Journal

Inside BELANCĒ Barangaroo with Liam Mugavin Posted on 15 Oct 10:40

We sat down with Liam Mugavin, the creative mind and lead interior designer behind BELANCĒ’s second boutique store in Barangaroo, located in the heart of of Sydney’s CBD.

At 31, Liam spent his formative years travelling, living abroad and honing his design skills. Originally from Adelaide, Liam began his love for design at a young age and completed his Bachelor of Industrial Design before moving to northern Japan. Liam lived in Japan for four years and attributes the core of his design aesthetic to his time spent there. One of his most notable works in Japan includes a commission for the Australian Embassy of Tokyo, where he led the design of a collection of furniture for Australia House in Tokamachi. The collection of furniture is a testament to Liam’s refined sensibilities, cultural awareness and design prowess.

Can you tell us how you first met the BELANCĒ team and how this creative partnership transpired?

The story is interesting, out of nowhere a local jewellery designer approached me to use a few of my designs for a photoshoot. I didn’t really think much about it at the time but It so happens that BELANCĒ was also part of the shoot. The photos were spectacular, I guess we took notice of each other then and a few months later BELANCĒ got in touch. Shout-out to Clara at Burton Metal Depository for putting us together. I love working with innovative clients who allow me to push the boundaries, so it was a no-brainer.

In the store you can find beautiful Zinc cabinets and tables made of hand-carved timber, what was the inspiration behind these pieces?

The material pallet in the store is a big part of the design and it’s quite unique. A lot of the cabinetry is made from zinc-titanium alloy manufactured in Germany, a beautiful tactile metal which expresses character as it patinas overtime. This is contrasted with the blackened Oregon which is meticulously hand carved to create an organic finish. The materials and designs are understated yet detailed and elegant. The idea is to allow the curated products which are on display to speak.

Are these pieces one-off designs or can they be found elsewhere?

Everything was custom designed and produced specifically for the store, however we are now offering made to order editions of the tables, lights and chairs. These will be available through BELANCĒ. This is a very custom and unique offering and I guess extends the concept of made-to-measure suits and applies it to furniture.

Living both in Australia and Japan, who would you say are your main mentors, or designers whom have influenced you creatively?

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a strong professional and creative network that I look to for advice and inspiration. When I started out I had various design mentors who I called upon, but these days I rely a lot on my own intuition. I think I’m pretty good at knowing when to seek advice, when to listen to advice and when to follow my own instinct. As my practice has developed I’ve also become more entrepreneurial and have gained a lot of insight from the clients I work with.

What does the future hold for you and you and your creative work?

I’m currently working on some incredible projects ranging from conceptual exhibition work to hospitality, residential and retail design. After completing a commission for the Australian Embassy of Tokyo, I have another project lined up in Japan next year doing a ski-chalet in Myoko, on the main island north of Tokyo. I see a lot of opportunities in Japan and hope to continue doing projects there as well as in Sydney.

For further information regarding custom pieces by Liam Mugavin; visit www.liammugavin.com or email ruben@belance.com.au


The Underrated Pinstripe: Part 1 Posted on 10 May 16:19

One thing we consistently see in Made-to-Measure appointments relates to striped fabrics. With casual wearability a main objective for many men, pinstripes are often quickly dismissed in favour of a fabric ostensibly more versatile. The pinstripe suit tends to be seen as belonging exclusively to the boardroom.

Here we'll give you a few tips on how to wear your pinstripes in a casual setting.

 

Sneakers

 

         Credit: wmagazine.com

What better way to subvert corporate connotation than by incorporating a quintessential piece of casual wear? Our suggestion? Keep it simple with a pair of clean, white leather sneakers.

The key here is to select a streamlined, elegant pair which doesn't detract from the clean lines of a suit. A modest hint of detailing will add some personality to your look, but avoid going overboard.

We really like these two Beyene models:

 Roll them up

 

 

Add a touch of carefree, relaxed comfort by rolling your pants up slightly to expose some ankle. If you're like us and hate the feeling of shoes without socks, pick up a few pairs of invisible socks - they will help to keep your shoes odour free...and probably help you avoid some awkward situations...

White sneakers work well but don't hesitate to mix it up; a pair of well-made brogues can look just as rakish.

 

Mix with other casual pieces

 

There are so many ways this can be pulled off successfully, we thought better to illustrate some of our favourite looks.

A few things worth keeping in mind:

  • Pants will generally be more versatile than the jacket, but don't discount rocking the jacket with your favourite denim and some brogues.
  • Pinstripes already have quite a big impact, so keep it relatively simple with your other pieces.
  • Keeping within one hue (blues with blues, greys with greys and so forth) will tend to work better than having many colours in play. However, feel free to add in lighter, neutral tones - this will rarely disrupt the aesthetic of an outfit.

    Credit: theatelier.me