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Maybe it was the glorious, midsummer sunshine or the excitement of finally having it’s own menswear week, but New York’s designers showed their softer side yesterday. For seasons now the story here has been uncompromisingly black and white; tough urban streetwear and Gotham menace had become the order of the day for New York menswear. However, as Industria Superstudios opened its doors for the second half of the opening showcase yesterday, the sunshine outdoors was reflected in yet more colour-soaked presentations. I can say very quickly that the standout collection for me was Fingers Crossed. Inspired by the vivid colour of Nick Cooper’s photographs of sunsets, designer Ryu Hayama literally lined up a colour spectrum going from deep golden yellow, through rich reds and into deepest black. Styled with mismatched socks worn with Birkenstocks, shapes were soft and flowing, wide cropped trousers and long tunic shapes had a folksy, hippie element, but grounded in a very metropolitan notion of colour and layering. There were prints mixed in to the golden end of the spectrum, and throughout, shiny fabrics contrasted with matt, layers were artfully arranged to reveal contrasting shapes and textures.
Elsewhere, Kenneth Ning’s collection featured Moorish geometric prints in strong colours from deep turquoise to, again, strong golden yellow. The collection felt young, fresh and modern and the face masks gave a nod to London’s cavalier approach to presentation styling.
Carlos Campos’ collection was similarly sun kissed, inspired by the romantic figure of the Forastero, “the outsider” in Campos’ native Honduras, sleek yet soft tailoring evoking a quiet sense of confidence. A palette of greens accented with camel and red and featuring tropical print and camouflage conveyed a sense of time and place. The belted suiting in particular had a timeless, rakish aspect to it that took us out of urban Manhattan into the even longer shadows of a Latin American afternoon.
I’m going to break here as the second day is about to start and the pace of the schedule is ramping up. Expect more reports from the fashion trenches in steamy New York.