New York Fashion Week: Men’s, Days 2, 3 and 4
I set out with intentions to document New York Fashion Week: Men’s in painstaking detail but there’s simply too much happening, and with weather veering from intense sunshine to tropical showers and humidity, dashing between shows and presentations around town has become a time-consuming challenge. But enough of the excuses, here are some highlights from the last couple of days. Some of these collections deserve posts in their own right and I will be returning to favourites once the pace of events slows down after the final events end later today, here and over at STREETS magazine so check back in for updates.
No attention to detail was spared at Robert Geller: from the weathered boardwalk runway setting the scene squarely by the seashore, to the personalised notepads on the seats and accessories from open-toe socks and special edition sandals to knitted cummerbunds. We’ve seen colour spectrums and sunset-inspired colours this week, but Robert’s fading sun tones were of a softer, more Nordic variety; inevitably including the greys and subtle purples of Northern skies alongside rich golds. Shapes were relaxed but never less than elegant, individual looks suggesting easy combinations within a very cohesive collection.
Having long been a voice for independent menswear in New York, this was a moment for Duckie Brown, and they didn’t fail to dazzle us with the sheer beauty and artistry of what they can create with cut, pattern and cloth. Backstage, Steven shrugged off praise by declaring the creations to be “just jeans and T-shirts”, emphasising the simplicity of the shapes we’d just seen, but given the materials involved, the results were anything but pedestrian. Gauze T-shirts, flowing trousers extravagantly gathered at the waist and oversized suiting in yet more wafting materials, most strikingly in a vivid, Chartreuse yellow, provided one of the most bewitching collections of NYFW: Men’s.
Calvin Klein Collection
Italo Zucchelli’s collection for Calvin Klein, presented from a Garment District studio space, evidenced what is possible when you’re at the helm of a giant fashion brand. Fabrications were nothing less than incredible, from coated denim, to variations on sheer, the clothing here was like the costumes from a particularly cool contemporary Sci-fi film, but always understated and wearable. A cool to the touch – dare I even say “damp feeling” padded T-shirt would have been perfect for the muggy heat outside. A new spin on double-denim was provided by a denim sweatshirt and jeans combo. The socks and sandals trend was also taken up a notch by specially-designed socks featuring graphic panels under strappy nylon sandals.
Thaddeus O’Neil brought an entirely different, surf-y crowd into Skylight studios to experience his latest riff on the surfing hobo, this time with a vampire spin. Relaxed leisurewear never looked so high-end, with easy-going shapes, drapes, and luxury fabrications. In fact, the entire production felt distinctive with a specific sub-tribe of beefy models walking the collection, like a band of pirates with perfect beach hair.
Given that it was inspired by typographic pioneers, N.Hoolywood’s collection could have been awash with print, but as ever, there was careful restraint in Daisuke Obana’s approach to his subject. Where lettering did appear, it’s effect was subtle, and the pared back space on West 31st street provided a perfect backdrop for monochrome urban looks, given added attitude by the street-cast models.
Tim Coppens is one of the justly-celebrated stars of New York’s menswear scene. His European take on classic American leisure wear evokes the rhythm of the city’s streets with details always worthy of attention but never detracting from the whole. A case in point being the beading details lifting classic Van’s to high-fashion, the graffiti art inspired prints and riffs on classic Americana such as varsity jackets (complete with TC lettering) in unexpected colourways and fabrics. Coppens take on military-inspired trousers with a relaxed fit echoed shapes seen elsewhere this week, but never so perfect.
Alexandre Plokhov [images pending]
Plokhov’s show lived up to his theatrical, more goth than Gotham City reputation, as the throbbing soundtrack, blood-red lighting and dry ice established a thrilling atmosphere in the opening moments of his runway show. Starting inevitably with all-black looks, the luxury tailored sportswear was eventually diversified into navy, red and even lemon yellow. The way the slim cut of his elegant tailored sportswear fits the body is utterly contemporary.
Stuart Vevers’ remarkable transformation of the Coach brand was given another chance to shine this morning, with a presentation at the Coach showroom by the Hudson. Inspired by classic American eccentrics such as Hunter S. Thompson, trippy psychedelic patterns, bold colours and patchworked luxury fabrics add a counter-cultural aspect to the notion of luxury itself, and has made this once-staid American brand into something immensely covetable. From leather accessories to the must have animal print and coloured shearling sneakers and sliders, these pieces will be favourites with fashion editors next Spring/Summer.