mr wilson

Since launching his self-titled menswear range at the age of 23 in 2003, Brent Wilson has paved his way as one of Australia’s leading designers with his signature simple and understated tailoring. We sit down with him today to talk style, motorbikes and fitness.

Q&A_OliverGrand_BrentWilson_Feature-Image
Brent Wears Brent Wilson Throughout.

OG: Style to me is…

Style is what you see it as. To me it’s one’s own interpretation, it’s personal. Especially when looking at my collections, I love it when customers come in and have their own interpretation of how to wear my clothes.

OG: How did your unique aesthetic of Brent Wilson develop?

At school I really loved art and design in general everything from fashion through to architecture and when I left school at 15 I did an electrical apprenticeship. It’s all just come over time – lots of experiences. I mean my style 10 years ago wasn’t great and probably in 10 years time I’ll think much the same. It’s one of those things that the quality of my clothes, the finishing touches, the make, even the organisation of my business as a whole, has grown over time, and it’s something that is constantly growing, evolving and progressing. I got specifically into menswear because, well I’m a guy (laughs) and I find it easier to dress myself, and at both Volcom and Wayne Cooper I was also doing menswear. I really enjoy it, the tailoring, the clean lines and I guess over the years I’ve probably simplified it, getting it more back to the basics and the tradition behind menswear.

OG: Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the current AW collection?

I’ve really tried to simplify the collection. I know it sounds really boring but I think when you get to a certain stage in business it’s not just about pleasing yourself. A lot of our designs are based on sales reports and customer feedback, so we design the collection around that, combined with trying to work out what’s going to be coming up in future seasons. I don’t follow trends; I’m not like a lot of designers who go travelling, getting inspiration.  I’m the kind of guy who’s in store speaking with my customers and going from there. I really have a think of what I want to wear; what men in general want to wear; and what they are after. So with this collection it’s about the simplified aesthetic with natural fabrics and textures like felted wools, linens, tweeds.

OG: You’re very active in your fitness, can you give us a little insight into your weekly regime?

Weekly regime is pretty full on. My friends think I’m absolutely crazy. My idea of relaxing is going for a 30 or 40km run. My parents live up the Northern Beaches and often I just throw on my runners and run from the city studio up there. People have different outlets, what they find is relaxing, and I’m into those extremities. I like to push myself and see what I’m capable of. I’m like that with my business and also by default like that with my exercise. If something gets harder it makes we want to push that little bit harder, so I do exercise most days, ocean swimming down in Manly, triathlons with my cousin, but for me I find it really relaxing to be able to zone out from work. Healthy mind, healthy body, it just helps everything in life.

OG: Can you tell us a little about your love of motorbikes?

I’m into my racing so I do a lot of stuff with Ducati. Anything they have on I do. They’ve given me a bike and we toured last year through the Snowy Mountains which was great, but I really love racing, so I’d love to check off all the race tracks in Australia and probably go race overseas like the Ducati GP race circuits.

OG: 5 people dead or alive, who would you want at a dinner party?

It might sound boring but I’d probably just invite four of my best friends!

 

Photography: Trevor King @DLM

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vegie bar

Shop Front Vege Bar | Oliver Grand Review

Relaxed. Nourishing. Diverse. This is what comes to mind when I think of our visit to Vegie Bar. Located on Brunswick Street in Melbourne’s Fitzroy district, this place has just about anything you can think of on a menu and has a fun and friendly vibe to boot. Ergo, really a top choice for a date of any sorts. It is, as the name suggests, a healthy destination, which does plenty of raw meals, but it still has male friendly selections from pasta through to pizza (readers please note there isn’t any meat on the menu, only faux meat). Whilst we nailed the freshly squeezed juices – the invigorator (pear, apple, mint) and super juice (spinach, beetroot, carrot, cucumber) – there is an extensive selection of wines, beers, ciders and cocktails to also choose from (and if you have to wait for a table just head to the bar section of the joint), so perfect again for all occasions.

We were in the mood for pure health options so went with the delicious rice balls (100% brown rice with finely chopped vegies with satay sauce) and little macadamia salad (green beans, cherry tomatoes, marinated feta, roast pumpkin and toasted macadamias drizzled with a sweet orange dressing), as well as the raw taco with sundried tomato and flaxseed tortillas filled with raw chilli, avocado, iceberg lettuce, fresh mint and coriander, salsa fresca and topped with cashews, sour cream and fresh lime. Not only was this healthy, satisfying food, it was delicious. To finish it off we had the raw chocolate bar with carrot cake. Sweet tooth ticked!

Everyone here was the definition of friendly – from the service to the surrounding customers – a communal type vibe engendered by the tables close together and knowledgeable staff. I felt like even if I was there on my own, I’d walk away with a great meal and a new friend.

Oliver Grand Says:
This is coming from a full-blown carnivore, I loved Vegie Bar. If you’re wanting meat, this isn’t the place for you, but I honestly think there’s something that will hit the spot for everyone here. Not only that you’ll walk away feeling good from the inside out with the nutritious food and infectious spirit of the cozy place. Whether it’s a chilled lunch or a dinner and/or bar date, this is one top-notch relaxed joint that is a Melbourne must.

Vegie Bar,

380 Brunswick Street,

Fitzroy, VIC 3065

www.vegiebar.com.au

+61 (3) 9417 6935

E. info@vegiebar.com.au

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Song for the Mute FW14/15 Presented by Harrolds

Lucas Dawson Photography

Last night we were lucky enough to head to the Song for the Mute FW14/15 show presented by Harrolds and this Australian menswear label was by far the stand out of MBAFW. Aptly titled ‘Grey’, this fusion collection was a mature retrospective of what they’ve done before and the progress of where the brand is moving forward.

Featuring 89 pieces, the range explored a new mixture of classic tailoring and more technically minded relaxed sportswear. With their signature silhouettes running strong and a twist on some of the classic shapes, the fabrics (alpaca, paraffin and resin coated fabrics, wool blends, including our favourite paper wool), all exclusively produced in Italy and Japan, are what remains distinctly the Song for the Mute footprint.

From the collection itself through to the show you can see how and why these guys have such international attention. Delivered in a smoking spectacle with the guys sporting white clay hairstyles, it even managed to throw some serious star power into the mix with international hip-hop artist and long-time friend of the brand, Lupe Fiasco, exclusively closing the show. In fact one of our favourite looks had to be Lupe’s look which perfectly summarized the fusion of the collection: the signature cocoon shaped jacket in mohair and wool and finished with new darting on the sleeve, paired back with an entirely new trouser silhouette in the bucket pant in virgin wool.

 

Backstage Images by: Trevor King @DLM

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jac + jack

Men’s designer Patrick Blue describes the Jac + Jack man as relaxed, discerning and ready. We couldn’t agree more and it is exactly this that makes Jac + Jack leaders in the pack of Australian fashion, especially where men’s style is concerned. With its signature cashmere, linen jersey, paper-like cotton and superfine merino wool, this brand is refined simplicity which feels as good as it looks. The label isn’t showing at MBAFW this year but we’ve excitingly managed to showcase a few of our favourite pieces from the upcoming Spring14 collection, arriving in store from July1, and sit down with Patrick to talk lifestyle and the upcoming range.

Patrick Portrait J+J Oliver Grand

OG: In 5 words the Jac + Jack man is…

Anyone, ageless, modern, masculine, nonchalant.

OG: Where did you find the inspiration for this collection?

Everywhere.  I’m constantly inspired by anything and everything. The season typically calls for lazy days and easy living so the collection is a response to that need for ease and effortless dressing. For me in particular I’m really liking soft pinks and blues. I was really loving the classic pink shirts they have in Jermyn Street, London, and the Blue was inspired from a plate I found in Salina Italy at a ceramisists studio.

OG: What are your personal picks from the range?

Our new button downs Bisbing, Denys + Atta and the Brodd which is a fully reversible shirt. There’s a really well cut new pant called the Sie which has a double pocket detail and the Elin Short is an effortless option for everyday. We’re constantly evolving but in a way that respects what came before. So when you find that next great piece you know it works back with everything you already have. They’re the details we spend time on.

OG: There is a distinctly relaxed and casual feel to Jac + Jack. How do you manage to evolve the brand whilst retaining such a distinct footprint?

We have a fairly resolved aesthetic, everything I do I ask myself what am I communicating and is it sympathetic to the brand? There are things that don’t make the cut.

OG: When approaching a collection do you design predominantly for an Australian audience?

I guess I do or maybe it’s better to say I design from an Australian perspective. I’ve lived in Australia for the majority of my life so the aesthetics and cultural references will have left an indelible mark on me – though maybe not so obvious to myself. We live in a pretty global world now where we all travel and have access to the rest of the world from our phones, I also take this into consideration when designing.

OG: If you could have your pick of 4 people, dead or alive, at a dinner party, who would they be, and why?

I’d like everyone to get along so Steve Martin, he’s genius and very funny; Eve as in (Adam and Eve), that would be a good opportunity to sort out some questions; Francis Bacon, someone who’ll stay late to finish off the wine with you; and finally Patti Smith for obvious reasons.

Left: Jac + Jack Enzo Sweater $380 / Jac + Jack Roberts Shorts $110
Right: Jac + Jack Brodd Reversible Shirt $260 / Jac + Jack Owen Shorts $199

Left: Jac + Jack Bomber Jacket $499 / Jac + Jack Owen Shorts $199
Right: Jac + Jack Robin Hoodie $399 / Jac + Jack Vapour Pant $299

 

Photography: Trevor King @DLM / Styling: Oliver Grand / Model: Chris Rutt @EMG / Grooming: Luana Coscia @DLM

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Vanishing Elephant

Vanishing Elephant has over the years cemented itself at the forefront of Australian street wear, especially when it comes to men. With its recognisable stamp of playful prints, wearable shapes and signature footwear, it has to be one of our favourite Aussie brands. Designers Felix Chan and Huw Bennett have opted not to show at MBAFW this year, but we decided to get our hands on the incredible upcoming Spring Summer14 collection and sit down with Huw to chat a little more about the new range.

Vanishing Elephant | Profile Pic | Trevor King | Oliver Grand a

OG: In 5 words, the VE man and woman is…

Assured, smart, subtle, classic, and real.

OG: Tell us the narrative behind how VE came about?

Some friends with an idea and confidence to execute it. It’s always nice to change the story for fun but honestly it’s super simple and quiet wholesome. We had a good first season and then just kept going and now we’re somewhere between there and the possibilities of the future,

OG: There’s a theme of American varsity that runs through the new collection, how did this come about?

There’s a small nod, this would mostly tie in with our idea that the range is sport styled without a hint of athleticism. We prefer the idea of feeling fit and looking neat, as opposed to sweating in our clothes. Some of the sports ideas cover college style lettering, sports fabrics tied back with softer jersey and basketball inspired shorts.

OG: What would your personal top picks be for the upcoming collection?

Can’t go past the quilted orange shirt jacket, it has a warm down vibe that matches it’s sharp colour. The pique jogger pants are a new level of comfortable for us and make it acceptable to drag the common tracksuit pant into the working world.

OG: We’ve seen a few domestic VE stores open up, what else is there in store for the brand this year?

Maybe another store? Our idea is always about making the best of what we have, working with our stockists to improve all VE customers experience is high on the priority list for us.

OG: If you were given a choice of anywhere in the world to be, rocking your favourite VE outfit from the new collection, where would that be?

Tough, because there is no place like home but to be fair to the question perhaps a north to south trip through Japan. We could test some of the varied weights in the collection through the different climates, have some fun with the colour hits and know that there’s still a lot of sensible pieces to keep us carrying on.

Vanishing Elephant 1 | Trevor King | Oliver Grand

Vanishing Elephant Gorilla Island Polo Shirt $100


Left: Vanishing Elephant Short Sleeve Shirt $110
Right: Vanishing Elephant College Knit $140 / Vanishing Elephant Elasticated Jean $140


Left: Vanishing Elephant Suit Jacket $300 / Vanishing Elephant Print Shirt $110 / Vanishing Elephant Suit Pants $180
Right: Vanishing Elephant Windbreaker $220 Vanishing Elephant Drawcord Stripe Short $90

 

Photography: Trevor King @DLM / Styling: Oliver Grand / Model: Jacob Hankin @IMG / Grooming: Luana Coscia @DLM

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witchery man high winter 14

Witchery_HW14_Oliver Grand 3

Our favourite go to label Witchery just keeps on going from strength to strength with its men’s range. Merging dressy and casual into one collection, here are some of our favourite looks from the Witchery Man High Winter, dropping in store April and May. Featuring ex-architect student turned model Greg Nawrat, the collection shines through yet again with it’s wearable, on trend, yet still classic, styles.

We’re particularly loving the sports luxe quilting story running through the puffer jackets, sweatshirts and knitwear, and you simply can’t go past the directional investment piece of the leather biker jacket. Pop in store now to expand your winter wardrobe with some urban attitude.

www.witchery.com.au

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