Suited gents? Check! Grooming tips? Check! Men styling session? Check!
Everything that could be defined as “heaven” for an aspiring gentleman went on at the annual Dappertude Seminar in Sydney last Saturday; the event that already gained massive success in the past few years was organised by the Dappertude founder himself, the classy mr. Johnny Li! There was a lot of excitement in the air and the event definitely didn’t disappoint!
The Seminar aimed to educate and create a good network between every individual who wanted to get introduced to the fascinating world of menswear, as well as providing new ideas to those who are looking to build their personal style. Oh boy…it was much more than that!
As part of the event, several vendors had the opportunity to speak and showcase their products and what I found particularly interesting is that everyone had the chance to bring their perspective on menswear.
First of all, let’s just start with the location: the Jackalberry! Even though the weather was very “Melbournian”, the place resembled those New York Style underground jazz bars that were popular at the time of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. Not to mention the cocktail list; the bartenders had me with one of the best Negroni I’ve ever tried in Sydney. Anyways, let’s get back to business!
The whole event was hosted by the charismatic celebrity stylist Jeff Lack, who was kind enough to start the day with a live styling session, courtesy of SuitSupply. Jeff went through some of the summer menswear trends of the last few years, such as the Seersucker fabric (that I find such an underrated summer cloth) and the shirt/polo collar over the lapel. If you’re familiar with Pitti Uomo, you probably might have seen quite a few peacocks sporting these trends.
One thing I was glad he mentioned is the fact that men nowadays are experimenting with colour more and more, which explains the trend of going tone-on-tone with earthy colours.
After a brief break, we had a chance to get acquainted with one of the oldest barbershop in world, Truefitt & Hill, which just opened one of their shops in Sydney. Store manager, Tam Teague; discussed that grooming is something that men often underestimate, especially here in Australia; that’s why it was fun to get to know more about hair and skin care tips from the manager of the Sydney shop, who’s been in the business for quite some time.
Following the grooming conversation, JuVan Langford took the stage. As one of the biggest voices in men’s empowerment, he ran us through his deep personal history. Starting as a professional basketball player and after facing many misfortunes, he found himself mentoring individuals who were struggling with mental health; since then, he travels the world helping men sustain fame and fortune. He then took the opportunity to invite us all to his Sydney event, the MENtour.
With the next speaker, we jumped back to men’s tailoring. Andrew Taylor, from the same Mr. A Taylor provided us on his insight and ideas on menswear and where this world is heading at the moment. In addition to giving tips for your first bespoke suit, I’ve enjoyed his take on clothing as a reflection of you really are. I share his idea that a garment is something that a man can express himself with; for some men, clothing can be empowering but it is fundamental – especially for a tailor like him – to capture the needs of every customer in order to create a bespoke suit.
The event is quickly halfway through and then on to the next speakers!
After Andrew’s Q&A, we were introduced to the founder of the Australian-based Pacifico Optical, Alain Guglielmino. He wasn’t on stage for long but he gave us a brief introduction on how the brand was born and how him and his friend (the two founders) strive to create the “perfect” pair of shades. I found it pretty cool to know that there’s a Bondi brand out there that makes these simple, yet quality designs. So, in case you need a pair of shades, you know where to go! It’s true what they say: the Swiss have their watches, the Italians have their Leather Goods and the Australians have their sunnies!
Carl, the main representative for AustralAsia of Older Angler, was then introduced to the stage! I’m not biased here but, for those who didn’t know, Florence is the OG of Italian leather and his brand truly represents what really means to have a quality yet timeless piece. When he and his wife went to Italy, they got immediately hooked by the quality of the brand; after trying to repair a fault in his bag, he got to know the owner a bit better and he thought “you know what? I want to work for you in Australia”. Alongside the other vendors, he showcased some of his styles but what I loved about his pieces was the patina; that patina will keep getting better and better with time.
The last speaker of the Seminar was Mr. James Seaford, founder of Trimly, a website that specialises in Shoe care and Shoe Trees. He explained how shoes project the image that we give the people we meet, especially for the first time. I also went through the importance of investing in a good quality shoe, particularly for Goodyear Welted Shoes. I totally agree with his view on quality footwear. I still remember my grandpa saying: “the first thing people will notice of you, are the shoes”. Alongside his fellow friends Ringo Mok and Ben Atkinson, he showcased their brand The Thomas George Collection, which is definitely a good bang for the buck when it comes to quality shoes. The penny loafers, in particular, caught my eye and I’ll surely be looking to purchase a pair in the future.
At the conclusion of the Seminar, some of the gents in the crowd were also given goodies bags, which included items from Swanky Socks, Trimly, John Miles Shirt, Mojo Hair, Truefitt & Hill and Pacifico Optical. It was absolutely great to top it off!
Overall, the Dappertude Seminar 2019 was a huge success. Starting with the staff at the bar, everything was chosen in the detail and the event was organised wonderfully. It was great to connect with like-minded individuals who shared the same passion for menswear.