3 January 2011

All Those Voices

Autumn/Winter 2011

Song for the Mute, a relatively young Australian label headed by graphic artist Melvin Tanaya and fashion designer Lyna Ty, recently released the preview look book for their upcoming Autumn/Winter 2011 collection entitled "Milieu".  Taking inspiration from their grandmothers, the collection is a personal development, not only expressing emotions, but also that feeling of losing someone close to you.  It is often the case that strong emotions allow for the greatest creativity, and indeed the personal expression and emotion is clear to see in this collection.

Exploring the use of high quality fabrics, including organza silk, boiled wool and deerskin, the collection is amazing in its technical accomplishments.  A muted colour palette paired with such texturally exciting fabrics certainly promises quite the enjoyable collection and thankfully Song for the Mute do not disappoint.  Combining a quiet fragility and softness with ostensibly harsh details, there is an alluring elegance to the collection.  Once again I am reminded of a quote by Ann Demeulemeester that I always keep in mind when dressing: "I think that fragility in men is beautiful".  Fragility does not have to mean an outfit made entirely of organza, it is not necessarily a literal element, but rather something that can be included to even the strongest looking outfit.

I found the juxtaposition of the clothing against the backdrop of rocks and the vastness of the sea fascinating.  There is that sense of protection, of wrapping yourself up against the elements, that will always hit the right note for the colder months.  The texture and shades of the wet sand, the worn rocks, the overcast sky, and indeed the sliver of ruffled blue provided by the sea, created quite the appropriate atmosphere echoing the sentiment of the clothes.

Love this look, especially the skirt-like extension.

Although I would personally no doubt have to taper them slightly more, or even just crop them, I liked the shape of these sarouel trousers, particularly against the longsleeve.  The dropped shoulders and twisted seam of the longsleeve provided a rather nice fit (and as you know I have a weakness for lengthy sleeves).  I was actually imagining wearing these trousers in a slightly more formal look, perhaps on one of Ann Demeulemeester's white poet shirts and some washed calfskin lace ups.  I always appreciate looks that can be deconstructed so easily into constituent parts.

Love the split back and front.

The high street is currently awash with carrot fit and dropped crotch jersey joggers, although I have yet to see people actually wearing them.  Personally my interest was piqued by Acne's sweatpants, and I fell in love with the Sword Fern jogging bottoms from Silent by Damir Doma.  Yet light grey trousers of a certain kind shall forever remind me of kids wearing baggy heather grey Nike sweatpants and dirty white Air Force Ones - an image I am not particularly keen on fulfilling myself.  Indeed I recently had a dilemma in COS over a pair of grey sweats that I really liked the fit of, however I could not imagine myself wearing them outside the house as they were too close to that mental image I hold - in a word, they were too sporty (I did consider dyeing them black, however it was not worth the effort).

The dropped crotch trousers featured in the look above and that below are far more the type of trouser I could see myself wearing.  Admittedly again I am leaning towards the black pair more than the grey.  I really like how slim the legs are cut and the baggy upper reminds me comfortably of salwar bottoms.  Ease and elegance come to mind, although that would understandably require a careful element of styling, otherwise you could risk looking sloppy.

I absolutely love the look of this virgin wool and mohair cardigan, and the way it was styled for the shot.  So cosy and comfortable.  I really do appreciate details left for the wearer, in this case, the physical sensation of wrapping yourself up in such a warm and soft cardigan.  There should always be a sense of intimacy between you and the garment.

The veins running through the grey, the gathering and creasing of the longsleeve, the dropped shoulders, the rocks and the surf.  It was the little details that I enjoyed about this image and look.

There is something oddly feminine about these that I find really interesting.  Indeed the second image, of the model captured in a state of becoming almost undone, is particularly fascinating.  It actually reminds me of a dress that has a zip along the back, although the long zipper pulls belie the idea of needing someone to help zip you up in that intimate moment of getting dressed.  The fact that these are actually capturing a moment of undress, of the top coming off, not only provides a nice silhouette for the first image, however it does make me think about the potential to wear what in my mind would be a cardigan back to front.  I imagine some interesting layering options and silhouettes could be achieved.

Black allows you to explore shape and texture to a degree that is often not possible with the presence of colour, and indeed here it is texture that really stands out for me.  As someone who spends most of the year with a scarf or shawl wrapped around my neck (I love the draping, and have to admit that I have rather the frail constitution, so it also serves a highly practical purpose), I love the look of this scarf.  The deep black is given depth and pattern through the rumpled texture and it really does create quite the alluring image.  I particularly like how the backdrop of this photograph works with the texture of the scarf - it reminds me of a lunar landscape (...or would that be lunarscape?).

It was nice to see a leather piece in the form of this sleeveless zipped vest.  Once again it was the texture of the leather that really made this piece interesting for me, especially considering the wide cut of the neck and drape of the front torso.  I can imagine the lengthy zipper pulls adding quite a nice flair to the piece, trailing in the wind, when left unzipped.  I do hope we see more leather garments in the near future from Song for the Mute, perhaps washed or reversed in keeping with the sense of softness that so strongly pervades the collection.

Often with menswear it is the smallest of details that make a piece stand out.  The shape of the collar and the collar pin are beautiful details.  I can imagine this shirt looking fantastic under a washed Paul Harnden jacket or even something as structured as a Boris Bidjan Saberi blazer.  In fact I would love to pair this with the cardigan above just to see how the play of fabrics, as well as the contrast of the metallic detailing against the wool, would work.

Song for the Mute will be showing for the first time in Paris later this month.  I for one am definitely excited by the label and really do look forward to seeing more from them.  Hopefully a London-based stockist is on the cards for the near future.

Currently playing: LTLP - edIT 



  1. WOW totally amazing..just did a search of it online and it seems u can get it entirely online but no stockists nearby us yet..fingers crossed..

  2. Pretty and dark. Unfortunately, I can't see any guy I know who would dare wear any of it. I'm surprised my guy wore the scarf I got him for Christmas. I was so in hopes to get him in a slouchy hat which I think would go great with uncontrolable hair and winter beard..but no luck there. Possibly, if I get his friend to wear one..he just might wear one of my creations.

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  4. Very cool. I'm fascinated by the shapes and the mix of textures, something you don't always see in menswear. The cardigans and extended tops are my favorites. I'd be interested to see their upcoming Paris collection as well.

    Wishing you a very happy new year!

  5. This is a gorgeous collection.
    I love the wool cardigan towards the middle of the post.

    Happy New Year. :)