Category: New York Fashion Week
On Tuesday, Duckie Brown presented their first Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown collection in New York. Always ones to clear the air, Steven and Daniel’s quickfire statement about the show was a clarification: “We haven’t re-created Perry Ellis, we’ve invented a new men’s wear collection.” We stand corrected. Nevertheless, expectations were high, as Perry, the familiar khakis-and-button-downs American brand, was given the Duckie Brown tailspin.Going up! Expectations were high for the Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown debut.
Of course, the hats are the first thing to mention. Part riding hat, part baseball cap, in a velvety taupe, they gave uniformity to the collection, being worn by every model. Collection-wise, this baseline colour of tan-taupe was given subtle variations … Read More »
As a former architect, it is perhaps not surprising that Siki Im was at pains last week to point out that his SS13 collection Ghost Ranch, named after the isolated desert sanctuary of artist Georgia O’Keefe, was inspired by Keefe’s home and life there rather than by her output as an artist. Im is known for bringing the conceptual to New York menswear, so the pedantic emphasis on the exact source of his inspiration is also fitting. What this meant in terms of the collection, is that alongside his trademark black and white pieces, colours such as slate and bone were used, suggestive of the arid landscape of the burnt American plains.
The fabrics, from crisp cotton shirting through loose knits, leather and wool, reflected the harshness and purity of the desert landscape. The napes of models’s necks … Read More »
The Duckies said they were in a ‘tougher, laddish mood’ this season and the bleached denim looks which opened their Duckie Pleasures show in New York on Thursday, confirmed this. Bleached workwear jackets paired with matching jeans had a English post-punk sensibility, and model faces, familiar from London, added an authentic sense of toughness. The workwear jackets led to a more familiar jean jacket in dark denim. In some looks, models wore leather belt loops, draped over both shoulders, as if in preparation for some arcane form of saddlery.
It’s a sign … Read More »
Designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow presented a subversive and very European spin on classic layers at Milk on Sunday. The blazers, signature biker jackets, mesh layers and and big kudos for the solid-colour white and navy Doc Marten shoes.
One of the strongest looks, all white, featuring layered hems and a beautiful padded biker gilet.
Rochambeau, presentation Sunday 9 September
One of the benefits of the scrum of menswear day at Milk studios was being able to sneak into neighbouring presentations. I’m so glad I did when it came to Rochambeau. An impactful presentation inspired by the … Read More »
There’s less than two weeks to go now until New York fashion week, and I’m thrilled to be attending again and in particular to be there for the Duckie Brown show on 6 September.
A year ago I had the great opportunity to interview Steven and Daniel in their studio, and was very impressed by their openness to discuss their work and lives together. The SS12 Duckie collection was beautiful and thought-provoking, epitomised by the ‘bruised rose’ prints on track-suit shapes, drawing a tense line between perceived masculinities. The subsequent Autumn/Winter collection was full of a darker, countercultural introspection. If the invite is anything to go by, SS13 is going to be full … Read More »
When I was invited to the Duckies’ studio back in September last year, I was privileged enough to see some of the sketches for AW12-3 they were working on, and there were rolls of dark fabrics everywhere. At the time, Steven commented that there had “never had so much black” in their studio. Having had these glimpses, it was especially thrilling for me to see the fruition of this in their AW12-3 collection. And whilst they sombre note he’d suggested is definitely there, the collection is also shot through with playfulness, and a youthful sense of countercultural defiance. The coherence and fluency with which this combination was communicated is pure Duckie Brown.
The references that initially hit me came through the styling, especially the hair of certain models; reminiscent of Robert Smith’s iconic birds nest do or possibly The Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie; a kind of introspective English punk, more shuffling indie shoegazer than swaggering Sid.
Opening with lots of black, including a superlative double-breasted blazer, what eventually emerges from the collection is a play on proportion with long, overshirts, wide leg pants and some fantastic fabrication in the heavy woolens, plaids and flannels. Eventually shot through with some gorgeous, unexpected colour in outrageous oversized plaids what was also very evident in this collection is the Duckie facility for designing great hats.
Hats have been in limbo for some time, with familiar shapes such as slouchy beanie, traditional baseball cap or (for the edgier contingent) riding hat; suggesting possibilities but nothing new. The knitted caps and hats presented in this collection meanwhile suggested new, futuristic shapes, neither costumey nor purely street. And out on a limb were the genius, mini-Busbies, echoing the spiky profile of those post-punk hairdos, with a cheeky nod to English military pomp, and the perfect foil to some of the wilder plaids.
In terms of specific garments, the standout pieces for me here are the overshirts, already a global theme for AW12-3, offering the ease of a transitional garment with the playfulness of switching outdoor and indoor fabrics. Overshirts are a staple in the States, as a visit to a good vintage store stocked with Pendleton and Gitman Bros will evidence, and what the Duckies did here is to make it relevant; with some elegant cutting, extending the length beyond the waist and in very contemporary grey-on-grey flannels. Whilst the drop-crotch pants weren’t received well by all viewers, it’s a testament to The Duckie’s expertise that this challenging shape, when seen as part of the flow of the rest of the collection, looks simply elegant, especially when partnered with the somehow formal weightiness of those structured overshirts. And when looked at in the overwhelming sea of preppiness and tradition that American menswear can sometimes seem, an occasional V-sign to the chino has to be welcomed.
One of the delights of Fashion Week in February is being able to futuregaze into next winter whilst staying warm is still a very relevant priority. The Duckie Brown 2012-3 collection makes next winter look very inviting, balancing the proportion play and transitional shapes menswear trends with an expert sense of fabrication and a healthy dose of individualism.