Interview by Samuel Willett
Photography by Stephen McGlashan & Lucy Spartalis
Scott Walker – Farmer In The City
Fashion is a word not easily uttered by Stephen McGlashan, or his life and business partner, Lucinia Pinto. While many are focused on technological advances in 3D garment printing, to ferocious business models via eCommerce, the pair behind clothing store Eastern Market prefer a soulful approach that equally matches the process and quality of the skilled artisans they represent.
Outside of clothing, Stephen’s involvement and interest across Film and the Arts, now further extends into Architecture and Interiors. His creative curiosity across disciplines continues to shape and mould his eclectic life work, and the direction of Eastern Market. Samuel Willett spoke with Stephen, to uncover both his present situation and gain insight into the foreseeable future.
Stephen, so what’s been keeping you busy as of late?
Well, Eastern Market has been keeping me busy, plus I started studying architecture full-time at RMIT this year, so I’ve never been busier. I’m 50, so it’s a bit of a physical stretch—the course is really intense—but hopefully I’ll get through it before I drop dead.
That’s quite the workload! Assuming you don’t drop dead, is the end goal a transition into being a full-time architect?
No, not really, I was hoping to weave architecture into the fabric of my life as it is now—I seem not to have had just one occupation at a time. But I noticed some architects appear to live a long life—I share a birthday with Oscar Neimeyer and he lived to be 104—so maybe some of that will rub off on me!
Along with clothing, you’ve also been involved in the Music, Film and Art industries—was Architecture always something you wanted to explore further?
No, it’s been a bit of a slow-burn thing, until I realised I’d become obsessed with spaces. I found myself subconsciously redesigning every room I walked into, so I thought I’d better do something about it.
Would you say there is a piece or style of Architecture (or specific Architect), that represents a structural ideal for you?
Now that I’m discovering more about architecture, there’s so much to like, particularly from the 20th Century. I’m hesitant to name names because tastes develop the more you learn, but probably for the longest time I’ve liked Carlo Scarpa’s work—Lucinia introduced me to it. In terms of a residential ideal I’d choose Rudolph Schindler’s house, built in West Hollywood in 1922, or Paul Couch’s Toolern Vale house here in Victoria, Australia—they share a raw humility, and both involve experiments with in-situ tilt-slab concrete.
Read more in N˚5: Arrival.