Catching Up With The Hottest Brands At NYFW: Men’s
Coming on the heels of Paris, Milan, and London, New York Fashion Week: Men’s has some tough acts to follow. The four-day-long, dapperly disguised orgy kicked off with a gang of joyful Suit Suppliers—reminding all of us just how alarming (and frankly kind of sinister) a smiling model can be. Since then, things have only gotten better. Bill Nye and Whoopi Goldberg—fashion’s biggest supporters—have been making the rounds. And it is with great relief that I announce the return of WWD Men’s Fashion Director Alex Badia, who’s amped and more ready than ever to spot the most titillating trends. So grab the closest bucket hat and strap on any MA-1 bomber jacket you can find, as we careen through the highlights of New York Fashion Week: Men’s so far. Get moving—these models aren’t going to moisturize themselves.
Duckie Brown, the often quirky, uniform-heavy label, pared down their typically vibrant suits, and gave the industry a taste of simplicity. One could even argue that designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver bit into the proverbial forbidden fruit; as everyone competes to keep up with designers’ fast-paced and ever expanding collections, Cox and Silver put their energy into the quality of their garments—not the quantity—and showed a total of six looks. In doing so, they proved that you don’t have to do anything, let alone pump out 84 looks six times a year. Nor does wearing a suit necessarily mean that you have to constrain yourself in stiff, tightly-tailored designs. Or at least that’s what the overall show of their message seemed to be.
The few white button-downs were eclipsed by loose and airy white zip-up overshirts—some with mock necks, others with high collars, and still others with hoods. The suits didn’t venture out of a white, black, and grey palette, and were all given the white trainer treatment. A tightly edited collection of some of the coziest suits, blazers, and trousers I’ve ever seen—for the comfy exec.
If Duckie Brown’s collection was designed for the cozy kingpin, then Opening Ceremony’s was for the cozy Coloradan (bear with me). For FW16, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim seemed to be inspired by that post-skiing look, often characterized by slightly dorky long underwear, lots of elastics, and homely turtlenecks. Add to that the hefty gloves that look like something your overprotective mother would make you wear, and the collection almost recalled an editorialized Napoleon Dynamite. Slacks were given the athletic treatment, polos abounded, and zip-away constructions made for some really interesting designs.
Public School decided to take their name literally this year and open up their show to the public. And it’s not entirely surprising; editors—once an unavoidable fixture, and sometimes even critical to, fashion shows—are now, for all intents and purposes, extraneous (nervous laughter). Designers can now pick and choose whomever they want to see or critique their show, armed as everyone is with a camera and an opinion. At the Public School show yesterday, it was the public who got to see the collection first—and the editors who got seconds. Be that as it may, the show was one for the books.
Before Bowie’s untimely death, Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow had already decided to channel the late singer—specifically his role in the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth. Apparently the collection was a very literal and accurate homage to the film, but as someone who’s never seen the movie, the collection looked like a quiet yet abundantly thorough representation of Bowie. There were traces of him in the hair—which, if it wasn’t tucked under a Vaquero-style hat, was slicked back à la Thin White Duke—as well as the overall mood of the show, which seemed to operate under the assumption that men are wholly proficient at styling themselves. Here were the new (and improved) everyday basics in menswear, and once again, they’re a playful marriage of sportswear and sophisticated suits. Blazers were fastened with bright strips of Velcro, trousers took inspiration from track pants, and drawstrings made multiple cameos.
The copiously layered looks demonstrated the clothes’ versatility, with deconstructed designs and outstanding fabric choices that seemed to say “We don’t fuck around.” What may have looked like a wool coat to you was actually made of casual boiled mohair. And no, that’s not your average cotton camo—that’s jacquard camo, to you. From the micro-sized round sunglasses to the audacious all-camo ensembles and skillful layering, the collection was fit for a star—a street style star.
The Public School show felt fitting, coming from two designers who have nearly reached star status. The same can’t be said, however, for Patrik Ervell, who is so quiet, he verges on hermetic. And there seemed to be traces of Ervell’s modest disposition throughout his FW16 collection, which harkened back to your favorite choker-wielding, Biggie-narrated decade, but also proudly flaunted a fictitious software company, Indegen. And yet who, you’re probably wondering, would want to represent a fictitious software company? You, that’s who. The logos, which were delightfully nerdy and futuristic, took shape as patches on a richly stonewashed denim jacket, blown up and plastered to hoodies and sweaters, and as a laminated pendant that was a dead ringer for any coveted press pass.
All photos via Vogue.com.
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