SO Menswear 2013
Dapperly attired gents walked the runways of New York Fashion Week in fitted tailored suits, casual stripes, leather, and a flood of colours showing the trends that will dominate Spring/Summer 2013. SO shares next season's male essentials.
Ralph Lauren's collection featured tailored suits for the confident male, the chairman of the board, if you will. The highest rollers won't be disappointed by the three-piece tailoring and tailcoated evening options, though they may be surprised to find them newly snug, thanks to a slimmed silhouette.
Monomania has gripped Tommy Hilfiger. Some see spots; he's seeing stripes. Everywhere in his Spring men's collection there were stripes, and often there were stripes on stripes. Stripes have a long and varied history to draw on — including every preppy's favourite, seersucker — and at present, they're enjoying a very long moment in the sun.
The collection on show was inspired by the idea of 'Sweden from above', the view of the Scandinavian landscape as seen by air. That meant geometric lines, expanses of tone-on-tone colour, and a palette that ranged from water blues to sandy taupes, with a flash of bright orange for good measure.
Gant by Michael Bastian
The scene, imaginatively at least, at the latest Gant by Michael Bastian presentation was the Galapagos Islands. Bastian dreamed up a pair of young backpackers making their way through the islands, dressed in a combination of their preppy best, their new island finds, and the technical gear necessary to weather the clime.
Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown
Note the pivot point. Not Perry Ellis, not Duckie Brown: Perry by Duckie. That's key. Finessing the interplay between Perry Ellis — not the moribund label of recent years, but the late designer, who in the seventies and eighties was a triumvir of American sportswear, mentioned in the same breath as Calvin and Ralph — and Duckie Brown is the challenge set for newly appointed creative directors Steven Cox and Daniel Silver.
Let there be colour. Lightness softened texture as much as tone — the Ludlow also came in a Japanese chambray, but in the end tone had the biggest impact. One soul at JCrew head quarters is tasked only with hand-painting the camouflage shorts. They represented a welcome intervention of the slow and the small in the midst of JCrew's national — and more, global reach.
John Bartlett dedicated his new collection to 'the plant-based man'. His Spring range was entirely made from sustainable linen. This kind of conscientiousness is rare in fashion, but for Bartlett, it's nothing new. For Fall, his line was wholly vegan: ultrasuede for leather, nylon in place of wool. Twenty years into his career, he's emerging as menswear's most committed naturalist.
Outside looking in is a useful point of view for an artist. It clears the vision. And it's certainly helped Italo Zucchelli wrap his head around the iconography of Calvin Klein. He's been able to isolate and elevate the pieces he sees as iconic in American sportswear. Jeans, bomber jackets, suits, and a soupçon of surf were the pillars of the collection Zucchelli showed.
Ozwald Boateng closed the Arise Magazine African Icons show in fine style during New York Fahion Week. He stuck to his classic aesthetic — well-tailored menswear separates in intriguing colours, fabrics and detailing that resulted in intoxicating designs and brought a fresh twist to the classic suit.