Reece, Store Manager: Jack London
When did you first get interested in fashion and what led you to working in menswear?
I used to alter a lot of my clothes while in high school. My first year out I enrolled in a Fashion Design course at TAFE in Perth with the idea of starting a skateboarding clothing label, having skated for the past six years. While in the second year I stumbled across a feature in GQ on Hedi Slimane’s Dior Homme collection Strip, that was the catalyst for a serious interest in high-fashion menswear. After graduating, I worked for two-and-a-half years as a patternmaker and womenswear designer - but wanting to work only in menswear and lacking opportunity in Perth - I decided to move to Melbourne. I met the designer of Jack London by chance, and after seeing the first collection, took the retail position as my foot in the door.
Whose style do you admire and why?
I really like the style of your gentlemen of rock ‘n’ roll – guys like Tex Perkins, Tim Rogers, a young Nick Cave…They have an uncomplicated, classic style, dress like real men, and know that looking sharp doesn’t necessarily mean your shirt has to be perfectly ironed (or even clean).
What are your views on menswear in Melbourne?
Menswear marketing (and awareness) is only increasing, and there has been a shift in the last year from the familiar drapey, casual look to a more sophisticated style. The laziness of oversized V-necks, Tsubi jeans, Havaianas and baggy beanies has lost out to a blend of smart selections from the 40s, 50s and 80s. Guys are opting for round-rimmed spectacles, crisp shirts buttoned all the way up (often without a tie), floating or rolled hems, brogues or loafers. It’s a really clean, timeless and classically masculine look.
Tell us a bit about the Jack London aesthetic and range this season.
Bold colour has always been popular in previous seasons so we’ve focussed on including a variety of shades of our highlight colours – yellow, and blue – throughout the styles. In terms of design, much of the collection has been simplified in its details, including hidden-button double-breasted suit jackets with single-button cuffs, more attenuated lapels and an additional option of an even narrower trouser cut. Shirts with no visible topstitching and modern, clean coats are also recent highlights in the evolving Jack London aesthetic.
What's your favourite Jack London item?
The Duel Leather Pants from winter ’09. Leather pants have a legacy of pigeonholing a look into either ultra-camp or dedicated Harley rider, in no way helped by their typical straight-leg cut and thick leather. These were done in lamb leather with a slim jean cut, so they’re a great fit and really soft. And no matter how many beers get spilt on them, you can just wipe the lamb down with a sponge and you’re good to go!