You can always spot a Melbourne street style perfectionist – and the lads who put their mightiest step forward during this year's VAMFF festival at the Plaza precinct of the Royal Exhibition Building probably spent a good few hours in front of a bedroom mirror. Although they'd probably never admit it.
It was the season for casual chic – less suits on the ground in favour of sport luxe grandeur. Tailoring was reserved for pants, but always matched with casual tops, polos, shirts and some with logos or fashion slogans.
It was the season for monotone too – lots of checks in grey and Paddington brown. Boxy three-quarter length knits in grey worn with textured pants in the same colour, finished with sneakers, has become the modern hipster.
Those with real street style clout teamed international brands who local ones - a strategic technique that allowed for high-low clashing.
There were stretchy leggings that had little to do with gym sessions, track pants with side stripes teamed with combat print satchels worn across the torso. Some wore shorts with hoodies while short suits also found a spot in the front row.
Gents with a little more daring channelled the avant-garde wearing a half skirt over pants. It might have been a nod to Celtic punk (think Pogues era) but in the hands of Melbourne street style it got a modernist inspired tick of approval that would make Lee Lin Chin smile.
The subtlety of cool
The era of floral embroidery and motifs remain strong, with snake motifs also appearing on coats and sleeves. There were floral shirts with pinstripe pants for a Californian cool while Gucci bum bags in velvet were worn with a white shirt and cropped black shorts ready for a Florentine spritz.
But not all street style is about being flamboyant – those who kept it slick with a darker palette did so with leather bomber jackets, rolled black jeans and brown lace-ups or grey suits worn fitted and cropped for less office and more play ready.
On the runway
During Wednesday night's Bridal runway show, it was Dom Bagnato who stood out from the mix, bringing to the runway a mighty collection of large, check suiting and textured fabrications from Europe.
The tailor is going back to a made-to-measure service, having just introduced a custom-made service from his South Melbourne quarters, which is how he started in the business in the first place. He flew the rainbow flag by sending two male models down the runway holding hands wearing grey and navy check suits while a female bride wore the pants and adorned a velvet tuxedo jacket in a nod to marriage equality.
From the shoe up
Last night, shoe designer Christian Kimber unveiled his debut menswear collection (which he's been hard at perfecting over the past two years).
Held at Bang & OIufsen, the English born designer leaned on layered elegance, grandpa collar shirts, drawstring pants, cargo silhouettes worn with round neck knitwear and a landscape palette of green, caramel, grey and black in his European salutations. His focus on quality and accessibility should make this a hit on the local market – clearly a win for those who prefer trans-seasonal hero pieces you can play with all year round.
Check out the gallery above to see the best men's style on the ground at VAMFF.