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:: Spotlight :: A look at the Roy label

By: Annabel Ross

Melbourne’s forefather of denim has been serving up style in spades since the birth of his eponymous label nine years ago. Long before imitators jumped on the straight-leg neon-bright bandwagon, Roy had created clothes that could take the wearer from the café to the club in style and the upcoming autumn/winter collection looks like its going to be his best yet.

Ever-inspired by the 80s, this year sees a return to innovative form for Roy, with the new range featuring a fusion of old world and modern influences. Far from the “moody bastard” he describes himself as, I met with a contemplative, if slightly distracted Roy at his Greville St headquarters. He is increasingly effusive as the interview progresses, however, and demonstrates an obvious passion for the craft. His enthusiasm is infectious and his eyes light up when he talks about the upcoming range. If his look book is anything to go by, we should be getting excited too.

What can we expect from your autumn/winter collection?

This year’s collection is completely different from the others in that…it has purpose. What I mean is that I started designing the pieces with function in mind; the fashion part came later.

Were there any influences in particular for the collection?

Oh, a bit of Wham! and Miami Vice, you know, pushed up sleeves and pastels, that sort of thing. The men’s range has a bit of a nautical feel, but it’s more wharfie than sailor…kinda like Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront- a bit rough and ready. The women’s collection has more of an Elizabethan theme; I’ve done lots of lace, high collars and corsets to focus on the hips, tits and arse. Dynasty-style glitz is making a comeback too, so you’ll see a lot or gold and diamante detailing on my denim range. I’ve just re-discovered an old book, Sportswear in Vogue since 1910. There’s some great retro athletic gear that I’d like to see on the streets again.

What do you love/hate about winter in Melbourne?

Well it isn’t really very wintery anymore, is it? All this global warming stuff is bad news, but the warmer winters are serving a fashion purpose. People tend to go out more when it’s hotter and therefore buy more clothes to go out in. My style is probably more suited to summer anyway but a lot of my stuff is transeasonal, which means you can wear it all year round.

If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be?

God, I have no idea. I don’t think I’d want to be anything else. I’ve done a few different things already - I was a painter, a locksmith, I did hairdressing…and when I was 18, I was the first male grooming consultant in London for Aramis…it’s my claim to fame! (laughs).

Favourite holiday destination?

New York. I usually go there about two or three times a year with Ellen – I haven’t been in a while though. I can’t wait for my next visit. I love that city.

What’s your idea of a great Saturday night?

Watching everyone else get s**tfaced and then getting up the next morning to go for a nice breakfast and laughing at everyone still out and trashed! I know how to go out and enjoy myself, I just don’t want to do it all the time. I get bored.

Drink of choice?

At the moment it’s tequila. I’ve been on it for a year now. He (tequila) is my friend. Straight up, none of that salt and lemon shit. I took my daughter out for her 18th birthday recently and we had a shot together. I’ll have to keep my eye on that girl, I can tell you!