Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fashion - There's nothing that says men can't look macho and trendy in pink.

Aussie inspiration

There's nothing that says men can't look macho and trendy in pink.

PINK T-shirts and pansy motif shirts may not appeal to the typical urban male but crea-tively-designed, they could well be show-stoppers.

That's what the latest collection by home-grown label Philosophy-Men is offering and more.

The new Melbourne 360C collection is all about timeless and playful pieces that carry that relaxed Aussie feel.

Featuring graphical prints to classic, striped designs, the shirts and T-shirts are stylishly paired with checked bermudas or white pants.
Worn on their own or under well-tailored vests and jackets, the pieces make for easy mix and match ensembles.

The philosophy embraced by Philosophy-Men during the current economic downturn is to treat extravagance as a bad word.

Founders Allan Chan and Tino Soon feel that although splurging should be avoided, indulging a little after all your hard work is surely no

"These days, men look for updated silhouettes with minimal detailing at accessible price points," says Soon, commenting on current customer demand.

"Philosophy offers guys who want to have some fun and fashion by offering them style and clothes at reasonable prices," agrees Chan, adding that the label's clothes start from RM39 and accessories from RM9.90.

The new collection, Chan adds, celebrates "smartonomics", or looking smart at economical prices, inspired by Melbourne's architectural heritage, flora and fauna, seaside charm and indigenous art.

To breathe life into the clothes, the owners headed where else but, Down Under recently for the fashion shoot. Interesting locations that
provided the backdrop included the historic St Paul's Cathedral, modern Melbourne Museum, sunny Brighton Beach and the picturesque Loch Ard Gorge (Great Ocean Road).

The Melbourne 360C collection comprises the Graphic and Geometric, Tropical Tempo, Nautical Nation and Tribal Territory ranges.

Soon utilised new fabrics such as waxed coating on linen and cotton nylon made to look like plastic.

"The new material gives a rain-proof feeling (suitable for)the wacky weather these days. Men's clothes don't really change that much (in terms of design), but new fabrics update the feel and look," says Soon, who is head of design.

The Graphic and Geometric range is influenced by the city's rich architectural heritage, from the Edwardian baroque Flinders Street Station building to the contemporary Federation Square.

"This range reflects the sleek, modern lines of Australian architecture. It features sharp cuts, minimalistic styling, and metallic and
monochrome hues," says Soon.

As its name suggests, Tropical Tempo toys with flora and fauna prints that inject a "carefree and youthful flavour" in the designs. Sporting pansies and palm trees, giraffes and toucans, motifs come off looking quietly refreshing.

In Nautical Nation, button-down tops, fitted tanks, comfy bermudas and cotton slacks form the sporty line-up. The range carries maritime
elements, appearing crisp and clean.

Inspired by the indigenous art of the aborigines, Tribal Territory relives tribal art prints on earth tone and khaki coordinates.

"It's a tad wild and rustic, with well-tailored cuts showcasing the raw lines of natural linens and fabrics," explains Soon.

The first Philosophy-Men outlet opened in 2001 in Suria KLCC, two years after sister label Salabianca started its first retail store there.

Today, the menswear label has grown to four outlets in Malaysia and three in the Philippines, while Salabianca has eight stores in Malaysia and three in the Philippines.

Philosophy-Men won the 2004/2005 Retail Award of Excellence for Outstanding Malaysian Fashion Retailer awarded by Suria KLCC. Salabianca won the same award in 2000.

Soon and Chan are also the one behind T-shirt brand Graffi Tee.

* The Melbourne 360C fashion shoot was possible courtesy of Tourism Victoria, AirAsiaX, AirAsia-Citibank Credit Card, Suria KLCC, M.A.C. Cosmetics, LG (Life's Good) and Jacob's Creek.

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