Over the last two years, the menswear market has become inundated with brands that aggressively skew from tailored clothing. Numerous designers have positioned themselves in opposition of conventional men’s tailoring, remarking on its increasing irrelevance in a globalised and digital world.
To be sure, labels like Eidos and United Arrows still fly the flag for traditional Anglo-Italian style with commendable vigour. But, in a market expanding as rapidly as menswear, the quickest way to make an impression is to tear at the establishment. That a brand like EPONYMOVS succeeded where many others failed is nothing short of impressive. Perhaps it is the label’s quiet reverence for tradition, and how harmoniously they entwine it with a futuristic slickness.
A ready to wear diffusion brand within the wider HVRMINN (pronounded ‘Hur Minn’, in reference to the brand’s Korean founder) family, EPONYMOVS represents the collective’s off the rack endeavour. Fusing the aesthetic hallmarks of both VIETTO – the focus there is on vintage inspired outerwear – and its parent company’s bespoke offering, EPONYMOVS remains one of the more visually distinct brands to come out of North America for some time. While the collective have never held a full blown runway presentation, to coincide with NYFW, their proximity to events of that ilk is quite telling. There’s a spark of high fashion in these threads – enough to make a man feel powerful, without Kanye levels of drama.
Despite the dominance of streetwear and hashtag menswear in North America, EPONYMOVS has thrived due to its fearless and distinctive aesthetic. Minn Hur and his team take visual cues from Peaky Blinders, Boardwalk Empire, and Mario Puzo. Romanticism for all things historic is an omnipresent factor in the clothing – think huge lapels and collar pins. Beneath that however is design calculated to hold the attention of a younger saavier (seemingly well educated) consumer.
EPONYMOVS F/W ’15 exudes vibes of myriad inspiration. Some see Dries, others hone in on Slimane, further still comparisons to Tom Ford are whispered. The essential point to note is that the brand pulls from literally dozens of sources, without ever feeling imitative. Indeed, my first reaction upon seeing the brand’s new lookbook was of surprise. Sure, a ‘Purple Rain’ style DB is nothing especially radical. But, worn with a dramatically concealed third layer – is it a tunic or long scarf? – is made freshly interesting.
With autumn here, and the Australian winter tiptoeing over the horizon now is a great time to peruse the dearth of excellent outerwear options on show in this lookbook. With HVRMINN’s e-shop due to open later this year, 2015 ought to be the year that Australian men embrace the aesthetic of a gangster-dandy-international contract killer style.