriksen’s collection followed, emphasising comfort with high waists and loose fits. Making subtle use of block colour and plastic textiles, Eriksen’s collection was a glimpse back to the 1980s, with boat shorts and two tone making a strong impression on her collection. The showing ends with ready-to-wear pieces that include a kimono throw-on, an oversize two-tone black coat, and a pink jacket.

With Karima Sulaiman’s collection, the playful use of digital print textiles in her collection was immediately apparent, featuring motifs of cats and stars. Again, comfort was paramount. Ties were utilised as fasteners in place of zips, and there were more loose fits and turtlenecks throughout. Experimentation with proportion and opacity provided an intriguing level of dynamism to this collection. The flow of this showing was pleasant which mirrored the collection’s relaxed look.

The final collection of MAN I was that of Alexandra Peters, a truly experimental one at that, with one of the pieces displaying the statement ‘The new men’s dress reform party’. Strikingly, Peters made use of feminine shapes and layering to create an unexpected visual effect. The use of 1970s floral motifs and applique was particularly fascinating when contrasted with the graffiti patches and imagery affixed on some of the pieces. The juxtaposition of heavy with light, striking hues with flat browns gave the collection additional gravitas.

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This post was written by who has written 4 posts on Buzzcuts.

Bobby Ly is a perth-raised, dublin-influenced, melbourne-based cook, copywriter, ceramist and creative.

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