Is the world changing a lot faster than it did previously or am I just getting older? I think it might be that I am getting older.
The wedding market in Australia has changed so much since the inception of Le Noeud Papillon. It was previously dominated by evening weddings and subsequently black tie as a dress code but increasingly it has become about the soft and natural tailored look of a sports jacket and trousers, often contrasting in colour, coupled with the spread collar and a silk neck tie or bow tie, for the day wedding in a beach or park setting. The Byron Bay wedding, the Bannisters Beach wedding, the Blue Mountains Wedding, The Bowral Wedding or The Hunter Valley Vineyard wedding, and that just describes people from Sydney - is becoming a more frequently described problem for the groom. He wants to get married in a certain setting and he wants to feel very comfortable in that setting. So the constraints of what can or should be worn have to be lifted.
Whilst brands like MJ Bale, Peter Jackson and Hugo Boss have brought the price of suits down and pushed men to look more elegant on a mass-marketed level, the real powerhouse behind this movement in the change of groom attire is, in my opinion, the people at P Johnson Tailors in Paddington, Sydney. The volume of customers that come past our Studio looking to finish their ensembles off are bringing mostly P Johnson suit bags in. Of those, a great deal of them are pursuing a contrasted look between a lighter fabric such as a linen wool or linen cotton mix along with contrasted trousers in a navy, Prussian, royal or air force blue. The navy suit sill seems to be a strong day wedding option but not as much as it was. Soft shouldered and soft muted colours up top, clean white and sky blue shirts with spread collars, cuffed darker hues trousers to be worn with no socks and shoes, this seems to be soup du jour right now and it certainly works for weddings which are taking place in the hotter months and in more sub-tropical to tropical locations such as Byron Bay.
With respect to the evening wedding market, it seems that the blue suit with black satin silk shawl or peaked collar is still trickling down and fewer men that stop past our Studio are bringing in strong classic black tie tuxedos as was worn very well by Leonardo Di Caprio at the Oscars. The kinds of Gucci tuxedo worn by Jared Leto at the Oscars, that experimental frontier of black tie, does not seem to be having a grip on the Australian market and you rarely see anybody step too far out of line with black tie which is a shame really, because, although classic black tie standards are de rigeur, the other options out there for the evening are a lot of fun for Instagram observers and bitches.
The saddest part I find is that so few men that stop past our store are bringing in suits from proper tailors which means that those few ateliers that still produce their work on site are mainly doing suits for city businessmen and frankly, I can't imagine they are doing much at all which is a very sad and sorry state for Australian tailoring or what is left of it.
So if you are embarking on your wedding attire odyssey consider that the world has changed and Australian menswear has changed. You now have a myriad of choices from contrasting jackets and trousers to suits and classic dinner suits. You can wear bow ties, neck ties or no ties at all. You can have a clean line on your pocket or add a pocket square for some flair if it suits your ensemble or setting. Whatever it is you want to achieve, it is important to take into account the setting of your wedding and try to stay in tune with that setting. Australian men are dressing more in tune with their landscape and climate than ever before. We're not English, we're not Europeans either - so accordingly we have our own taste these days.
|One of the major arbiters of menswear style in Australia, P Johnson Tailors of Paddington. Photo source: Instagram|