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So, my jaunt to New York for at least some of fashion week has come to an abrupt end and I’m left wondering where my next cup of Stumptown coffee is coming from. I did a quick whizz around my beloved downtown menswear boutiques (summed up below) yesterday afternoon, and had my eyes and ears open for the buzz on the street about the best of the menswear shows (Patrik Ervell and Duckie Brown it seeems).
So firstly, those boutiques. I’d been quite distraught that my very favourite spot, BBlessing, has closed down, but I have to say I was very impressed with Odin, on Lafayette, which even seems to have inherited BB’s signature emblem of a raven for itself. The spacious, menswear-only store features current favourites like Gitman Vintage luxurious plaid shirts and the incredible Duckie Brown collaboration with trad shoe manufacturer Florsheim. The cherry red brogues will be mine, I tell you. I was really left quite speechless by the bold colours and craftsmanship. The cute staff assured me that not only was their own FNO party one of the downtown events I missed out on (complete with bespoke ice cream being made on site), but that the afterparty thrown by Duckie Brown was an EVENT, in the way that New York does so very well. My single purchase at Odin was a beautiful T-shirt in an incredible shade of ultra blue (which DB designer Steven Cox wore to take his catwalk bow).
I also happened upon the new premises for TheCast round the corner on Orchard, making yet another T-shirt purchase and meeting the super-charming and handsomely chiseled label head Mr Chuck Guarino himself. I’ve always loved TheCast’s gothic take on downtown Manhattan, an aesthetic that constantly filters through the city, from the black walls and uber-industrial chic of the Ace hotel and its Breslin bistro to the absinthe den Death & Co.
I also popped into Unis, one of my favourite stores in the Nolita neighbourhood (and perfect for co-inciding with a visit to Cafe Habana for their essential roasted corn with cheese and lime), the combination of vintage military and incredibly crafted slim chinos was a definite indicator of what New York is wearing right now.
Having already made a purchase from Patrik Ervell (the collaborative scarf with Opening Ceremony created especially for FNO) I was especially gutted to not have access to his show at the weekend. His collection inspired by the faded architecture of ’80s California, seems to have offered an uplifting glimpse of Spring in its muted, soft colours (especially the pink) with his signature light touch and eternal genius with using stripes and the quirky (those woven horsehair straps).
The other name on everyone’s lips (and not just about that afterparty) was Duckie Brown. In a collection opening with muted (yes, again) greys the duo turned up the volume towards the end of the show, by which point clashing prints and blocked colour, feminine draping and oversized/overlong jackets eclipsed the subdued opening with a blast of party spirit. The collaboration with Florsheim having moved on from current season coloured brogues to some thoroughly decadent loafers.
Listings for boutiques I visited are below:
199 Lafayette Street: http://www.odinnewyork.com/
71 Orchard Street: http://www.thecast.com/index.html
226 Elizabeth Street: http://www.unisnewyork.com/
Photos from Duckie Brown: Style.com
Photos from Patrik Ervell: Dazed Digital