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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cameron Carter - A New Voice In Menswear From Our Fatal Shores

Cameron Carter is one of the new voices of blogging in Australia. His blog, Carter Post, which commenced a couple of months ago, is attempting to bring together new influences in a variety of mediums from runway rundowns to the latest in film, furniture and architecture. I asked him a few questions on his new blog and his venture into the world of public relations. VISIT CAMERON'S BLOG

Cameron, the sphere of blogging has been overrun by new voices, each with a particular
angle and a new reason for being. Carter Post has already developed it’s own personality, but
how would you describe it and what are you seeking to offer the readers that they won’t find anywhere else?


Interestingly, the FELTT GROUP advocate that the shift in power now lies with the individual, a
“peoples voice” style of reckoning. And I agree, but the international mastheads will always, in
our lifetime, hold a currency, they’ve been embedded into our psyche. But I digress. For me,
Carter Post is a lifestyle perspective from which I can support my clients and develop a dialogue
centered around my own likes and dislikes. I guess my point of difference is that I’m not looking
to engage a cult following.

You mentioned that the new look is anything regal. Can you tell us what this means and
how it might filter down to us in terms of menswear and what brands will be offering us in the
seasons to come?

Yes, I think there’s a persuasive shift back to, by virtue of its cyclical nature, royalty and
luxe fabrics for menswear. It’s a very natural departure from the urban minimalism
that has dominated men’s silhouettes of recent, a hedonistic take on dandyism. Championing
the movement are the Antwerp-disciples, Dries van Noten, Haider Ackermann and Kris van
Assche.

Dries Van Noten new looks 2013

Menswear has over the last year been deep in nostalgia, taking things very old and
making them new again. Even things such as a three piece suit were 5 years ago very rarely
seen in menswear but now they are almost becoming common place. Can you tell us when
you think this trend might end, or how it might evolve into the next trends in menswear? For
example, is the regal aspect you touched on an extension of this nostalgia?

Luckily for you and I, I don’t think its a trend. The great rise in the online mediascape, specifically
independent blogs and sites like MR PORTER who offer world class content and e-commerce
together, and the immediacy in which we’re accessing our information, has led to, by default, an
appreciation for quality. Men are engaging, as one does in conservative times, in valuable
research prior to spending. Brand heritage, the craftsmanship of products and specialty
categories are making a triumphant return to the marketplace to sit alongside luxury goods. I
believe, this is the “trend” you’re seeing.

In your eyes, who are the pivotal designers to keep an eye on the moment in menswear
and can you tell us why they are perhaps more on the pulse than others in terms of menswear?

For whatever reason I’m consumed with the above mentioned Antwerp collective.
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Belgium, has been responsible for the majority of great fashion
movements of late, Haider Ackermann’s debut menswear collection earlier in May being one
and Raf Simons 2012 appointment at Dior being another. The academy seems to teach a very
structural or architectural design process, but with a relaxed quality to it. Neil Barrett
continues to impress me and I admire that Rick Owens fortuitously perpetuates his signature
dialogue.

Haider Ackerman 2013

With the retail sector struggling in Australia as well as many outlets shutting shop, things
such as PR must therefore get slashed. Can you explain to us the importance of PR and how it
is changing in terms of the way PR companies interact with brands and what products and
services they offer? With respect to your own agency, how do you intend to change the format
by which PR people do business?

PR is quite simply smarter marketing. Advertising, TVC, print campaigns and online banners,
don’t engage the consumer. The publishing industry’s band-aid for advertising was “Promotion”
or “Advertorial” but the consumer is much smarter than that today. PR agencies have become
the interactive platform for brand socialising. There’s a lot of redundant agencies out there
sending blanket emails with young employees who facilitate product placement, and that’s fine.
I look to develop unique content that grows a brands market presence specific to one
publication. Again, consumers are becoming more educated about their media
choices. Each of my designers is an authority within their field, specialising in his or her
category, with potential to expand their commercial business. For me, it’s about partnering
those brands with complimentary media to engage and nurture relationships.

In terms of your own wardrobe, can you give us an example of how you mish mash the
cheaper stuff with the more expensive accoutrements?

I’m a huge advocate for the high street. Investment pieces will obviously off-set any
outfit, coats, suits, knits, shoes, leather goods, but everyday basics are best chosen from
brands to suit both your style and your budget. I live in basics so I’m fond of Australian
independent designer label Bassike or the U.S equivalent James Perse for everyday t-shirts. For
blazers and coats I pair back a statement designer, Dries van Noten, Lanvin or Margiela, and
then my shoes, leather goods and accessories are generally of a bespoke or specialty nature,
my favorite brogues were 2500 euro’s from Florence. Again, the education process plays a big
part in my decision making.

People often refer to the term ‘you get what you pay for?’ But with the retail world being
at sixes and sevens, how do you identify quality, especially on the web? Do you look for product
reviews first or do you rely on blogger activity or red carpets?

And it’s true. Quality begins and ends with a brand's heritage, therefore, identifying trusted brands
or artisans within their field will always herald confident buying. Research the product. Identify the
key players within a particular product category and look at their history, as brands build their sole
reputation on quality and practice. I’m personally less inclined to read product reviews but
would advise others that narrowed and reliable media is a great indication of market trends.
Examples include China Daily, the U.K’s Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune and
locally the Australian Financial Review.

What do you make of our politicians as we head towards election day 2013? Can you give us
a run down on best and worst dressed?

Sadly, I’m poorly versed on Australian politics. Nevertheless, navy is a masculine colour of
distinction and financial stability. Wide bold-striped ties in contrast colours assert a degree of
confidence. Both party leaders would do well to take notes from the Federal Member for
Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull.

Cameron's pick for political style: Malcolm Turnbull in the 'power' navy suit. This photo was taken in Sydney's Rose Bay.

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