I have been a stripes fan for as long as I can remember. My eye is drawn to them on clothing racks and they are an integral part of my wardrobe. This season, stripes are back but turned on their heads with width and textural variances making them interesting additions to our wardrobes.
While I’ll always love a horizontal stripe the styles emerging vertically are designed to be softer and instead of being mixed with clean cuts, work best when paired with natural fabrics such as linen and raw edged denim. We also see a difference in the shapes and fabric this season with palazzo pants and soft rayon shirts. The key word for summer is texture. Whether it’s in fibre laden linen, added embroidery or woven leather bags; adding a textural element gives any outfit another dimension. Flat lay’s will become texture lays and we’ll be mixing prints and angles in a new and more natural way.
Volume is another style that we’ll see combined with vertical stripes. The key to wearing these trends in Spring 2017 is proportion eg, the bigger the shirt, the shorter the hemline, the fuller the trouser the more cropped and fitted the top. A ‘Styling trick’ that also helps is the tuck. It can be the whole top or just the front but what both options do is show some of the hip and waist line. They automatically draw the volume in and take it from swamped to stylish. So your tucking doesn’t look as accidental as a dress caught in your knickers a great belt or sash will finish the look and is another area texture can be played with.
So get in line and try some ‘New’ stripes this summer.
During my career as a Stylist I have had the opportunity to work with many of Australia’s top designers. The experience is always inspiring but occasionally a creative connection is special and a friendship is formed. When I started with the television network, 10 years ago, I met one such man; award winning designer Jason Grech. He and I connected over a few champagnes in a Marquee at Melbourne Cup and haven’t looked back. Creatively, he has the power to inspire my ideas. I always get a boost when I visit him in his beautiful North Melbourne studio and love working with him on amazing red carpet creations for the talent I style but the highlight was the Wedding dress he made me back in 2007. I sat down with him recently to catch up on all things Jason and JASONGRECH and would love to give you a glimpse of the man behind the brand.
When did your business start and what lead you to start it? I actually studied accounting for 2 years! But the pull to be creative was too strong and I enrolled to study an Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology at Kangan Institute. I’ve just been made part of their Hall of Fame. I can’t wait for my life time achievement award. (lol!!) I went on to work my way from cutter to design assistant for a well known Melbourne Designer then it was time to bite the bullet and start JASONGRECH so in 2003 Harry Georgiou and I launched JASONGRECH (Harry has recently started his own company as a Stylist and Creative Director – so watch that space!)
Tells us about your latest collection and your inspiration. This collection is all about new life and taking flight. Birds of prey have been a big inspiration as they’re majestic and Beautiful. They’re known for soaring to great heights. It’s about texture, the juxtaposition of hard and soft. Layers and of course amazing colours. I’m experimenting with the use of feathers, leather, rope and gold fixtures.
Where do you source your fabrics? I often see you and your team beading some beautiful lace. You do a lot of this in house, why? We source a lot from Italy and France because they are the World’s best but we do bead most of the laces in house. It gives us the opportunity to play and experiment; we can also create something completely unique. It’s a lengthy process but the results of doing it by hand are so worth it. And who doesn’t want to be drowning in lace and beads?
Take us through what the client can expect from walking in the door for their initial consultation to the dress being completed. When clients arrive we sit down and talk about the event they’re attending; whether it be an engagement, cocktail party or for their own wedding. Our clients love our Studio space. (the JASONGRECH studio is an amazing heritage listed old horse stable in North Melbourne) It gives them a sense of the JASONGRECH aesthetic. We then talk about their silhouette and what shapes will be the most flattering. We offer two services; Made to measure and Couture. Made to measure is where they have the opportunity to select from one of our beautiful dresses which is then made to their specifications. Couture is where we make something completely original. I’ll often sketch as the client’s talking. These are always amazing because every part of dress is designed for that person. A Couture dress should remain in your wardrobe forever. We generally see a client 4 to 5 times for fittings.
What’s new at JASONGRECH? Any thing exciting on the calendar? Some amazing things are happening at the moment. I’ve just launched my 14/15 Bridal collection and I’m working madly on my Ready to Wear which will take flight during Melbourne Spring Fashion Week this coming September.
What’s your advice to aspiring designers Get as much experience as possible. Learn everything from turning a 2d drawing into a three dimensional piece of art. Australia has a very small population so one needs to know everything from pattern making to construction.
What is your greatest professional highlight/ achievement? I think earning a living for what I love doing is the best thing. I am privileged and lucky to be able to do it everyday.
Where do you draw inspiration from? I draw inspiration from many things. My current Ready to Wear collection is inspired by Birds of Prey. I’m a fan of the environment and wildlife and I’ve recently stopped and looked at birds in detail. I believe they are some of the worlds most beautiful creatures.
Do you get to relax? What’s your idea of the perfect day? Relaxing is a luxury and I tend to do it with family. I visit them every Sunday and spend as much time with them as possible. My elderly parents have been very supportive and I unfortunately do not get as much to spend with them as I would like.
I can’t wait to see Jason’s next collection. I’ll keep you al updated!!
Melbourne is beautiful in Winter where we have the luxury of dressing for the season, layering up fine knits with Coats, scarves and beanies. It’s a great time to be in a city known for it’s food and shopping; a perfect time to explore the most major change to Shopping in Melbourne since the GPO building’s makeover 10 years ago.
Last month the GPO building realised it’s second incarnation as a block of shops lending itself to H&M as their flagship store in Austraila.
For me it’s Menswear that is the most inspiring in Melbourne’s transformation. The Classic Aussie brands are all present but the addition of Japan’s Superdry, MUJI and Uniqlo add a layer to menswear that Melbourne was missing. All offering affordable basics like Uniqlo’s cashmere range seen below, currently retailing from $129
These luxurious knits teamed with Muji’s linen shirts are a great base to any gent’s layered winter wardrobe. While Uniqlo offer a rainbow of fruity colours I’d opt for the deep greens, greys and navy’s. They don’t shout at you and leave your coordinating jacket and shirt options room for variation.
I can’t wait to take my hubby on a date to the city to explore and shop this Winter.
Men’s suiting is entering an exciting time. AW 14 sees a real development in the way men wear and style suits. It’s like men everywhere have seen the female of the species accessorise and have decided it’s their turn. At a recent showing of Hugo Boss’s new collection we were introduced to the male floral brooch. Some men may gasp but I predict within the next few Racing seasons a suit’s lapel will be well adorned.
For those not ready to embrace the brooch the Pocket square has gained major popularity over the last few seasons; helping men individualise their style. It’s also great to see people pulling out their tie clips. I think it’s wonderful to see these accessories regain their place in a man’s wardrobe. They are akin to jewellery and can rightly take their place in the family treasure box to be passed on to future generations as a symbol of timeless style.
Suiting itself is trim taught and terrific. Sitting close to the body they are sculpted to fit. It’s my recommendation that men buying a suit off the rack have them altered in the necessary places to give a strong silhouette. If a suit fits well along the shoulder line; sleeve lengths and back seams can be shortened and tapered.
The colour of the season is Blue. As a sales exec at BOSS explained Black is now reserved for evening in place of a tuxedo. Texture in the cloth, waist coats and plain coloured ties are also dominating this season. Stripes are out and Checks are in.
It’s menswear’s time to shine. As the Autumn Racing carnival kicks of in Australia it’s the gents chance to add their individual touch and maximise their chance to accessorise.