MODERN MEN. Menswear gangs of New York take the Big Apple’s fashion game to the next level with no-season design aesthetics and tons of energy
Opening Ceremony draws inspiration from preppy Antwerp style
Despite the superior emphasis placed on womenswear during its fashion weeks, the influence of New York in shaping modern menswear is undeniable. After all, two demigods of menswear, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, are among those who rose all the way to the top from the early beginnings of the New York fashion crowd. Fast-forward to 2014 and the fall/winter show sees the return of precisely what those two pioneers have championed over the years: ease of dressing, straightforward style and solid pairing combinations. However, the difference lies in the combination of these pre-established characteristics with fresh and exciting new school notions of the modern day era.
To facilitate this progression, the “city that never sleeps” is now allowing promising talents of tomorrow to tread its catwalks alongside the iconic names of Michael Bastian and DKNY. Another leitmotif that unites this increasingly eclectic bevy of New York-based designers at the 2014 show is the season-less appeal of their creations. It is as if they do not design with fall/winter in mind but rather for a certain type of man—a vibrant, practical, modern man who requires fluidity from his wardrobe: clothes that can be worn to formal business meetings and social meetings in the hippest bars in town. To fulfill that need, the designers have to blend the sartorial cues of their gear with utter functionality.
Hood by Air makes a strong statement on the runway
The upside of such an approach is that the clothes paraded on the New York runways and showcased in presentations can go straight into a gentleman’s wardrobe. For example, take Public School’s much-hyped separates, add then to the outerwear line-up from Tim Coppens and the luxurious loungewear-infused selection from Michael Kors, and you have a wardrobe filled with foolproof, statement-making clothes that will last the year round. Then, to supply a man’s need for office-ready get-ups that will transition seamlessly into evening wear, DKNY has you covered with easily mixed-and-matched pieces, while Michael Bastian crafts charming suits complemented with trendy jackets worn over the top.
New York remains one of the global capitals of fashion and one not afraid to seek influence from anywhere in the world. Accordingly, there are Japanese cultural elements apparent in the designs of both Michael Bastian (cue kimono-esque shapes and dragon prints) and this year’s CFDA winner Public School (see their cape and layering techniques). Quilts are aplenty in Opening Ceremony and DKNY, but the high note of the season comes from Marc by Marc Jacobs and Hood by Air—they have both captured an indelible energy from the intersection where sports meet high-street, resulting in loud, graphic and athletic pieces you can hardly take your eyes off. Perhaps the creations signal where city’s menswear industry wishes to go in the future, to move away from designs past to new and unfamiliar territory.
Text Gabriela Yosefina
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