Asaf Ganot Fall 2017

Asaf_Ganot_Fall_20171In the States, Asaf Ganot has distinguished himself for his menswear. When Asaf Ganot showed his spring 2016 menswear collection during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, Ganot presented a fresh, contemporary collection of sportswear looks that would have a wide appeal to American men; particularly, Ganot’s outwear.

For fall 2017 Ganot has not altered his brand’s design DNA of great outerwear. However, this season Ganot added some women’s look demonstrated that his brand is adept at dressing both men and women.

Asaf_Ganot_Fall_2017The collection was mostly a compendium on leather outerwear. And with Ganot’s penchant for great outerwear, it makes sense to expand his brand to women’s wear in that men’s and women’s outerwear, particularly leather jackets, there is not a huge difference in the silhouettes.

That said; there were some latticed tops that were solely in the ladies’ category. Additionally, there was a tuxedo-inspired leather jacket, denim-inspired jackets, as well as leather jackets that referenced safari travel. There was a jumpsuit, some leather crop tops, and a beautiful, oversized white dress shirt; however, this collection was still a tribute to the modern uses of leather as outerwear for both sexes.

Asaf_Ganot_Fall_20172When it comes to the leather outerwear for men, Ganot did not push the proverbial fashion envelope for far. In other words, there was a lot of now and very little next. Still, all the men’s wear looks were styled beautifully. And Ganot expansive use of distressed washes and treatments of leather outer was interesting to see.

Images courtesy of wwd.com

Images courtesy of wwd.com

If Asaf Ganot gets his predilection for leather out of his system, so to speak, with his talent, it will be interesting to see him expand to other fabrications and styles. The potential is definitely there.

—William S. Gooch

 

Artistix Fall 2017

Artistix_Fall_2017Greg Polissesni’s original paintings, Harvest, and its autumn color palette inspired Artistix’s artistic director Andy Hilfiger. For those not aware, Andy Hilfiger is the sibling of Tommy Hilfiger and Andy, in his own right, has long had an association with rock music. In the past few years, Andy has taken his love of rock n’ roll and funneled that love into fashion collections that reflect his first love, rock n’ roll.

Andy Hilfiger has also paired these fashion collections with the art of Greg Polissesni who is a partner in Artistix. The autumnal color palette, which is so obvious in this fall 2017 collection, is combined with a military reference. From the chef coat to the flight suit, this harvest collection is  fashion-forward uniform wear. And these two design motifs work well together!!

Artistix_Fall_20171The fall colors of burnt orange, fall reds, military greens combined with some denim elements makes a color palette that denotes autumn is a very comfortable fit for consumers. Hilfiger does not reinvent the wheel with this collection; however, this collection is extremely consumer friendly if marketed correctly have a substantial consumer appeal. And the sweaters in this collection are fun and adorable.

Collages1203And by mixing in men’s looks with mostly women’s wear pieces, Hilfiger is track for creating a collection that is more in the vein of lifestyle brand—something that is esteemed sibling is recognized for. That said; interestingly, the fashion landscape is slightly devoid of brands that have an innovative twist on rock n’roll–inspired clothes at an affordable price. Artistix could fill that void.

Images courtesy of wwd.com

Images courtesy of wwd.com

Standout looks in this fall 2017 collection is the Artistix flight suit, white Artistix blouse with asymmetrical military skirt, harvest color block chef’s coat, and harvest camo bomber.

—William S. Gooch

Slideshow image courtesy of fashionmaniac.com

Philipp Plein Fall 2017

Philipp_Plein_Fall_2017When a hot European brand debuts during New York Fashion Week (NYFW), it is important to make a big splash. And a big splash is what Philipp Plein made with its debut collection during NYFW. Maybe some established American brands could learn from the kind of take-NYC-by-storm show of Philipp Plein. Perhaps, more shows like Philipp Plein would add a much-needed innovation and energy to some of the lackluster runway shows that are currently a part of the NYFW terrain. Of course, it would be hard to trump Plein—Plein’s fall 2017 show included performances by NAS, The Kills, and 2 Live Crew.  Still, Plein is pointing runway shows in the right direction, particularly when many fashion industry professionals no longer attend NYFW due to boredom and disgust.

That said; back to Plein’s fall 2017 collection!! Plein’s fall 2017 collection was about breaking down barriers. And that includes breaking down barriers of class, race, sex, sexual identity, and cultural affiliations. In this new world order, everything counts and is also mixed together in a beautiful mosaic.

Collages1152With the words ‘Neighborhood Kings’ emblazoned throughout the collection, Plein was demonstrating that culturally everyone is a king in their own right. In Philipp Plein’s universe everyone reigns supreme whether you identify with street culture of couture; whether you self identify as male or female or neither or both; whether you have deep pockets or not, and in Plein’s case whether you have a standard model physique or not.

This expansive self-definition is expressed in clothes that are easily gender fluid and combine high end with separates that can be mixed and matched. Consider sneaks with a couture dress or gown, or thigh-high expensive stiletto boots with a hood. In Plein’s world nothing divides, everything potentially unites.

Collages1153Plein presented a uniquely NYC story with this fall 2017 collection. And this New York story idea is made evident in Statue of Liberty patches, dollar bill print on jackets and shirts, and Fashion Beyond Imagination patches (FBI).

Interestingly, what Plein has presented in his New York debut is not new. Hip-hop and urban brands did this two decades ago; perhaps, with less expensive fabrications and innovation, but rigorously effective design. Still, looking back to vintage design aesthetics seems to be the order of the day for many brands this season, so Plein in not out of step!!

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Images courtesy of F. Scarlari.Philipp Plein

Images courtesy of F. Scarlari.Philipp Plein

And there is a stateside, large youthful demographic who have a deep love for hip-hop and urban street style. This demographic is primed and ready to  embrace Plein. Smart move Philipp Plein. Power to young people!!

—William S. Gooch

General Idea Men’s Fall 2017

General Idea_Fall_2017General Idea is back!! After a few seasons of rather lackluster collections, General Idea for fall 2017 has found its oeuvre. Always recognized as a brand that really has its fingers on the pulse of how stylish men want to dress, particularly when it came to outerwear, it appeared that for a few collections General Idea had lost its way.

For fall 2017 General Idea went back to some basics that defined the brand since its inception. The fall 2017 collection was practically a dissertation on what has worked for General Idea over the past decade; updated street wear looks, oversized coats, innovative embellishments, and layering of different fabrications.

Collages1177Creative Director Bumsuk Choi went back to the brand’s penchant for street wear for this collection. Over the past two decades it seems that some Asian designers—Kye, 87MM, D.GNAK by KANG.D, and Concept Korea collectives—have developed an innate ability to reinterpret American street wear fashion, inject some Asia influences, causing industry professionals to experience street wear in new and interesting ways.

With this fall 2017 outing General Idea adopted the ‘less is more’ concept, and while some looks did have much of an impact on the runway, there were a wide array of outerwear looks that would appeal to American consumers, both male and female. In fact, several of the more gender non-specific looks in the collection helped the brand to expand its audience to include more female consumers. This is a very smart move in in a retail market that is in sharp decline.

General_Idea_Fall_2017Bumsuk Choi did make his more simple looks have more punch by adding big zippers and grommets and other innovative hardware. However, the genius of this collection was in the fabric choices and layering.

Fabric choices that stood out the most was the boxy furry fleece and faux calf hair. And the color standout of this fall 2017 collection was Choi’s choice of the deep forest green.

Images courtesy of wwd.com

Images courtesy of wwd.com

Standout looks include the grey wool oversized coat with wool knit turtleneck, navy cotton shirt with zipper detail with grey wool pants with eyelet belt detail, burgundy faux hair coat with eyelet detail, green wool biker jacket, and black wool coat with eyelet tape detail.

—William S. Gooch

Loris Diran Men’s Fall 2017

Loris_Diran_Men's_Fall_2017Sometimes, it just takes time. Loris Diran has been a part of the fashion industry for two decades now. And though many industry professionals may be aware of Loris Diran for his women’s wear, Diran has always had a presence in the menswear market.

For fall 2017 Loris Diran looked to his travels in India and China. (Diran is the creative director of a menswear brand in China.) In this collection entitled “Back 2 Black,” the melding of East meets West was perhaps the most dominant overarching theme, other than Diran’s obsession with the monochromatic neutral tones of black, grey, steel grey, pewter, navy blue and the occasional white layered tee shirt.

Collages1097For several seasons industry professionals have been anxiously waiting for Diran to find his menswear oeuvre. It has been obvious to those fashion insiders who know Loris Diran well that the talent and potential was there. It just needed to be unearthed. Finally, in this men’s fall 2017 outing Diran’s gift for creating contemporary garments that a wide men’s demographic could relate to met his potential for next and now menswear. There is something in this collection for almost every man, suiting, athleisure wear, casual urban chic menswear, and contemporary office attire.

Collages1096Though many of the looks and combinations of garments in this collection we had seen before, in this collection Diran managed to present menswear that was current while still projecting toward the future. Never isolating the male consumer looking for great separates to compliment their wardrobe.

Images courtesy of WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Images courtesy of WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Diran also ingeniously paired recognizable Asian influences—variations on Mandarin jackets and military wool field coats combined with ankle-grazing palazzo slacks—with fitted pants and leggings and comfortable color blocked sweaters in neutral tones. Another successful element in this collection was Diran’s separates and layering.  And though Diran’s use of slogans in white type of tee shirts was a bit and gimmicky, reflecting a trend many menswear designers are using this season, overall Diran’s fall 2017 menswear collection was a sophisticated dissertation on where menswear is and should be going.

—William S. Gooch

Nautica Men’s Fall 2017

Nautica_Fall_2017The 1990s are back!! And with this return to the 90s, Nautica has also brought back color blocking, bold color and street wear meets sportswear. And while Nautica has established itself as a brand solidly focused on accessible American sportswear, in this fall 2017 outing, Nautica brought a little grunge messiness back, which is a good thing. We are living in messy times!!

 Collages1105In a time of seismic political change, unrest and uncertainty, Nautica takes us back to a time when the future seem unhampered by political division and social unrest, a time of economic prosperity and creative abundance. Remember, in the 1990s Supermodels Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer ruled the runways. Supermodel Kate Moss’ star was on the rise as the fashion queen of grunge. And Nautica was one of the cool and coveted go-to brands for American sportswear.

 Collages1104For fall 2017 Nautica’s creative director Steve McSween went into the Nautica archives and takes consumers back to that time. But not exactly, this homage to Nautica of the 1990s is seen through the lens of updated classics and a re-imagined heritage. In the 90s, Nautica introduced bold color and color blocking, the mix of sportswear and street wear, and dark jean washes with distressed edges. All these vintage 90s looks are back in this collection, reintroduced to millenials. And though Nautica might see re-introduction as a safe move, there is a certain comfort and market sustainability in this reinvention of Nautica’s heritage looks.

Images courtesy of wwd.com

Images courtesy of wwd.com

For fall 2017, Nautica re-introduces the nylon jacket with side paneling and the Nautica logo on the sleeve, polar fleece, bucket hats, and a quarter-zip Sherpa pullover. Standouts in this fall 2017 outing, and there were many, include true red goose down extreme parka with jet navy wool single-breasted jacket, indigo cotton blazer with burgundy cotton quarter zip sweater, cream wool pea coat with red fade cotton cable sweater, and yellow nylon fisherman jacket with jet navy stripped nylon jacket.

—William S. Gooch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samuelsohn Men’s Fall 2017

Image courtesy of mr-mag.com

Image courtesy of mr-mag.com

How do you pique menswear editors’ interest for New York Fashion Week: Men’s (NYFWM) when a good portion of the collections showcased are comfortably situated in the American sportswear vein?  One way to stimulate conversation and interest is to pull out the gimmicks and props.

In its fourth season NYFWM has still failed to curate high-end, luxury European designers. Though the NYFWM was originally launched to keep mainstream American sportswear designers, namely Michael Bastian, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, John Varvatos, Tommy Hilfiger, and Billy Reid showing in New York City and not opting out for Paris, London, and London. To that effect the CFDA, the governing body for NYFWM, has been partially successful. (Billy Reid, John Varvatos, and Ralph Lauren still show in NYC.)

 

Images courtesy of nowfashion.com

Images courtesy of nowfashion.com

That said; keeping American sportswear designers in tact was not the only motivation. Wagging tongues contend that the powers that be also hoped to attract luxury menswear European brands. Since that has yet to happen, enter pomp and circumstance and addendum; in other words a parade of extras.

In Samuelsohn’s case, the additional backdrop of setting their fall 2017 collection on an ice rink with Eric Radford, 2014 Olympic pairs figure skating medalist, worked!! Inspired by Monte Bianco, which is capped in ice year round, Chief Creative Officer Arnold Brant Silverstone referenced the foothills of Monte Bianco’s autumn color palette of hues of garnet and wine combined with a snowcapped kaleidoscope of silver, white and ice blue in this outing.

Also used in this collection was Samuelsohn’s exclusive ice technology of luxury wools and cashmeres that are eco-friendly and non-toxic. These innovative ice technology fabrications incorporate isothermal properties, maintaining an optimal body microclimate while offering water resistance, wrinkle recovery, natural stretch and breathability.

Image courtesy of ink31.com

Image courtesy of ink31.com

Standout looks in this fall 2017 collection include the tartan plaid vest and soft trousers in Ice Wool, alpaca boucle raglan sleeve coat in wool mohair, yarn-dyed cotton line blend velvet in a double-breasted peak lapel, and Ice Cashmere zibeline finish coat with silver fox collar.

—William S. Gooch

Raun LaRose Men’s Fall 2017

Raun_larose_Fall_2017Though New York Fashion Week: Men’s (NYFWM) focuses a significant amount of attention on tried-and-true American sportswear brands, Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Todd Snyder, and Billy Reid, in its fourth season the CFDA has placed a huge emphasis on emerging brands that stretch the proverbial fashion envelope of men’s fashion. Raun LaRose is one such brand.

Inspired by the distorted art formalist Erwin Wurm and skateboard and hip-hop cultures of the 1990s, Raun LaRose’s “To Whom It May Concern” debut fall 2017 collection was a slight departure from the stand American sportswear brands some male consumers might be accustomed to. And that is a good thing!!

Collages1101Oversized jackets, slacks and asymmetrical tops are key components to Raun LaRose’s fall 2017 collection. And though this collection did mirror Duckie Brown’s spring 2016 collection, there are some key differences and perspective that sets this collection apart from Duckie Brown’s spring 2016 outing.

This collection was all about exaggeration, but unlike Duckie Brown’s spring 2016 collection, many of the garments are wearable and would be appealing to a young male demographic. Perhaps, Duckie Brown was a few seasons ahead of its time, or maybe Raun LaRose just does it better!!

 

Images courtesy of DMJ Publications

Images courtesy of DMJ Publications

The exaggerated, satirical nature of Erwin Wurm’s art is a big influence in this collection, evidenced in garments that at their core are standards of most American male’s wardrobe. Most male consumers have bubble coats, loose trousers and sweaters. LaRose takes these standards and adding his own unique twist by oversizing every garment, even to the extent of a comic caricature of wardrobe staples. Still, many of the looks are wearable, reminiscent of oversized 90s garb from hip-hop and skateboard culture.

Standout looks in the collection are the brand’s beryl green quilted PVC bubble throw, cream oversized laminated hooded puffer with detachable fur, and brown speckled tweed cropped varsity.

—William S. Gooch

UN:DO Uses Fashion as Art for Debut Collection

Collages1021Does art reflect life? Indeed, it does. However, the bigger question to ponder is if fashion reflects life. At times it does, and at other times fashion can be the whimsical expression of a designer or a response to what retail stores believe consumers want to buy. Still, when fashion and art meet at the intersection of life whether that life expression is reflected in pop culture, political realities or social change, the results are groundbreaking and ultimately iconic.

When Coco Chanel realized that the role of women in culture had shifted, she created garments that gave freedom of movement, reflecting the changing role of women in society.  The bikini and the miniskirt were at the epicenter of the sexual revolution. Zandra Rhodes and Vivienne Westwood allowed their fashion collections to incorporate an anarchistic, irreverent response to Thatcherism. And 60s fashion was a reflective mirror to the freedom movements of Black Power, the Women’s Movement and Peace and Anti-War movements.

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If fashion can conjure up images of freedom, liberation, anarchy, or even a political stance, then why can’t fashion comment on violence? Enter UN:DO.

For it debut collection, “UN:LOAD,”  UN:DO’s creative director Jack Klauber looked to the epidemic of gun violence as a reference point. “Growing up on the southside suburbs of Chicago, I have experienced first hand the dire situation of gun violence in my own community, and have always felt a devoted need to help remedy it,” states Klauber. “Our partnership with Cure Violence was a no brainer for launching our first collection because not only does this profound non-profit originate from my hometown, it has sites all across America, and growing internationally. In addition to the fantastic work it does by reducing violence, it also provides much needed job opportunities to previously incarcerated individuals. Gun violence tears at the fabric of our society.”

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Each garment in the “UN:LOAD” collection is shot with a 12-gauge shotgun creating a uniquely tattered, distressed look to each garment. “UN:LOAD” aims to reduce gun violence through the lens of fashion by creating awareness and raising funds to save lives in communities across the US, with 20% of the profits going to the not-for-profit organization Cure Violence. UN:DO is an ethically “Made In New York” brand, inspired by Berlin culture and the increasingly trending Brooklyn aesthetic.

—Staff

Libertine Spring 2017

 Libertine_Spring_2017Punk fashion is back!! After a three-year absence from fashion, Libertine has brought punk style back, but it returns the Libertine way!! Fashion designers/brands from Vivienne Westwood to Custo Barcelona to Hedi Slimane when he helmed Saint Laurent have found innovative ways to translate the anarchistic elements of the punk rock movement into a chic, stylish fashion expression that has relevance 30-plus years after the punk movement became a political and cultural force.

For spring 2017, Libertine has revisited that particular style and era. But, unlike fashion brands the conjured up punk style three years ago, Libertine went all the way back to this cultural phenomenon’s roots, Great Britain in the mid-70s. Remember, the punk movement in Great Britain was a direct response to the austerity of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (Thatcher disabled many of the worker unions and reduced education programs in Great Britain during her tenure as Prime Minister.)

Collages922Libertine is perfectly poised to embrace the anarchistic, rebellious nature of punk style. As a fashion brand, Libertine’s creative director Johnson Hartig has always turned the brand’s nose up at polite fashion.

This spring 2017 season, several brands—Telfar, Georgine, Rinat Brodach, and of course Jeremy Scott—have pushed the proverbial fashion envelope by doing things their way and not genuflecting to certain fashion authorities that silently proclaim that retail value trumps creativity and personal vision. With this collection, Libertine continues its membership in the club of fashion freedom by giggling at the fashion elite with this collection. But, the brand kind of always does that!!

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Going back to his punk British roots, Hartig employs some classic British iconography in this collection. Coats are heavily adorned with Queen Elizabeth buttons and broaches. Union Jack motifs and even a Union Jack trench are incorporated throughout the collection, as well. There is tropical print with imposed images of the British band Wham and Bob Marley, a nod to the humor in this fashion outing. And in a tribute to the British punk movement there is a painted moto leather jacket with the emblazoned words “We Hate Everything.”

Images courtesy of Rodin Banca/wwd.com

Images courtesy of Rodin Banca/wwd.com

Hartig ingeniously takes all these punk references and 70s motifs and produces a collection that does something that so few collections nowadays do; evoke mood and have fashion-forward sensibility that stimulates conversations and excites the soul. Standout looks in the collection includes the pink moto jacket with matching skirt embellished with Georgian jewelry and Queen Elisabeth iconography, the portrait-painted jumpsuit, and Union Jack trenchcoat.

—William S. Gooch

 

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