Ever since I began to put my blog together I have been thinking about men’s fashion here in WA and what I could possibly have to say about it that would be of interest and that has not already been said.
I suppose from my perspective I see that men’s fashion in Perth seems to be quite conservative and pedestrian in many ways. Men here in WA do not seem to want to take chances with their clothing choices. I think this is one of the reasons why some of the labels that have started here in Perth for men have either moved East or not lasted. As anyone involved with the industry knows, to begin and maintain a fashion label is a costly exercise.
To be able to continue to put out a new range each season is costly for any designer, not to mention the new labels trying to get a foot hold into the market place.
There are of course some amazing local success stories that have stood the test of time but they have been womenswear designers who have had the incredible talent and done the hard work to maintain both their base here in WA but also their vision and integrity around the fashion that they produce. Which of course brings to mind the amazing Aurelio Costarella –http://aureliocostarella.com.au/ – who is just about to celebrate his 30 years of designing and what an amazing story it is. But Aurelio is a rarity in the landscape here in Perth and there is no one locally creating menswear that even comes close to that sort of longevity in the market place.
Check out the story from this past weekends West Australian Magazine for the full amazing story of Aurelio’s past 30 years.
I constantly hear from people in my travels that men all want the same thing here in Perth and to try and introduce some creativity and choice into the local marketplace is fraught with risks and is too costly. There are some business that are taking those risks and are stocking a range of amazing designers for men to take a chance with – Dilettante –http://www.dilettante.net/ – here in Perth is one such store that takes a risk and presents some great options for any man in Perth who wants to think outside the box and be a little bit more creative with their clothing options.
But in terms of menswear designers locally the landscape gets really grim and limited. Especially if you want designs that are little bit more than a double breasted suit, a pair of jeans and a tshirt with something printed on the front. There are of course ways to be creative with some of those things by adding some really interesting jewellery or a scarf for some colour but it is always nice to find a designer who is prepared to push the boundaries a little more and present a range that offers an alternative option – whether it be with fabric choice, cut, patterning or fabric prints I have always been a big supported of the labels that have pushed those boundaries. Who remembers Ericaamerica and some of the amazing designs that they put out there?
As I mention in my fashion page on this blog the one local menswear designer who is taking those risks on all levels with his range is Shane Newton and his label ZSADAR – http://www.zsadar.com/ – Shane is constantly challenging himself and the marketplace with his bold designs and contemporary style. From the use of bamboo and silks to his creative vision with cut and printing his clothing has evolved in the past 3 years to another level in 2013. Now all that needs to happen is his range needs to be stocked by someone so we can take advantage of the amazing range that he presented this year.
From Zsadar’s latest range – a photo from John Koh taken at STYLEAID 2013
You can check out the Zsadar portion of the STYLEAID event this year at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNUm1S9WMNU and see the amazing range from Shane Newton!
Don’t you think it is time to embrace some change in terms of the type of clothes that are stocked for men here in Perth…I would love to be able to get some of my favourite labels here instead of relying on online shopping or my trips to Melbourne and Sydney to satisfy my desire for menswear that has bit of an edge to it…?
I do have my favourite labels that I wear most of the time, that I am sure we all have but for me that mostly comes from out of WA and I wish that men here in Perth were more prepared to take a risk with the clothes that they wear. We also need to be realistic about price points because of course men do not really want to spend a fortune on their clothing, but if the style, cut, the detail and the production are high quality I think that men would be prepared to part with their hard earned money and purchase more than the standard charcoal suit – or am I deluded in thinking that it is time for a change in the clothing that is available for me to buy here in WA?
What do you think?