Budding designer: The Elwood Anorak

I love Elwood.

I love it because – for those of you who know me and know how much I love this city – it was founded in Melbourne, is run out of Melbourne and has wicked success in Melbourne.

The brand also adds another notch on the Australian fashion scene’s belt of urban music and streetwear with a skew towards men, of which there’s hardly enough.

It’s been around since 1996 and has only now burgeoned its way into Myer‘s long list of menswear offerings as of 1 February 2012. Better late than never. Up until now they’ve been operating out of their own shop fronts in key retail spaces like Melbourne Central, Chadstone, South Yarra and Bondi in Sydney (see locations here).

Myer has worked fairly closely with Elwood in showcasing the heritage and renowned pieces the label is known for. Elwood’s founder Andy Gillott was a happy chap when the deal was sealed and said, “We’re all very excited about this new partnership with Myer. Myer is a natural fit with Elwood due to their high retail standards and strength in the branded youth market.”

Elwood’s new menswear collection, which is being stocked in 28 Myer stores such as Sydney and Parramatta, Melbourne, Chadstone and Northland, Pacific Fair and Adelaide is called ‘The Time is Now‘ and tries to bridge the gap between indoor and outdoor living.

One of their pieces in this collection is the timeless anorak – different to a parka – which is a very comfortable and warm jacket! It fits-in well with the collection’s focus on classic sportswear and collegiate fashion, which isn’t really my style, but I’m still totally going to rock it. If it’s more your flavour, go ahead and drop into any Myer menswear section.

They recently sent me my own anorak for a bit of fun… And fun I had. They set me a challenge: redesign the anorak by any means. So I did.

I usually have a particular style of my own. However, I’m felt like bucking the trend and going all out.

In the beginning…

Where to start, where to start…

I didn’t know what to do, or how for that matter initially. So, channeling my inner designer, I sketched and drew a few impressions of what I wanted… or thought I wanted.

They went something like this…

A friend of mine in all his infinite wisdom aided me by way of telling me the fundamentals of customising a garment that has been perfectly made and reinforced by a machine. So, working to these tips and tricks, I managed to redo the whole thing, which included my first whirl at dying, which worked a treat, given the initial khaki colour just did not work for my pale skin.

Initially, I hit-up Spotlight, which was conveniently having a 30% off sale on the day I was there. Win. I bought chiffon, tuelle, muslin and polyurethane leather to enhance the look of my jacket, as well as too many packets of black dye and some steel buttons.

Who knew home economics could be so enthralling?

After an intense dying session, I withdrew the anorak from the washing machine to reveal a wonderful blackness that I never thought I’d be able to achieve. I was chuffed.

The anorak hangs out to dry

After the thick jacket had dried overnight, I began my work.

Picking threads, removing panels and pockets, hand-dying stitches and hand-sewing buttons, I worked toward my end goal.

Picking at stiches (I’m not naked)

Panels come off

Buttons go on

Studs. Because I can

The end result:

It took two days of trial and error, learning and designing as I went along, but the end result turned out quite well, I think.

You can see the finished product, entitled ANORAQUE in the Elwood store at Melbourne Central:

Elwood – Melbourne Central Level 2, Shop 242, Melbourne Central Latrobe Street, Melbourne, 3000.

Thanks to Elwood for this opportunity. If you’d like to get your own little anorak jacket to wear as is, or cut-up and bastardise, go for it! They’re available at all Elwood stores and now in Myer‘s menswear section.

A million and one thankyous, also to Meagan Harding of www.stylefarm.com.au for styling and shooting these photos and many others. She’s a great personality and a brilliant creative mind. See her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/MHPS2

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