Emerging Aussie designer Chris Ran Lin brings back turtlenecks
The first thing you notice about Chris Ran Lin's clothing is the quality.
From the detailing to the finish to the craftmanship, it is incredible to think he has only been creating garments for four years.
The 32-year-old Melbourne designer showcased his conceptual men's knitwear at Fashion Week's St George NextGen runway show today.
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It's normally a platform for emerging designers. But Lin didn't just lift the fashion cred bar - he threw it out of the park, with many commenting his collection wouldn't have looked out of place at Paris Fashion Week.
From citrus wool vests with sleeves and cherry, red-knitted trenches to sculptured jackets, neon neck warmers and turtle necks in bright primary colours, his collection was perhaps a little out there for some blokes. But boy was it good.
"The collection is inspired from art deco architecture and interior design," he said.
Lin said he wanted to challenge the way men in Australia dress.
"There are cut-out areas, half sleeves and the primary colours across the collection.
"Australian guys don't wear a whole lot of colour yet. Particularly where I am living in Melbourne, it's all black and white and grey.
"I want to make guy's fashion elegant but still acceptable."
Lin's range was a favourite of NextGen judge Eva Galambos.
"He has wovens, he has knitwear and a strong identity and for that reason alone, he shows that he is an evolved designer already,"she said.
"He looks like he has a collection that's ready to be sold in the commercial market. It looks international."
Born in China, Lin has lived in Australia for the past 15 years.
To him, this is home and something he's incredibly proud of.
"When I started the label, I wanted to celebrate the material we have here in Australia," he said.
"The knitwear is 100 percent Australian Merino wool. I think wool is the most luxury fabric for menswear and that's why I love it."
Oh, and did I mention he tailors and knits very single piece himself?
But even a man with immeasurable talent has found it hard cracking the fashion industry.
He's still yet to secure an Australian stockist.
"It's kind of difficult for guys. I sell it directly to all my clients," Lin said.
"So today, I had private clients come here and they've already had a good response to my designs and have being buying a few pieces in my range."
But something tells me things are about to change.
Chris Ran Lin - remember that name.