Designers presenting during the New York Fall 2017 menswear collections showed a sensitivity to the idiosyncrasies of the American male. Let’s face it; guys here in the good ol’ US of A are less likely to get creative with their dressing. The American sportswear aesthetic is alive and well, and designers here are reflecting it in the athleticism of the looks they are presenting. Whether in layered looks, streetwear or even the casualization of tailored clothing the ath-leisure vibe is on display, often amped up with luxury materials including cashmeres and velvets. Military references and Western influences provide an easy masculine appeal to keep the guys comfortable and confident. Overall, these New York Fall 2017 menswear collections have a strong, if safe, commercial appeal.
New York Fall 2017 Menswear And The Beat Goes On
Ingo Wilts, brand director for Hugo Boss, heralded what seems to be a key challenge for most designers this season when he described the direction for the Boss collection, “We’re known for the suit, but this shows how you can wear it differently.” Throughout the European shows and now midway into New York designers have focused on the reimagining of tailored clothing to bring some retail magic back to this lackluster segment. “Power suits” came in the form of the classic shapes and patterns of Ralph Lauren or the trimmer cuts of Hugo Boss and Hart x Hart. But for the more casual guy who is used to dressing down, the slouchy jackets and wide legged pants, often shown with tennis shoes, offered the perfect template for experimenting with tailored clothing. Add in the segment of looks that paired sharply tailored jackets with ath-leisure pants sporting drawstring waists or snap sides and you’ve even got the weekend warriors on board. Yes, it looks like the rumors of the death of tailored clothing may be premature.
Here in New York there’s a bit of nostalgia circulating through the collections with references to the 1980’s and 1990’s. These were the years when the Gen X’ers came of age and began to live life on their own terms. The interpretations differ widely, from the clean sportswear looks at Nautica, one of the first to successfully bridge streetwear and sportswear, to the punk rock looks of Rochambeau or Patric Ervell. Even Hugo Boss looked back to the 80’s and 90’s with their double breasted jackets and pleated pants. Will the fond memories of these times and the fashions that went with them be enough to spur this generation, now in their prime earning years, to open up their wallets?
For the guys looking to make a statement this season (and who isn’t?) it’s all about outerwear. Looking for something to throw over those cashmere sweatpants and that hoodie? This season’s tailored topcoat fits the bill as easily as that oversized parka or sporty puffer. And they’ll work equally well over a power suit for that trip to the office. For the guy looking to make more of a luxury mark, nothing makes a statement like fur or shearling. Outerwear is the ultimate fashion armor, providing protection from the elements while setting a style tone. So, whether the goal is turning heads walking down the street or making an entrance to be remembered, outerwear is the smart fashion investment
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