A.BCH, Scott Bendedictine and MNDATORY
This week we’re taking a look back at CTF Curated Work Shop by the Council of Textile & Fashion which featured a live studio residency and collaboration between emerging Melbourne designers A.BCH, Scott Benedictine and MNDATORY.
I came across CTF Curated while passing through St. Collins Lane one morning, and I wanted to look into their story a bit more and discover what Curated Melbourne is doing to help showcase and support our emerging fashion designers. They invited me over to their popups and I had a chance to talk to Courtney Holm of A.BCH, Warren Harrison of Scott Benedictine and Brian Huynh of MNDATORY
A.BCH is a Melbourne-based, Australian-made fashion label created for individuals who care about garment provenance and design circularity. Courtney uses fashion design as a way to express her desires and creativity in a physical form, and she also sees it as a vehicle for changes.
[CH] Clothes will always be important as fashion is an expression of yourself, how you want to feel, and be seen.
Scott Benedictine respectfully blends traditional techniques of master tailoring with new age thought processes and design. Warren aims to re-connect an emotional aspect to the industry, showing that garments have worth greater than dollar signs. Warren began creating fashion at an early age as a creative outlet after picking up sewing from his mother and sisters. He is a very tactile designer and everything is sketched and toiled rather than relying too heavily on computers or technology.
[WH] The act of creating something, focusing on a task and finishing with something beautiful, tangible, and useful is a kind of escapism for me.
MNDATORY is an Australian designer menswear brand. Building on wardrobe fundamentals through a transformative design approach, MNDATORY honours every material they use by merging contemporary ideas with classic silhouettes. Brian Huynh was studying to become an Optometrist but after spending most of his lectures doing fashion sketches he decided to follow his true passion.
[BH] I’ve always been a creative and I find that fashion has a unique way of engaging both left and right brain.
The idea behind Curated Work Shop was to showcase young designers in one space, to connect and provide a shopping experience for those who want to be at the forefront of new discoveries, and for those want to experience the behind-the-scenes processes of a fashion house, from start to finish.
[BH]Our mindset is different, our incentive is to be here and we’re invested in that. This is what we want to be doing and we don’t often get that opportunity to interact with the end user and see what they like and what they want to see.
The designers’ use of social media goes beyond a simple advertising tool in the traditional sense, but also serves to share their design journey and brand identity with their followers and potential customers.
[CH] A.BCH tells a lot of our stories through Instagram and we’re able to be a lot more descriptive about what we’re about. I see Instagram and Facebook as a way to be able to communicate with people, rather than just a selling place.
[BH] I think it comes back to authenticity. Because everyone is so internet savvy right now, people can see through it pretty quickly if it’s not genuine.
MM: What is an item that you always carry around?
[CH] My sketchbook. I never know when I might need to scribble down an idea.
[WH] I always have a notebook and pen. Always. I have to get ideas out onto paper or they’ll be lost.
[BH] Leather Duffle. Perfect mix of adornment and utility.
MM: Where do you get your coffee and food from?
[BH] No BS - a monthly, curated, specialty coffee subscription. My favourite restaurant is Port Philip Estate, Red Hill.
MM: What do you do to relax?
[CH] I like to go to the beach, or go for a walk. It really depends on the weather! I love getting out of town and going to the wineries or mountains. It’s nice to feel like you’re far away from routine every now and then.
[WH] I go running when I can, but that's more masochistic than relaxing. It's the endorphins I get later that help with the relaxing.. that or wine.
[BH] Club Bed.
MM: What are your hopes for the future?
[CH] To achieve my business goals this year and expand into new territory with A.BCH; there is so much in the pipeline from concept stores to creating new lines that further explore how people can buy more sustainably and ethically. The long term dream is to have a base both here and in the USA, but no matter what, we will always stay true to the brand values and strive to transform the industry for good.
[WH]. As cliché as it sounds I just want to be happy. I’d like to make my little place in the world doing what I love doing. Before Work Shop I was feeling like I’d spent all my time honing a skill that was being forgotten. Now I realize it’s what the industry might need. To reconnect. I’d also love to someday have a little shop. We’ll make on site. We’ll do coffee. We’ll focus on details. We’ll know our clients by name. It’ll be the complete embodiment of slow fashion.
[BH] Create a home for the fashionably dressed.