The 11 Best Moments From New York Fashion Week: Men's
And that’s a wrap on another menswear season. The biannual rounds, which began in London a month ago, just concluded last night in New York at the Todd Snyder show after a standout sophomore season of New York Fashion Week: Men’s. The four-day onslaught of runways and presentations showcased a mass variety of styles and wares, from oversized outerwear to delightful new takes on tailoring and evening attire.
We’ll catch you up on all the global trends soonest. (Invest in a statement hat and shearling, stat.) In the meantime, here's the highlight reel from our hometown shows.
Docker's 30th Anniversary Party
The week kicked off with an opening night party at ArtBeam. Guests included the New York Giants' Victor Cruz, Matt Harvey of the New York Mets, and New York Jet Eric Decker, official ambassadors of NYFW: Men's and a trio we didn't tire of seeing everywhere. To mark the momentous anniversary, Dockers launched an ad campaign ("Yes, They're Dockers") and a special 30th Anniversary Collection, which included such reimagined classics as a trench coat and weekender bag, in timeless khaki color. At the event, we caught up with Cruz and got his pick for Super Bowl 50 this Sunday. “I’ve gotta go with Manning,” said Cruz. “I want this to be his [John] Elway moment—to go out on top—if this is indeed his last year in the league.”
David Hart's Diverse Jazz Club
Well-dressed jazz greats such as Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins inspired the latest collection by designer David Hart, which kicked off the first day on a high note. Slender models in fitted windowpane trousers and retro-style polos under blazers were staged variously with instruments and as coffee-drinking quartets. Mindful of the Jazz Era, Hart used a cast of all-black male models. (The entire season of menswear shows—from London to New York—should be applauded for having made marked improvements in diverse casting.)
Accessories Designer Uri Minkoff Offers Ready-to-Wear
Uri Minkoff, big brother of handbag designer Rebecca Minkoff, is expanding his four-year-old men’s accessory brand, Ben Minkoff, with new a full-fledged, ready-to-wear collection geared toward the tech-savvy modern man. The accessibly priced line is a hybrid of Scandinavian fit and a Japanese eye for detail. Highlight pieces included a fur-lined parka, an unstructured raincoat, and Minkoff's casual take on tuxedo trousers. "I saw an opportunity to create a new look for the modern day influencers of the digital era at an amazing price/value ratio,” said Minkoff at the show.
The Brand to Watch: Jeffrey Rüdes
In his first NYFW: Men's catwalk, industry veteran Jeff Rüdes, co-founder of premium denim line J Brand, wowed with his new-ish luxury menswear line, Jeffrey Rüdes. The high-end sportswear and tailoring line made its debut in August but really hit its stride this season with a memorable fall collection that included sophisticated outerwear and soft tailoring with a lovely throwback vibe. Rüdes is aided in design by Lorenzo Marchese, formerly of Ermenegildo Zegna, and the wares are produced abroad in the same factories as those of Lanvin and Burberry Group Plc.
Greg Lauren's Boxing Club
Designer Greg Lauren (yes, nephew of Ralph Lauren) is a true artist. Beyond showcasing his typically rumpled and distressed collection du jour, he likes to set a stage, to engage in storytelling by way of his fashions. He is known for exploring male archetypes, and this season has been no different: Lauren created character sets that included Baja-hooded gangs, dandies, shoeshiners, and boxers sparring in a full-scale boxing ring as the headlining vignette. It was a dynamic, engaging presentation heightened with the lasting image of supermodel Tyson Beckford on a spotlit podium in a “hero hoodie,” looking like the world’s greatest superhero.
Joseph Abboud (the Man and the Brand) Returns to the Runway
For the first time in 15 years, veteran menswear designer Joseph Abboud bowed and thanked his supporters at the end of the runway. More than two years since he returned to the namesake brand he founded in 1987 and left in 2005, his return was triumphant. The tailoring-focused collection was true to Abboud's American-spun Savile Row-aesthetic, complete with Harris tweed three-piece suits, washed velvet blazers, and military- and vintage-inspired details. Bonus points to Abboud and company for putting forth one of the strongest-cast shows of the week.
Retailer Carson Street Enters the Men's Market
The trio behind the highly-regarded men’s retail destination Carson Street introduced their own line of menswear called Deveaux. The inaugural collection, mostly comprising luxe outerwear and unstructured but impeccably-fit tailoring pieces, marked the SoHo store's first foray from selling high-end apparel to making it.
“We have ideas, and we want to express these ideas under our own label and our own designs,” said co-founder Brian Trunzo, who along with Matt Breen and Patrick Doss turned out an impressive first effort. He pointed to the HBO show The Leftovers, as well as the art of Pablo Picasso, as inspiration. "While we have a great appreciation for that which others create, we really do believe that our point of view is special and should be shared with the world.”
The gents plan to keep their burgeoning design business separate from their storied retail shop, although most of the just-launched collection will be available at Carson Street's new (and vastly larger) location at 20 Greene St. in Manhattan.
Public School Shows Its Collection to the Public—First
Designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, the duo behind the much-lauded luxury streetwear line Public School, surprised members of the press and the VIP guests at their show by opening their runway up to the public outside the venue. In a twist just as the show was about to begin, the black curtain separating the runway from the backstage area was lifted to reveal that part of the runway extended outside, thereby giving a group of huddled fashion students and various onlookers a view of the collection moments before the media waiting indoors got its first glimpse. It’s as if we were in a fishbowl—rather fitting, given that the show's theme was outside/in. This was an inventive and successful way to open the usually exclusive fashion show experience to consumers and fans of the brand.
The Hottest Accessory: Vapes?
Great bags and shoes abounded this season, but the accessory that really stood out was not something to be worn or toted. For the second consecutive season, vapes were passed among fashion's elite. This time, however, they made it to the runway in the hands of styled-up models at the General Idea show. (At the Richard Chai show last season, thehy appeared as giveaways to VIP first-row guests.) Leonardo DiCaprio, who was photographed indulging at the Screen Actors Guild awards, may be facing a vape-free Oscar night, but has his hobby found a place in fashion? (To be determined.)
Calvin Klein Eveningwear Capsule Collection
Italo Zucchelli, men's creative director for Calvin Klein, extended his “trinity of metals” vision that he unveiled last month in Milan at the brand’s mainline collection. (You know, the one where a certain Internet star caused near-pandemonium). This time, with a focus on the ever-important category of red carpet dressing, Zucchelli’s tinfoil-like pants were matched with an army of all-black, exquisitely tailored tuxedos and outerwear. Zucchelli, who is on the board of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, decided to show this special eveningwear capsule collection in support of NYFW: Men’s in the hopes that other major American designers will follow suit. We're sure that if Cameron Dallas would come, others would surely follow.
John Varvatos Hosts a Multimedia Experience Instead of a Runway Show
“It’s time to do something different, to cause disruption,” said designer John Varvatos. And that’s just what he did.
On Tuesday evening, instead of partaking in a typical runway format at Skylight Clarkson Square, as did such heavyweight designers as Perry Ellis and Joseph Abboud, Varvatos chose to take the media and his guests through a crazy, sensory experience—a fashion-filled labyrinth if you will—at his Bowery store. The space once occupied by rock club CBGB was boarded up with the question "Rock is Dead?" painted across its façade. Inside, masked men (and several mannequins) modeled the collection: pony-hair outerwear paired with coated denim, three-piece velvet suits, loads of shearling and fur. In true funhouse form, it was at times hard to tell fantasy from reality, man from mannequin. Coffins and political messages (the faces of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton both made appearances) were dispersed amid the killer collection. The installation ended in an all-white room with an angelic blond model in a zebra-print coat with the words "Long Live Rock" posted behind him. A happy ending for rock 'n' roll after all, and quite a fun experience. Final note: Varvatos opened the experience up to the public for two hours during the night hours following the presentation.
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