NY Menswear seems to lack the fashion star power of the other men’s fashion weeks. Though NY does boast industry leaders including Michael Kors, John Varvatos and Tommy Hilfiger as well as plenty of innovative ideas and fresh fashion it is hard to muster the same enthusiasm as earlier presentations from the likes of Thom Browne, Balmain, Lanvin, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Rick Owens….and so on.
Here the collections seem to be limited, many of them almost capsule. The focus is casual sports and ath-leisure. Looks are commercial and predictable. Still, within collections there are some clear trend lines that emerge, some carrying forward of ideas that were established earlier in Paris, London and Milan. And within collections you will find strong items that can add to the foundation of any man’s wardrobe.
After viewing the Artistix men’s spring RTW for 2017, we’re pretty sure we stepped out of an ’80’s time machine. Andy Hilfiger, brother to Tommy Hilfiger and with a recognized talent for fashion branding has collaborated with artist Greg Polisseni on this small collection of artist-inspired wear. Boy George overalls were like a bad flashback. A black and white paint splatter motif prevailed as the main theme leaving very little other creativity. While the tailoring was nice, the separates were functional, and the mix and match factor was high, it begs the question, where does Hilfiger go from here?
The David Hart spring RTW 2017 collection for men approached us like an old, familiar friend that gave us a comfortable, carefree, and joyful feeling. Hart’s trademark designs borrow the best from the past – not entirely a copy of the retro fashion – but he has an ability to evoke the feeling of the era alongside the looks. This season his focus was a 1960’s southern California surfer ease and happiness. Using bowling shirts, palm leaf motifs, and brightly colored pedal-pusher pants, you get a sense of an Americana soda shop kind of innocence. What’s especially exciting for Hart is his partnership with Parke & Ronen on a capsule collection of blazers. Hart will also include a capsule collection as part of the Hart Schaffner Marx brand. This will inevitably help further Hart’s brand awareness and increase his bottom line.
If you’re looking for a worthwhile visual distraction to endless cellphone hunts for Pokemon-go during these dog days of summer, look no further than the EFM Men’s RTW collection for Spring 2017. EFM stands for Engineered For Motion and that is exactly what these clothes look like they were designed for with their strong tech feel. Brand creator and designer Donrad Duncan has assembled an interesting cadre of looks blending gender-neutral warm weather standards with layered contrasts of blacks, whites, patterns and pastels that beg for Spring to come back before Fall. The collection combines tasteful and form-fitting style with comfortable everyday wearability. Duncan did a nice job finishing hemlines with draw string pant legs or cuffs.
John Elliott is best known for his “gray scale spectrum” color detail but, in his spring RTW 2017 presentation for men he added a vibrant, new life with pops of color. Modern day separates of walking shorts, hoodies, parkas, and tees dominated the collection in which Elliott contrasted the muted color pallette with spearmint green, electric blue, and rose. Soft, flowing fabrics of silk and linen added a sex appeal with their movement down the runway. Knit tops and shorts delivered a cool, easy vibe. A couple of “tough guy” moto jackets made their way into the collection showing the versatility of his vision.
Well, if you’re a citizen of the world, a global entry kinda guy, and you like your Turkish tea at high noon, the Joseph Abboud men’s RTW spring 2017 collection will speak to you. Three-piece linen suits with generous proportions and chest-revealing shirts, it’s a type of fashion for the man of leisure who hasn’t adopted the dress-down, modern day approach. Unexpected detailing and styling give this collection a bit more of a European flair. Deconstructed jackets continue the theme we’ve seen in earlier men’s wear collections. Abboud used a delicious color palette of ivory, tans, and soft browns to heighten the sophistication and remind you not to spill red wine on your front. How gauche.
With an emphasis on fabrics, the Linder spring RTW 2017 offerings for men were different, but “different” isn’t always better. Linder designers Kirk Millar and Sam Linder took chances and pushed the boundaries of constructions. Asymmetrical shirts, wide legged pants, and belted tunics were gender-bending separates for a his and her’s kinda’ sharing. Heavy denim, soft silk, and knits all were paired together to create casual looks that were visually interesting and a departure from the standard options this season. While Millar and Linder tried to be innovative, the collection as a whole is not very commercial.
More to come from New York Menswear Spring 2017…