Last night, Sydney based label Vanishing Elephant was awarded Designer of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards. The swanky black tie affair saw designers Felix Chan, Huw Bennett and Arran Russell take the stage at the Sydney Opera House to accept their award.
With their relaxed, impeccably tailored approach to casual wear, Vanishing Elephant make the kind of clothes that are simultaneously classic and fashion forward. Traditional chinos, blazers and button-ups are elevated with stand-out prints in popping colours. It is this dichotomy of design that makes the collections of Vanishing Elephant at once interesting and ultimately wearable.
As is often the case with these events, too many drinks were guzzled and nerves were rife. So, we thought we'd give Huw Bennett the chance to re-write how their acceptance speech should have played out. Note: He cannot recall how it actually did.
The thank you speech should be about 'thank you's, right? Well, here goes...
I start with the ABC of thank you speeches. "Thanks mum and dad, family, friends; those who have helped shape Vanishing Elephant and there are definitely a lot that fit into this category. Do we get particular here: Makers, suppliers, printers, photographers, hair, make-up, models, food? We could be here a while..."
A joke or one-liner would be good: "Did I kiss the girl presenting us the award for too long?"
And so on. "Thanks to Felix and Arran for making me do the speech. Working together has been good as well."
I look up at the crowd.
"An award is an award and this is an award for an achievement - Best Fashion Designer." I smile. "This award is recognition of our work and we are really proud. To the magazine - thank you, thank you very much."
Time for a joke or a quote, then dash off the stage. Palms are sweating and pulses are pacing. Good to go, watch the steps and check posture. Hold up the award, throw a quick wave and brandish a smile.
Made it short and sweet - hopefully to the point. Take a breath and head back to the table.
Actually, can we do that again?
Words: Lillian McKnight and Huw Bennett.