This recap took me a while to write as I instead of taking it easy, maxed it and barely didn’t see anything else in New York than my hotel and the venues where the fashion shows were held at and I landed in a total of 30 shows during 5 days and that doesn’t include the events and parties… So yeah, NYFW was intense to say the least. As usual I’ve put them in alphabetical order not to favor any brand in particular. Enjoy (or hate it if you want to).
BENCH/Body took me by surprise both by choosing an unexpected venue as well as by the clothing (or rather lack of it) on the models. Held at Industria the mood for the edgy collection was set for the two parts of the collection opening up with hybrid tropical and going on with white with tropical side prints. The oversized tops in forms of tees, bombers and coats was a perfect addition to the sometimes, even by European standards, skimpy underwear.
Bode barely made it out of bed this season and I can totally relate. Staying in bed is all I want to do these days. Their SS18 collection stood out with jackets and trousers which fit to the bedding-inspired stripes, florals and jacquards. Being known for workwear, Bode made it a whole lot more fun to be wearing that for sure. The collection titled “The Grenier” stays true to the label’s theme of making something new out of the old where for example vintage quilts were used for the bombers.
BODYWILD didn’t have much of a show or a presentation, more like guys standing a little here and there showcasing their stuff (BODYWILD’s stuff that is), but I do want to include them in this recap as they were the first brand in Japan to pioneer boxer briefs and to bring high-fashion to underwear for men over a 100 years ago. Every pair of BODYWILD is made from organic cotton. According to the standards of organic certification organizations, “organic pesticide-free organic cotton” organic-cultivated in a field not using pesticide or chemical fertilizer for more than 3 years without genetic modification, without any chemicals. Furthermore, even in all processes of manufacturing, they have created without chemical treatment, so that alone is reason enough for me to mention them.
C2H4 Los Angeles gave us a story about a fictional Mars mission with their collection “Zero Gravity”. This is how they imagine chemists would look like in 2082 the show simulated a space ride and I wish I could have it all on tape for you to see, but if you were lucky enough you caught some of it on my Insastories. This collection also introduced the collaboration with Kappa where they present a capsule collection with the sportswear brand side stripe on hoodies and track pants.
Christopher Lowman drew inspiration to his SS18 collection from the modern day college student battling the everyday chain of emotions such as financial instability and mental health issues that lead to the possibility of becoming a college dropout. As alarming as that sounds, I bet his intention is to turn that downward spiral into a success story and does it with the finest French Terry and satin fabrics imported from Australia, as well as suede and lambskin fabrics with uniquely intricate patterns. Delicate Italian imported fabrics create a classic and refined fit for the modern man with a highly individual sense of style which come together to create “Harvard Punk’d” as the collection is named.
Daniel Hechter is a Paris based designer who is no stranger to using bold color and patterns. This season, inspired by pattern designer Camilla Frances, a computerized floral design spices up jacket linings, shirts, and outerwear. A ‘motherboard’ print, inspired by the hardware computer’s of the 90s used, is superimposed on t-shirts and adds subtle detail to the backs of collars. Their classic silhouettes, previously offered in more demure neutrals, will be done this season in brighter fashion colors. Cherry reds and hunter greens provide a sharp, eye catching appeal among navy, white, and beige.
David Hart held a cheerful presentation where his gents were travelers in Cuba, at least in spirit. The designer had been planning to visit the island, but the trip never occurred. Sound familiar? Nonetheless, David Hart channeled the vibes of Cuba and mixed it with a mid-century swag where striped blazers, buttoned highs, neck scarves and Panama hats totally made you feel like you were on the island itself. On a side note, all the models came from Anti which is a group founded by employees who left Trump’s modeling agency and that was a nod to Trump’s presidency and whatever cause of action he might take in regards to Cuba. Who said fashion wasn’t politics?
Death to Tennis was good. Yes, good, not great. That’s maybe something I’ve led myself to believe as their AW17 was simply stunning and my expectations were probably a bit too high. The concept of the presentation was fun though. Hot models were posing with selfie sticks, pouting and slapping our uber narcissistic society in the face with this statement against vanity. Truly refreshing during a fashion week where everything is mostly about superficiality and looks.
Descendants of Thieves presented their The Masks We Wear… collection with the perfect message of clothing itself being the mask we put on every single day. It is the mask that attaches us to a certain tribe of people and ultimately influences how the world perceives us. The aesthetics of the collection are inspired by deviant, yet fashion obsessed MODs of the mid 60s who broke new ground by making it acceptable for men to dress purely for show, so we have a lot to thank those MODs for. I don’t like to align with any ‘tribe’ myself, but would gladly be wearing the masks presented at this Descendants of Thieves.
Deveaux presented their SS18 collection at En Japanese Brassier, which is an amazing restaurant and total hot spot if you’re heading to NYC, so don’t miss it. The designers found their inspiration in a minimalistic mindset, constructing clean lines with subtle details to produce maximum punch. Graphic knit sweaters were shown underneath collared cardigans, while cuffed quarter zip shirts were tucked into lux cargos. The way they rewoke the tube sock (just like Gucci tried to do 2 years ago) was beautiful and much needed, but I doubt they’ll have more luck with that than Gucci. The collection however, will do perfectly and I’m thrilled about this designer trio and can’t wait to see more, hopefully from a better spot next time than from the second row…
Dyne is the lovechild of Christopher Bevans and is based in Portland, Oregon. Never having been to Portland, my gut tells me it’s not the fashion capital of the world, but my prejudiced way of thinking about smaller cities got itself a blow in the face after seeing this colorful collection. I know Dyne will be something big, or rather, Christopher Bevans will be, so keep an eye out for him and his brand. It feels like Japanese people are always two decades ahead when it comes to fashion and it comes as no surprise to me that Dyne is huge in Japan and other Asian countries. Well deserved and now we westerners need to catch up on that.
Feng Chen Wang is drawing on the cultural heritage of Feng Chen Wang’s home country of China and the SS18 collection seeks to redefine the Made in China stamp. The color palette ranges from light shades of brown to muted tones of navy to soft pink and bright red, referencing China’s rural landscape and the country’s symbolic colors. Wang’s garments range from the relatively minimal to the boldly conceptual and wholly futuristic, always with a forward-thinking functionality.
General Idea had somewhat the same take on society as Death to Tennis has. The runway was run with both male and female models carrying cellphones while wearing striped trenches, bold patterns and colors out of this world. Totally wearable, but a bit hard to grasp the core of the collection leaving me pondering about what the general idea of it was.
Grungy Gentleman put up a massive show and got applause from both me and the rest of the audience for breaking the stereotype of the model business being one where you have to retire at the age of 23 (by the latest). The latest Grungy Gentleman collection is thought to be leisurely luxurious and you could equally well wear the garments to your local supermarket as well as while flying first class. I only have one word for this collection: Fresh.
Gustav von Aschenbach is the newest project helmed by Robert Geller. The line takes its name from the main character of Thomas Mann’s famous novel, Death in venice and is an instantiation of Robert Geller’s desire to reach a broader public. Separate from the Robert Geller brand yet distilling the designer’s signature, Gustav Von Aschenbach begins with his fondness of new shapes and his exploration color to create an entirely new collection: one that feels less pure and minimal yet also warm and comforting. Japanese textiles used throughout to achieve a lightness and ease that is central to the collection.
Heliot Emil SS 18 is titled ‘P.T.C.S.’ short for post traumatic combat stress. The collection follows the aesthetic of an individual dealing with a post war existential crisis, resulting in experimentation with a combination of drugs and parties. Designer Julius Juul mixed the formality and disciple of the military with the care free attitude of a lost mind. The political reminder aside, I totally want to jump into P.T.C.S. asap.
Krammer & Stoudt based in NYC showcases a blend of contemporary looks mixed with a boho inspired staple of pants, jackets and shirts. We’re talking navy shirt jackets which are lingering into your staples slowly but surely, long-sleeve knitted cardigans and tops as well as floral embroidered jackets. It feels like menswear is catching up to what the womenswear industry has been doing the last year or so.
Landlord clearly had one single inspiration for its SS18 collection which can be summed up by the word reggae. Never having been a huge fan of neither the music nor the reggae lifestyle I must say this collection did not appeal to me, at all. It might have to do with the huge amount of homophobia related to reggae where singing about “kill those faggots” is as commonplace and accepted as singing “hakuna matata”. Well, I might dig too deep into my archive of emotions, but this was not hakuna matata.
Laun LaRose took inspiration from the ’80s, seen through the lens of their impact on our current society, characterized mainly by the insertion of technology into mass culture, the birth of Silicon Valley, and the opulence of Wall Street when creating his SS18 collection. While playing with the definition of masculinity by adding pantyhoses and what not to the looks, it still stood out as a strong one, even for everyday wear.
Luar wanted to make you rethink about office wear and get away from the average boring pencil skirts and suits and they certainly managed to do that as they transformed the corporate uniform into bell bottoms, bombers, deconstructed suits and went all artsy on us with a genderbending show which might not be the new corporate uniform of yet, but a nod towards where we are heading. It sure made my fashion fatigued head turn both once and twice.
Matiere, French for material, truly went all in with the brand name for this collection as it was full focus on materials. They were mixing eco-friendly fabrics with innovative and high-teck materials and the collection itself consisted of a lovely mix of classic pieces with light jackets and transitional garments where some pastels and metallics could be seen, despite most of the collection being black. Something for everyone in other words.
N-p Elliott is a show that basically everyone around me disliked or didn’t understood, but I loved. Maybe it’s because it was so out there and also the nostalgia from the key inspiration being the grunge movement in the early 90s where you wear a denim jacket and a dress at the same time and it was never an issue, something designer Nicholas Elliott uttered backstage.
Nick Graham was on the contrary to N-P Elliott very American, with a twist. His collection was inspired by the imaginary kingdom of Atlantis and sure, we could totally get the ocean vibes ranging from beaches, fish and whatever dwells in the depths of the sea. Unlike some other designers wanting to make us wear wider pants and silhouettes in genereal, Nick Graham thankfully is still keeping it slim and that I am thankful for, especially taking into consideration he is American. Thumbs up, Nick. Below a detail shot from a favorite of mine, the rope belt.
Palmiers du Mal held a presentation at the Gramercy Hotel, more precisely at the Rose Bar, and considering the brand and its philosophy, that was the perfect choice of location. This is luxury on a high level, yet comfortable and chill. They have items ranging from 75 to 2000 dollars in their collection and the idea is that everyone deserves some luxury in their life. The collection is basically totally genderless and the models fit into the Rose Bar environment as perfectly as do the people who’s portraits are hanging on the walls with names such as Madonna, Leo di Caprio, Britney and other legends who are somewhat bohemian superstars.
Patrik Ervell is based in San Francisco and so is his mindset and inspiration, almost to the point where it becomes painful. As I’ve pointed out before, I’m a huge sucker for nostalgia and the 90s in particular, but Patrik Ervell seems to be stuck there, literally. This is what I saw fashion forward people wearing when growing up and sure, it’s cool, but there’s no new take on it. Even the silhouettes are painstakingly too true to the originals.
Private Policy is one of the first shows I saw during New York Fashion Week Men’s at the so called New York Men’s Day and I was thrilled to see this mix of patriotism and then tossing in elements that would totally, how do I put this nicely, mess up whatever is going on in the current president’s head. It doesn’t get much more explicit than this and all I can say is: Take me to this rodeo anytime, please.
R. Swiader wanted to combine references from Ancient Greece with his own ethos for this collection, which is grounded in the streets of New York. That does sound ever so pretentious, but it works. I can see both Plato as well as Al Capone in this collection and the ever so beautiful pieces in it.
Sanchez Kane is an absolutely adorable designer of Mexican decent and her collection made no sense at all, yet it made all the sense in the world. Empty plastic bottles, waste, a paper shredder in the middle of the show and lord knows what were parts of this demonstration. Yes, I’m using the word demonstration as Sanchez Kane didn’t show that much fashion as she did make a statement and that’s what fashion sometimes is all about. This was yet another of the never ending designers on the list who wants to punch Trump in the face.
Wood House has taken on sportswear and absolutely refined it completely. Think baseball, rugby, football, whatever you want, and you’ve got it here, but presented in an ever so sophisticated manner. In true anti-Trump manner, also wants us to be cautious, but optimistic and says that the collection “was stitched with the hopes of a brighter future”. It is allowed to have fun however and that is exactly what this collection is.
You As is the creation of Tony Liu who took on the challenge of going Vegas without becoming a pastische vomitting glitter and superficiality known to the town. The jumpsuit on the right is loosely based something Sammy Davis Jr once wore in the 1960s Ocean’s 11. It has 15 000 Swarovski crystals covering the entire jumpsuit, but it’s not obnoxious or cheesy, quite the contrary. The rest of the collection was equally well balancing edgy with cheesy where the former won the fight in every look. The only criticism is that the presentation had lights shifting between red and purple and that made it hard to see the true colors of the garments both there and then as well as on the pictures. Other than that, superb.
To end my recap, I have to put in this feature of me on New York Times’ Fashion account on Instagram. They caught me on a day when I decided “I don’t give a crap about how I look” and that attitude apparently gave me a feature on one of the world’s largest platforms for fashion.
So, dear readers, which are your faves and what makes you go “what the…”? I know which mine is.