SpearTalks: Saint Augustine Academy
An intro to an interview shouldn’t take too long to write, particularly when the subject of the interview is something as exciting as Saint Augustine Academy, a buzzy men’s fashion label out of Australia that’s as hard-rocking as it is hard to find. The problem I’m having is this: I thought it wise to ask Alvin and Adrian, the two nicely-coiffed heads behind Saint Augustine Academy, to make JS Readers a mixtape to party down to after reading about their latest collection. Then, I decided it would be brilliant to listen to it as I wrote, to “get in the mood.” Yeah, I’m in the mood….for a whiskey-soaked rock-fest.
Anyway, since we started watching Saint Augustine Academy about a year ago, their edgy get-ups have slowly been creeping through the pages of Aussie publications like Black and Camarilla– and even the U.S.’s very own metro.pop. Last season, a few forward-thinking distributors (like tobi and Patricia Field) brought more of the label to American soil, and soon it may take even less effort to get some Saint Augustine Academy in your closet, as Adrian and Alvin are working hard on delivering more of their awesomeness stateside.
JS got the chance to ask the boys a few questions about their upcoming summer collection, “Norman and the Starmaker,” and wound up with one of the most entertaining interviews we’d had thus far. Read on for an exclusive look at Saint Augustine’s latest and to unleash your inner Ray Davies. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a concert to attend.
JoshSpear.com: In your recent interview with Fashion Scoop, You described Saint Augustine Academy as “alter-ego clothing…for the average guy.” What else can you tell us about the kind of guy you see as a Saint Augustine Academy poster child?
The Saint Augustine Academy guy has a multiple personality disorder. He’s like Thin White Duke by day and Ziggy Stardust by night. He can seem like the most ordinary man, but within lurks this exhibitionist eccentric dude dying to be let loose on the unsuspecting public. Haha.
He’s definitely cultured and interesting. He prefers to get his drinks free, or cheap. He likes live music and art. He’s into wanky films. He’s not afraid of heights. He takes risks. He likes his jeans painted on!
JS:Your last season, I Love Your Friends They’re All So Arty… Oh Yeah!” was conceived from a photo by post-modern artist Martin Kippenberger, then styled off of five modern Art Rock bands. Who gets inspirational credit this time around?
“Norman and the Starmaker” is actually the subtitle of an album by The Kinks called A Soap Opera. I just love the thematics behind the record. It was released during a phase in their career where the band grew to about 15 or so, and they became this sort of traveling vaudeville act; around the same time when Queen was doing rock operas. These concept albums translated very well to the stage, and the narrative going throughout the songs made it a very interesting listen.
The story behind the album is awesome. Big un-named Star dude is so cocky, he thinks he can pick the most ordinary man on the street and turn him into this massive celebrity. So, he knocks on this guy Norman’s door; offers him the opportunity of a lifetime to become a star; and in turn, Star guy takes over Norman’s life to better understand the life of an average man. First thing he does: sleeps with Norman’s wife!
JS: Tell us about your upcoming fall/winter collection “Norman and the Starmaker;” what can we expect/what will we find unexpected in the new line?
The story behind the line actually lends itself perfectly when designing. The idea behind the clothes was to turn “ordinary” pieces and imbue them with star qualities, or to use fabric in pieces that you would not normally see them in. So, a t-shirt suddenly has the tails you would normally find in tuxedos. A blue collar fabric like denim is used in a three-piece suit, and tweed is used to make a motorcycle jacket. White collar fabric, like the simple wool suiting fabric is used to make rockstarwear (notice how this is higher than white collar, hehe) like jackets that just might have been worn by those British invasion bands.
JS: Oooh. Can you make us a “Norman and the Starmaker” mixtape? Ya know, something to listen to while we squeeze into our spandy-pants?
Everybody’s a Star "“ The Kinks
Red Light "“ The Dead 60’s
Love in a Trashcan "“ The Raveonettes
You Really Got Me "“ The Kinks
Too Much Monkey Business "“ The Kinks
Monday Morning "“ Pulp
Killing the Light "“ Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere "“ The Who
Caught by the Fuzz "“ Supergrass
Dancing Shoes "“ Arctic Monkeys