We recently got to catch up with Huw Bennett, Contributing Style & Lifestyle Editor for men’s style website Oliver Grand to discuss a few things about his take on fashion…
Huw, Oliver Grand provides a unique view on men’s luxury lifestyle. Tell me about your perspective on men’s fashion and what you bring to the overall theme of Oliver Grand.
I’d like to think I’m a casual observer; I’ve always been drawn to design and the culture around clothing design, branding and business. I help create new content for the Oliver Grand site, most of which is a reflection of my tastes and ideals – the overriding idea with the Oliver grand website is talking about classic and timeless men’s referencing focusing on clothing but also food, cars, travel and grooming.
You used to design for Australian brand Vanishing Elephant. Aside from contributing to Oliver Grand what have you transitioned to since then?
I finished up with VE last year after selling to my long time business partners, I went onto some consulting working that chimed in nicely with travel and helping at home with my young family. At the end of last year I started a new business ‘Worktones’ that focuses on producing quality uniforms for Hotels, Cafes, Bars and Pubs all made locally in Sydney. It’s still early days but we have some good traction and have worked with some great businesses like Gelato Messina, Reuben Hills, The Pumphouse and Bannisters Hotel.
We have a great array of options here in Australia, our isolation for a long time was a key ingredient for local unique designers to prosper but recently with online shopping exploding and the introduction of more and more international high street brands our local market has become a lot more competitive. I always look for brands that offer something special and honest with worldly elements but are still Australian at heart. I love Jac and Jack, they champion such an effortless classic style. Bassike offer great pieces beyond their jersey and I find their quality to be second to none, it also makes me happy to see made in Australia on their tags. I wear both RM Williams and Blundstone boots and whilst it only sees the light of day once a year my favourite hat is a classic black 50’s styled wide round brim Akubra.
Flash forward to next season, what trends are your favourites that you have already implemented into your style repertoire?
I’m dressing down to dress up. I’m moving towards more cotton pants in different weights, lengths and shapes that I find both easy to wear and care for. I’m big on sneakers but I’am finding boots as mentioned before and desert boots make me feel that little bit more mature at work. Fleece worn in the place of knits and or shirts is the real winner, and in interesting colours like Maroon, dusty pink and ink navy.
Five wardrobe essentials every gentleman should have?
Easy. A great white shirt that you take care of after each wash, this should work for weddings, dates and anything in between that requires you to look smart. A good fitting boot that can be worn with a suit, jeans or trousers, shoes make the man. For winter a good coat in a natural fabric – preferably wool. Cut long, with functional pockets and a collar for warmth. Blue jeans, a classic that will never die. I like to bring mine up on the ankle and try to treat them as poorly as possible, which generally results in good looks. Last and maybe the most important piece is a reliable suit, something that makes you feel smart, handsome and comfortable – this is one item where money buys value.
Images sourced from Oliver Grand