MLTV Clothing, otherwise known as Molotov Clothing, is an independent Swedish label that has transposed classic menswear with a modern, understated yet relevant identity. The collections, known as Episodes, explore juxtaposition of forms and materials. Firm lines soften with asymmetric cuts in shirts; heavy knits combined with layers of sheer fabrics; a lot of effort has gone into exploring and expressing minimalism in its details and construction. Besides my appreciation for the technical, I was excited to come across Molotov Clothing for the awesome brand styling. MLTV’s founder Anna Sjunnesson has so kindly allowed us to take a sneak peek and to share her upcoming FW2014 collection that will be launching in late August, and shared the inspiration and direction for the collection: We love to work with contradicting themes, where the cohesively is the contrary, and using unexpected details to draw attention to the item and the art. We work hard to keep the impact on the environment at a minimum. Part of it is to create pieces where the items have a greater purpose then just a regular garment; concept, vision and ideal are important compounds in our creations. This is definitely a label to keep a lookout for. The Episodes are available at various retailers. Images...
I was recently introduced to high-end European menswear brand Enfin Levé and their superbly simple Eorri collection. As opposed to the brands mainline avant-garde aesthetics, Eorri extends the direction by releasing minimalist, simple designs made with the finest fabrics for a comfortable, everyday wear with a unique identity. Handcrafting their clothes in small, local ateliers and manufacturers in Italy, Switzerland and Poland, the seasonless silhouettes of Eorri are easy to wear, with an aim to provide the greatest comfort. Having personally experienced the quality of this Eorri collection, which includes slim fit t-shirts made with soft and thin cotton, elastic waistband pants and shorts, Enfin Levé have successfully produced relaxed, minimalist design with an intriguing style, establishing their identity in the men’s market. Available in various menswear stores in Japan and United States, Enfin Levé also ship internationally. Photography by Mateusz Bral / Model: Olaf Piwowa
Mansur Gavriel is the highly sought-after label with a collection of beautifully designed leather bags made and crafted in Italy. Designed by Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel who moved to New York City especially to start their company, the collection first surfaced in the summer of 2013 and saw immediate success, being sold out as soon as it hit the stores. The label has continued to deliver their minimalist designs of signature tote and bucket bags that come in bold pops of single color or contrasting outer tanned leather with matte patent interiors. The craftsmanship of these bags reveal just enough detail of the effortless style behind the designs which is what I love most about this label. It is a true practice of patience to get your hands on one.
The Australian queens of staple wardrobe have done it again! Mary-Lou Ryan and Deborah Sams of Warriewood based label Bassike — spoken Basic — seem to get more distinctive with every collection they design. They effortlessly stick to the brand’s core business by creating a wardrobe of relaxed, minimal pieces, while at the same time implementing new ideas and a fresh styling for Spring/Summer 2014. It seems like some new colors and patterns were mixed into the current collection: Bassike’s signature neutral palette is carefully complemented with some earthy tones and patterns abstracted from classic menswear. The silhouettes are even more loose-fitting and oversized than before. However, the overall look is still luxurious and elaborate, which is probably due to the carefully chosen fabrics, mainly produced in Australia, Italy and France. So if you want to take your relaxed beach feeling downtown with style, Bassike’s SS2014 collection is definitely the right choice for hitting the bars and clubs.
British Fashion Designer Charlie May, advocate of minimalism since launching her first collection in 2010, keeps on refining her style with her immaculate A/W 14 collection. A bold but carefully designed black and white contrast plays well alongside monochrome looks, which come alive through the use of distinctly chosen fabric textures. The silhouettes range from feminine to Garconne, while the styling allows a thought of 50′s college girl attitude. Sharp outlines, classic pieces and a relaxed but very confident composure are the core ingredients to this immaculate collection. I really embrace Charlie May’s effortless style of comfortable yet intricate pieces, which should easily last many seasons. On the one hand there is a very personal handwriting in the way she designs her collection, on the other, every piece of the line should integrate well with any individual look of her customers. That is the craftsmanship of design in full bloom.
The launch of Australian label, Eska Alikai‘s AW 2014 collection by Micha Dyball consists of elegant, minimalist pieces that are indicative of both a confident presence as well as a pragmatic need for comfort. Her minimalist sensibilities are designed into soft leather, eco-friendly tencel, fleece, denim and cotton voile. The details of layering add a lot of personality into the clean, geometric pieces. I found this collection so appealing as each outfit is styled to celebrate the structure and fluidity in the mixed use of material and yet, it is easy to wear. Eska Alikai may be relatively new to deliver a full collection but the label has achieved much success in editorial exposure and already has an e-commerce site. I am looking forward to the next collection already. Images courtesy of Eska Alikai.
Fusing traditional manufacturing with hi-tech fabrics while ensuring that the construction of the garments is not too heavy: that is what Sydney based designers Lyna Ty and Melvin Tanaya of Song for the Mute aimed for while designing their latest collection, GREY. And they most definitely hit the mark. Their darker, more tailored aesthetic goes along perfectly with new, younger, more relaxed sportswear elements. Clients familiar with Song for the Mute can still expect some signature silhouettes, but be prepared for a fresh twist on theses classic shapes. Crafted from virgin wool blends, alpaca and with further development of our paraffin and resin coated fabrics this seasons subsequent construction aims to heighten those tactile sensations. Showing the beautiful Fall/Winter 2014 collection GREY at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Sydney, Song for the Mute further established their point of difference in the men’s market by being particularly fabric-driven. On top of that, American rapper and loyal friend of the brand Lupe Fiasco flew to Sydney to join the show for a runway appearance, highlighting Song for the Mute’s roots in contemporary independent pop culture.
Romanian studio Clean Everything recently produced their latest collection of simple, elegant, vegetable tanned leather goods titled, Trilogy. Sharp edges and sleek touches are the key inspiration and theme of this collection, which, as its title suggests, includes three pieces. The Triangle Folded Clutch is a simple and elegant clutch featuring a sleek folded design involving one piece of leather and one polished metal stud. Based on the classic Italian coin purses the triangle has been enlarged and cleaned up, transforming it into an entirely different and contemporary piece. The Triangle Folded Backpack is a stylish and innovative triangle shaped leather backpack with adjustable shoulder straps. Its uniqueness originates from the folding design using one piece of leather, manipulated into shape, and riveted together with two metal studs. The Stitchless Bag, crafted from two pieces of vegetable tanned leather with no stitches, is a minimalist shoulder bag that allows you to effortlessly carry your daily essentials with style. Each design is available in three colour variations — red, white and green. Photography by Robert Petreanu
With a French name and a Catalan heart, Deux Souliers is a Barcelona-based footwear brand led by designer Nunu Solsona, who also shares the creative direction with Folch Studio. Deux Soulier advocates a slow fashion spirit and a contemporary craft ideology, prioritizing comfort, quality and responsible manufacturing (every shoe is handmade in Menorca, Spain). The Spring/Summer ’14 collection de-contextualizes classic shoe designs, featuring sandal-shaped and often unisex models with a sophisticated sport aesthetic, and materials like cowhide or clean cotton provide subtle texture to their neutral-toned color palette. Albert Folch, creative director of Folch Studio, shared with us a bit of insight into the process behind the brand’s aesthetics, which he described as reductionist in itself. Deux Souliers means Two Shoes in French – simple as that, a simplicity that is at the core of every byproduct of the brand – from beautifully crafted shoes to advertising campaigns, branding and online presence. The focus is the product, and every aesthetic decision revolves around featuring it in the most straightforward, best possible way. Nunu is also interested in maintaining open door sessions at their studio in order to maintain closeness with the client – in fact, it’s how I had the opportunity to experience first-hand the lovely ethos of the brand. Campaign photography by Teddy Iborra.
Livia Arena is a Melbourne based lawyer-turned-designer who brought her namesake label to life in 2010. Since the very first collection she committed herself to advocating natural fabrics such as silk, linen and wool, while keeping the silhouettes of the outfits straight and compelling in a very smart way. Her design is without frills while the garments are constructed with a great love for detail. And she is very much into knitting, as her statement regarding the AW14 moodboard shows: Lots of washed-out city landscapes and photos from far-away places. A lot of raw materials — a bunch of different mohair curls, felting samples and about a million knit swatches from my hand loom. — via pagesdigital Livia Arena’s latest collection is an amazing touch and feel experience that combines the softness of high quality fabrics with sculptural shapes. I love the invigorating appeal of Livia’s designs, which definitely make all of her clothing aspirants for long-term favorite pieces.
Sydney based menswear label Song for the Mute unites Parisian-born, Italian-trained fashion designer Lyna Ty and graphic artist Melvin Tanaya under its wings. Coming from these two different angles, it seems to be the fabric’s surface which initially brings the two creatives together and inspires the work on any new collection: In essence, the label is a symphonic poem of tactile expectations and contemporary dreams. Visiting the flagship store of Song for the Mute in Sydney, I am not only awed by the impeccable fit and the cutting edge use of fabrics, but also by the all-round perfect and inviting set up of the label’s branding, the most friendly staff imaginable, and an open and honest interior design. And although it is definitely a menswear undertaking, there are more than a few pieces in the current collection I would love to wear myself. So I am very much looking forward to the upcoming online shop opening.
The latest work of Australian fashion designer Josh Goot is an intriguing lesson in what happens when someone who usually experiments with rich floral prints and bright color blocking, breaks his design down to a reduced palette of mainly black and white. It results in a timeless, calm collection with an interesting androgynous appeal. And as we are talking about a skilled designer with a strong handwriting, it is still very recognizably a Josh Goot collection: I would describe our aesthetic as optimistic, minimal, urban, confident. Generally what we do is very high saturating, very high contrast. But then sometimes we’d do the opposite. So we would go to more ordinary true tones and do things that are more subtle. I think by that we are inspired by our experience here in Sydney. It does set us apart from the others. (Transcribed from David Jones) One reason why the subtle color palette in Goot’s latest Winter collection works so well is his general sense for sharp, tailored silhouettes, implemented in luxurious high tech fabrics. I always appreciate a look which focuses on the outline of an outfit, rather than merely decorating the body. It is this true attention to form that elevates his...