When you think about it, the traditional fashion show concept is a collection of contradictions: either a plain white runway or decadent, impossible stage with the clothing styled in ways that are rarely worn in real life. We the audience are left to do the heavy lifting of trying to imagine how these would look in real life, in real scenarios in real locations.
Thankfully Haulier founder Jeremy Hershan seems to be on the same page. For debut collection for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, the Australian designer unveiled his new collection in situ, with models walking in the wild ie the steps of the iconic Harry Siedler-designed 25 Martin Place. Complete with live onlookers as they left work from home and the occasional unawares gatecrasher using the stairs to get to the nearby bars.
Hershan’s entire vibe at Haulier centres around a sense of nostalgic loucheness and the spectacle of display. “We take inspiration from the glory days of travel and celebrity style from the 1960s through to the 1990s, a time when travel and style went hand in hand,” Hershan tells ICON.
“Paparazzi moments from the red carpet in Cannes and the arrival terminals over the period are particular reference points. The result is a collection of luxury wardrobe staples designed for life in transit.”
What does Hershan’s view of a luxury wardrobe staple look like? Denim in washed, indigo or black with the subtlest of boot cuts; leather biker jackets, generously cut blazers perfect for relaxing on the Concord and hitting the ground in New York and straight to Limelight or The Tunnel.
Sweatpants and motorcross shirts serve as a reminder that the greatest leisure is downtime, but styled so that you could still be presentable enough in the first class lounge at your airline of choice. Suede jackets – a seasonal must – came with utilitarian detailing and sailing smocks should be make their way into every weekend wardrobe.
All throughout was Hershan’s signature Haulier Tote in various shades in either canvas and suede. The bag’s symbolism as an enduring piece of goods – literally, they’re tough as nails and fit with every outfit – was the thread that connected the entire collection together.
Among a collection of very good, well crafted clothes the standout were the leather trousers. A nod to the days of rock stars on private jets that were an extension of the afterparty, says Hershan. “The Transit Leather Trouser takes its stylistic cues from the Rollings Stones in exile in the South of France by way of Nicolas Cage in Wild At Heart,” Hershan tells ICON.
“They are based on the same fit as our Utility Jean which is proving a hallmark style for the brand and have been cut in an extremely luxurious French calf leather to match the Transit Leather Jacket that we also debuted this season. We styled them back with Italian full canvas tailoring and cashmere knitwear for the ultimate ‘in transit’ vibe. But they are very versatile and can be styled back with sportswear to equal effect.”
This year, the GRAZIA Australia team travelled between AAFW shows in the refined style of Toyota’s new RAV4 GXL. With its modern and spacious interior, privacy glass, and fast charging portals for our phones, it was the perfect mode of travel for zipping across Sydney town. To find out more, visit toyota.com.au.