New York Fashion Week may be one of the most stressful and crowded weeks for everyone. Not because of the 300 or more shows that are presented in one week, but because men’s and women’s collections interact between each other in that same week. Especially when your goal is to talk about them both. It’s really not a cheerful journey, but either way I managed to summarize together some of the menswear spring 2014 shows presented at New York that are worth a look for next season.
There is always something juvenile yet well put together about DKNY that attracts young customers. It’s not the “it brand’ you want to invest entirely in, but on the other hand it does do the work of looking like a cool dude when you need to. Dude just sounds like the adequate word to use here.
Take for example that bright red anorak that looked great with DKNY’s new graphic robot t-shirt, slim fitted pants, and black and white lace-ups. T-shirts had a nice appeal young guys would look forth in. I personally found interesting they could take something casually tailored, like combining a pair of shorts and blazer with t-shirts, and applying it to their clean silhouettes of formalwear attire when those important occasions are called for. Basic colors – red, yellow, white, gray, and blue – had potential amongst its young clientele of dudes.
When I first came across the Todd Snyder label, J.Crew was the first thing that came to mind. I began researching who this new Todd Snyder was and guess what I happened to find out? Mr. Snyder actually used to work not just for J.Crew but Ralph Lauren. Interesting environments, huh? I wouldn’t want to compare this brand with a mixture between vintage Ralph and J.Crew, but that’s how it feels. You can just tell there are several similarities that connect this designer with a little twist of American/preppy.
There were great pieces to indulge in next summer. Exquisitely slim-fitted shorts and pants (a navy windowpane pant was one of the best), nicely fitted blazers, noteworthy shirts, slender rain coats in khaki, blue, and gray, a soft dark brown cashmere cardigan, and two badass baseball jackets in burgundy and camel. The brand itself has been around since 2011 (a newbie still), but with an experienced designer who knows what competition is like, this collection felt much more confident and mature compared to his previous ones. It’s growing, and in a good way.
Tim Coppens is also another designer who has gotten comfortable with his menswear brand. A Formula-1 inspired collection was his new approach. And it felt necessary to include some quite pleasing onesies designer’s seem to be going for next season. These were the “it” pieces, like his opening look in a metallic silver and black leather detailed ones, the outgoing cool guys wouldn’t mind wearing. Who would’ve thought a New York designer would have a special onesie too?
While most looks seemed to have been made for a chilly weather – splendid graphic sweaters etched with leather, baseball jackets, and parkas – nothing was as intricate as his metallic and leather shorts. Leather played the protagonist here though and energetically.
Michael Bastian may be one of the most innovative designers in New York when it comes to taking risks in men’s fashion, but it didn’t quite work this time. Sure, his clothes are fun to wear, but it may have been the layering effects that went on in his new presentation that could have lost you for a second. Are we in wannabe Paris? It is no secret Parisians know how to do layering effortlessly, but Mr. Bastian is not quite there; nice try for willing to incorporate more prints though. But if you were to take those awkward layering’s apart and styled it with something else, you could find something to invest in.
I don’t know about the French wearing pineapple or leopard print pants, but one thing for sure is I know of several guys in America who would go for it without a doubt. As for his graphic sweatshirts and jackets, they felt fresh for this collection. All in a nutshell, this was an American tourist in Paris with lots of joy and uniqueness. Isn’t that what traveling is all about?
Ovadia & Sons is just another menswear label who recently got the opportunity to debut their new collection at New York Fashion Week. And what a debut. The label has been around since 2010 and owned by twin brothers, Shimon and Ariel Ovadia. One could tell these twins definitely have a unique taste compared to our loved hyper twins, Dean and Dan, at Dsquared2. And I’m not saying the Dsquared2 twins don’t design well, because you know they can put a fun spin to their clothes, but what I may be trying to infer is that twins may seem to get the job done efficiently.
The Ovadia twins have been receiving a lot of support from retailers – Bloomingdale’s, Barneys, Brooks Brothers – and magazines like GQ who named them Best New Menswear Designers in America in 2012. That being said, they were part of this year’s CFDA Fashion Fund finalist.
The collection is headed along the right path. Slim tailored pants without feeling too tight. They have just the right amount of proportion for most men who seek sleek silhouettes without having to suffer. A niche? I loved the styling of three floral print numbers – a black shirt, and two blue pants and shorts – that wasn’t too much in your face. Most fashion-forward men could deal with that. Suits were clean and suede motorcycle jackets were fresh. Now, if the twins caused a good impression, we know they better make another great one and with innovation, which it seems they might if they’re getting a lot of support. Because as Hedi Klum used to say, “One day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.”
Modern. Urban. Timeless. That’s what Frank Muytjens new collection for J.Crew imbued. While those blue printed shorts may have been the only new design in a while at J.Crew, there was something that even though we’ve seen other retailers and designers produce in much more sumptuous techniques – slim-fitted suits and trousers, chambray sweats, suede bomber jackets, and denim patchwork – none the less felt luxe here. It may be witchcraft going on behind this label, because it somehow works great compared to other luxury designers we’ll criticize harshly. Hmm.
At Marc by Marc Jacobs you could put a personality to each outfit. Mr. Jacobs likes to feel his sharing a bit of his brand with everyone – quirky, preppy, gothic, urban, fashion-forward. It all looked inviting with metallic jackets in silver and red, relaxed shirts, trousers, and suits – cream, baby blue, brown, and black. Anyway you style them it’ll work.