'Beneath the chattering and the noise..splashes of beauty' | The house of P JOHNSON
It is my fervent opinion that one of the greatest barriers to entry when it comes to any kind of menswear is trepidation. Socially & historically men are taught to rely on safe practice, meaning that something as seemingly innocuous as visiting a clothier can often be an uncomfortable (and unfamiliar) experience. For these men - often young professionals with newfound economic freedom - stores like thearmoury and carsonstreet provide a safe haven, against a swirling vortex of vapid advertising and dubious value. What do the former two exemplars both have in common?
They don’t exist in Australia (yet).
Fortunately for the discerning local, we have an entirely original and as-of-now exclusive answer in P JOHNSON. Operating in both Sydney & Melbourne, Patrick, and his team, have pioneered a kind of hybridized style that marries Neapolitan savoir-faire with Aussie cool. When I first stumbled upon Pat’s brand - via Tumblr - I became intensely enamored with how relaxed the aesthetic was. Yet, not in a purely southern Italian way, beneath the veneer of that country’s trademarks the P JOHNSON aesthetic also carried an Australian swagger. That swagger has since been gradually refined by Pat and his guys, manifesting in super soft polos built for the Aussie climate and asymmetric safari jackets fit for the well-traveled larrikan. I needn’t speak more of the product, the P JOHNSON pedigree is something of a well documented phenomenon and a quick Styleforum search yields overwhelmingly positive feedback.
This is all a prelude to my visit at the Walker Lane location of P JOHNSON earlier this month. Located in Sydney’s Paddington, the showroom is a welcome respite from the bustle of the city. Natural light careens through the building, dancing across splendid furnishings and other priceless objet d’art (a highlight being Patrick’s Tiffany lamp). Having visited a fraction of galleries when I was in town my eyes were already sensitive to the many interesting details within, and from the insanely awesome Ming-style China table to the giant Agnelli portrait hanging by the entrance the whole space felt lived in. This authenticity is gilt with a sense of immense fun: Foosball tables dot the floor and a seating pit gives customers a place to luxuriate while taking in their surroundings.
The fitting itself was entirely painless. Porter & Rob were both on-hand for the majority of the session and between the two of them, as a customer, I had a repository of excellent advice that steered me in - more or less - the direction I had hoped for from the beginning. I’ll spare the gory details and save those for a future outfit post in which the work makes its debut but suffice to say the guys at P JOHNSON are smarter than your average tailor. Their manner is relaxed, accommodating, and you can bet your hard earned dollars that they will furnish you with constructive - and more importantly - honest advice. When you’re committing to have something tailor made, that quality of advice is essential.
In an age polluted with consumerism, one could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at my observations. True, a well made sportcoat does not possess that essential indispensability to life that say food or water does, but,for a man who cares deeply about the value and longevity of everyday wear what is on offer at P JOHNSON ticks most of the boxes. Price may be - in some ways - a prohibitive factor but trust me when I say what you are offered for a pittance of the cost associated with the typical ‘luxury retailers’ is more than proportionate.
The fitting ended, and several excellent camparis (shoutouts to Porter’s mixology) under my belt, I bid my goodbyes setting off into the voluminous spectacle of Sydney’s nightlife. “Be careful, once you get started, this can get addictive” grinned Rob. Knowing glances from Porter and the apprentices materialized at Rob’s words.
If only all addictions felt quite so natural.
P JOHNSON (in Sydney) is located at 7 Walker Lane, Paddington
+61 2 9966 7548
STYLE | ETERNITY