PARIS, France — The Australian man-about-town Justin O’Shea inhabits a world of muscles and muscle cars, the accessories to his somewhat comical persona of the modern-day dandy: rambunctious, unapologetically flamboyant and not afraid of a suit, a tie or a sequin. The second outing of his label SSS Worldcorp took place inside Caviar Kaspia, the legendary Paris restaurant cum nightspot where the fashion pack congregates for opulent Russian fare — an interesting choice for a collection with a price point that swings way below that of the luxe suiting at his previous (albeit short-lived) post at Brioni.
Collaborating with American artist Wes Lang, whose graphics for Kanye West remain his claim to fashion fame, O’Shea continued the full-throttle, "Fear and Loathing" trip of his first collection, with plenty of silky separates for boys and girls emblazoned with skulls, flames and a cartoon grim reaper: symbols that may speak to his new generation gentleman’s club if those mauve or lurex tuxedos don’t. Undoubtedly though, O’Shea’s own sense of suited-up street style feeds heavily into his designs, in the same way that the satin slips and column dresses shown today channel the laid-back, boyish femininity of his girlfriend Veronika Heilbrunner, a German model and editor.
With Heilbrunner alongside, and O’Shea’s strong ties to the rest of fashion’s elite (both retailers, press and other designers) it will be an interesting exercise to chart SSS Worldcorp’s position in the wider fashion conversation. He’s building a case for clothes that speak to an eccentric, moneyed (and macho) clique but also make for department store-friendly fashion — and it looks to be off to a roaring start.