Fashfest 2017 Runway Review – MJ Bale

M.J. Bale offers strong competition for local and international menswear labels on the Canberra scene, and as I have said before – I can not think of a better gauntlet to throw for Canberran consumers than the opening of the M.J. Bale store in the Canberra Centre, and showing on the Fashfest runway.

It is no secret that while I admire and respect the craftmanship of elegant, tailored pieces from bespoke designers who show at Pitti Uomo; I am vastly under-funded to be able to shop there. As such, I am excited for the change that M. J. Bale represents for menswear in Canberra, and to see what the 2017 Fashfest collection will showcase from the brand.

M.J. Bale presented a strong collection of classic mens wardrobe staples, with a few seasonal accents thrown in for good measure. The show was polished, well edited and most importantly- wearable. There wasn’t a look on the runway that the majority of Canberra men wouldn’t be able to turn their eye to and with minor adjustments, make their own.

As a business this is where M.J. Bale thrives – providing Australian men with high quality garments made of Australian fibers that are reasonably priced, and which can compete in design and quality with other premium international menswear labels.

M.J. Bale are interesting to review in the context of Fashfest. Showing for the second year at Fashfest, the second time since the opening of the brand’s first retail store in Canberra, I was interested to see what the brand would actually offer audiences on the runway. With the high density of public servants here in Canberra it makes a lot of sense for M.J. Bale to not only open a store here, but also to show at an event like Fashfest.

However, Canberra is a fickle audience- disappoint us once and we tend to drop all support very swiftly, evidence for which is the closure of many cafes and restaurants in the CBD in the past 12 months. M. J. Bale are in the perfect position to capitalise on the somewhat inherent brand-loyalty of the Canberra shopper, but I do feel like there could be a little more done to really showcase the wow-factor of the label. This year’s Fashfest collection was safe- next year we’ll need to see something a little bolder to keep audiences interested.

M.J. Bale have brought a much needed injection of menswear to Fashfest, and I was delighted to be able to see a collection from the Australian label for the second year in a row.

You can get your hands on your own M. J. Bale pieces by heading to Level 1 of the Canberra Centre or by visiting the website. Don’t forget to check out and follow the Instagram account for updates on upcoming  collections and events.