We’re in a world of microtrends and “-core” fashion movements, thanks in large part to TikTok – think cottagecore, angelcore and coastal grandma. Simultaneously, though, there’s a lot of buzz around the capsule wardrobe – the anti-trend that’s all about understated and timeless pieces that complement one another, allowing the wearer to create a variety of outfits with a small amount of clothing.
Melbourne-born menswear label Joseph & James, founded by husband-and-wife duo Juanita and Ashford Page, creates garments with this longevity in mind. It’s something Juanita riffed on while designing the label’s subtly chic debut range. “The mentality of buying less, and more intentionally, is really important for us as a brand,” she explains. “To be true to that, we … have to educate our customers on it also. That’s one of our goals.”
The first Joseph & James line marries streetwear silhouettes with sartorial precision. Cropping and crisp lines feature on most pieces, resulting in a collection that bears resemblance to Japanese and South Korean menswear. But the inspiration was drawn directly from the streets of Melbourne. “[The cropping] was from a practical sense. More often than not, I would see guys with rolled up pants. So I thought ‘Okay, how can I cater to this?’”
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A pair of camel trousers, elevated by smart waist buckles and an ankle-crop, is just as stylish with the honeycomb-hued cotton-cashmere knit as with the Coach Jacket’s statement blue-and-orange stripes. The collection is filled with earth tones – deep greens and sandy hues – with the occasional pop of colour.
“The colour palette is a collection of things that are uniquely classic,” adds Page. “I wanted it to be something that was easily pairable with everything. How can you wear our jacket in a way that can be paired with other things?”
The company’s goal of reducing waste makes itself felt before production even begins at Joseph & James. Most of the fabrics were “created specifically for our styles … so we had no deadstock in part one of our collection,” Page proudly reports. “Even in our upcoming collection, 100 per cent of the styles we have, we’ve been able to choose our fabrics and limit our quantities.”
Once manufacturing is completed, Juanita and Ashford’s quest to lighten the load on the environment continues. “We’re partnered with 1 Per Cent for the Planet,” says Page. “Basically, one per cent of the gross sales we give back to them to better the planet. It’s something we wanted to be part of from the beginning.”