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Relaxed and fluid, menswear takes a fresh turn -

Relaxed and fluid, menswear takes a fresh turn


Will Australian men embrace a European mode of dressing that encompasses crochet knitwear, relaxed muslin shirting and oversized blazers that cinch at the waist?

Some of Australia’s most exciting emerging fashion designers hope the answer is a resounding, “Absolutely”.

COMMAS showed its range, including its first women’s designs, at sunrise at Sydney’s Tamarama Beach.Credit:Nick Moir


Marina Afonina, of Albus Lumen, used Tuesday’s presentation at Australian Fashion Week to let 60 editors, buyers and special guests in on a little secret she has been cooking up for the past few months: menswear.

After earning a reputation over five years – and several industry awards – for her understated resort wear, former stylist Afonina says the time was right to introduce a menswear capsule that includes oversized knits, and muslin shirting and tailoring.

“I’ve been asked so many times when I am going to do men’s [clothes],” she says. “We had a good break during COVID, we were taking things slowly. This year it was time for us [to expand].”

Albus Lumen has introduced menswear to its range for summer 2021.

Albus Lumen has introduced menswear to its range for summer 2021.

But in keeping with a broader trend in “gendered” clothing worldwide, Afonina stresses the pieces, while sized to accommodate men’s bodies are easily categorised as unisex, or, more pointedly, genderless.

Australian menswear, which has a long history steeped in surfwear and streetwear, is undergoing something of a renaissance, with brands such as Venroy, which will open its first Melbourne store after the current lockdown, broadening the application of natural materials such as linen. And yes, that includes educating men on how to wear them in winter. On Monday, established brand Bassike presented its menswear collections for summer, which included prints made from the Japanese style of tie-dye known as shibori.


Afonina knows her brand of menswear, which in her presentation included jewellery by Ryan Storer, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but she thinks the time is ripe to capture a menswear market that is more open than ever to new ideas.

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