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Letter from the Founder

February 15, 2018

By M.J. Bale Staff

M.J. Bale Founder & CEO Matt Jensen downloads on our new Autumn 18 collection and why tailoring is a lot like music.

“As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and have one foot forward into the future” – Dizzy Gillespie

As my family would attest, I’m not much of a musician.

I do love music with a passion, though. Every chance I get, much to the amusement of staff, I turn up the volume in the office and pipe through music from around the world. I find it takes me to other places and, when it comes to designing M.J. Bale’s collections, helps me find an internal rhythm of sorts.

Menswear, in particular men’s tailoring, is a lot like music. There’s a harmony and texture inherent in both forms, with the end-user hopefully finding a new and effortless form of self-expression. It was a no-brainer for us to shoot this campaign in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, and we hope you enjoy these scenes of our Australian brand in one of the world’s most unique and culturally-diverse cities. I’ve always been a fan of jazz since discovering Miles Davis and Donald Bird in my university days. The indefinable elements of the genre – hybrid styles, contrasting notes and chords, the creative tension between structure and spontaneity – is similar to the sartorial approach of a well-dressed gentleman in 2018. And much like life and dressing well, jazz teaches you to learn the rules before you can break them. Here at M.J. Bale we aim to create garments of integrity for men of character; garments that tell a coherent story and deliver our customers a sense of joy, but also help give you confidence and authority. Similar to Bach’s palindrome – melodic notes played both forwards and backwards at the same time – the role of classical menswear is to look towards the future, but also cover the past.

With that in mind, we’re proud to bring you our Autumn-Winter 2018 collection, a range of formal (tailored) and casual (unstructured) garments to help you hit some high notes. We’ve gone deep on inspiration from the 1930s: soft flannel suits, rich navy three-pieces, grey and blue suits in Prince of Wales and windowpane checks, unstructured blazers and new velvet & corduroy jackets. In terms of coats, there are wool Crombie-style overcoats, navy trenches and soft cotton pea coats. We also have vintage knitwear inspired by our time in Valle d’Aosta, Italy, in autumnal colours of merlot, hazelnut, green and grey; we’ve likewise tweaked our chinos with a new palette.

Keeping ahead of the easy-care evolution in tailoring, we’re also introducing a collection of high performance clothes engineered from natural fibres to enable customers to perform at their best when on the trot. Following on from last year’s ‘Coolest Suit in the World’ campaign, and with an objective to get Merino wool ‘next-of-skin’ and under the suit, we’re also introducing business-casual shirts made entirely of extra fine Australian Merino wool, as well as the 100% cotton non-iron Dry’n’Fly shirts. I consider these two the ultimate shirts for the wandering hero AKA the constant traveler. We trust you'll like this issue of the Manual, our 10th edition. Hopefully within the pages you’ll find an insight into M.J. Bale’s spirit and wear these garments when you bring forth the music inside you. Thank you for your loyal custom, and on behalf of everyone here from M.J. Bale I wish you a well-dressed autumn.

Matt Jensen

Founder & CEO

Click here to shop the Autumn Winter 2018 collection.