Carlos Campos Men’s Spring 2018

Collages1335Carlos Campos often looks to Latin themes and culture for inspiration for his men’s collections. Again for spring 2018, Campos delved into Latin culture for inspiration, referencing the work of Mexican architect Luis Barragan, and Barragan’s design aesthetic of minimalist realism often in found in geometric silhouettes.

Campos’ fondness for color blocking is front and center in this spring outing, evidenced in geometric color blocked shapes and sometimes matchy, matchy monochromatic colors on the clothes and asymmetrical color-blocked themes in the accessories. This worked to create effect facilitating a rich, dramatic effect on the runway, also aptly expressing the geometric, minimalist design aesthetic of Luis Barragan.

Carlos_Campos_spring_2018There were some dynamic, well-tailored long coats in the collection with delicate pleating or “alforjas” which demonstrated Campos’ design conversation of the two Americas—Latin design aesthetics and American classics. By mixing Northern and Latin American influences, Campos ingeniously displayed his craftsmanship with a projection toward the future evidenced in a few androgynous looks that could work well for any gender.

Where this collection fell flat was in the innovation. Most fashion editors and pundits have seen these looks and silhouettes before. And as attractive and retail friendly as this collection might be, there was really very little originality or pushing of the masculine design aesthetic envelope.

Collages1336In past seasons, Campos always added a little something extra to his designs that made him standout. Unfortunately, not in this spring 2017 collection; perhaps, going for a stark minimalistic approach married with retail viability, Campos lost some of his creative mien. Or, it is so deceptively disguised that only those close to the brand can distinguish the masterful injection of genius that goes beyond the good tailoring.

And though the continuing trend in menswear is moving away from innovation and ingenuity and embracing garments that translate well on e-commerce sites. Luxury JC Penny’s should not be Campos’ new design trajectory .

Images of CCPR/Leandro Justen

Images of CCPR/Leandro Justen

Standout looks in the collection include Campos’ mason red sports parka with Cuervo counterfeit “CAMPOS” sweatshirt, alforja mac coat with alforja tee shirt in deep navy with deep-navy tailored shorts, deep-navy mac coat with alforja trim, and alforja belted kimono jacket in soft-white grosgrain.

—William S. Gooch

Woodhouse Men’s Spring 2018

Woodhouse-Mens_Spring_2018This season there were several menswear brands that looked to 90s hip-hop as a reference point. Most failed to deliver a viable re-interpretation of this 90s design aesthetic; however, Woodhouse was one of the very few that delivered.

Julian Woodhouse accomplished this endeavor by injecting humor and fun into his “Field Day” spring 2018 collection.  “This collection was stitched with the hopes of a brighter future and for us represents the new revolutionary and our counter culture. We are a politically and socioeconomically engaged society, not caring is not an option, but from time to time we can take a break and enjoy life. So let’s have a field day,” explained Julian Woodhouse in hi spring 2018 collection’s liner notes.

Collages1380There was lots of bold color in this collection, as well as striped cargo pants and overalls, baseball hats and some color blocking. All these elements added up to a very playful, youth-driven collection; especially with the male models standing on wooden grates planted on green astroturf.

And Julian Woodhouse continued with the boyish charm of the collection with comical messages on the baseball caps, particularly the tongue-in-cheek caption, “Make Menswear Great Again. But Really Tho.” Donald Trump should be so proud!!

Images courtesy of Woodhouse

Images courtesy of Woodhouse

The current political climate has inspired collections that come from a variety of points of view. However, Julian Woodhouse has opted for the irony of it all. After all, if you cannot have fun with fashion, then it all can become too dour.  Why not have some fun!!

—William S. Gooch

Uniqlo Fall 2017: Celebrating Everyday Life

Collages1245No longer brand that is solidly in the category of affordable wardrobe staples that can be mixed and matched with what is already in consumer’s wardrobe, for the past few seasons Uniqlo has put a strong emphasis on updated classics that employs new technology and has a fashion-forward sensibility. And this season, Uniqlo pushes it revamped aesthetic even further by expanding into territory, lifewear.

That’s right, you were correct the first time, lifewear. Understanding that the modern consumer has an extremely busy lifestyle, juggling several things at one day with very little downtime throughout their day, Uniqlo for fall 2017 in incorporating clothing that casual and employ effortless ease of movement combined with sharp silhouettes and a fashion sensibility.

You may ask how these two polar opposites compliment each other? In the Uniqlo world, they do. From the brand’s downtown aesthetic to urban casual to updated classics to its sportswear aesthetic, Uniqlo is poised to reinvent the fashion industry’s take on modern dressing.

Uniqlo_Fall_2017Uniqlo’s downtown aesthetic is a mix of gritty sophistication with an updated monochrome palette of black, white and dark olive. These are pieces that break out of the niche and offer loose proportions with slim, sharp silhouettes. It’s a deeply considered, polished approach without being too stuffy. Here, size and scale is cropped or oversized—an unexpected sense of artistic playfulness. Utilizing advanced “3-D U Knit” technologies take on a sculptural quality that is comfortable. The assortment’s mix of synthetic and natural fabrics—faux leather and wool, nylon mixed with cottons and velvet—ormulate textures that feel classic, but look totally anew.

A more casual take on city-life dressing rooted in the benchmark of modern style: denim. Variations on classic denim jeans and relaxed denim button-down shirts are paired with other iconic wardrobe staples, including iconic khaki pants and cool hooded sweatshirts. Easy parka down jackets are meant to be slung over reimagined fleece zip-ups and buttery flannels. In keeping with the infectious energy of the city, this assortment includes recurring collaborations with Keith Haring and Mickey Mouse.

Collages1244Uniqlo’s updated classis is a worldly blend of luxury and function. Think an earth-based palette of camels, whites and rich creams paired with high-end fabrics like faux sheepskin, corduroy, and a darker more-structured unwashed denim. Wardrobe classics with bold risks: elegant trenches, blended wool chester overcoats, and structured denim pants are given a fresh spin without losing their timeless appeal.

Uniqlo’s sportswear this season is a seamless blend of advanced technical capabilities and sleek sports styles. A mix-and-match multi-functional sense of dressing that is effortless and practical. Go on an evening run or to the office in the new ultra light-down seamless jacket paired with new warm easy skirts or block tech warm-lined pants.

Images courtesy of Uniqlo

Images courtesy of Uniqlo

For those consumers who have loved Ines de la Fressange’s collaboration with Uniqlo, Fressange is back with an expanded collaboration with the brand that includes menswear. “Fressange’s aesthetic downtown chic meets Parisian sophistication works well for the direction that Uniqlo is heading. Her fabric choices also work well for the brand, and now her branch off into creating menswear and other androgynous points of view fits into the model of Uniqlo’s take on life wear collections, explained Natalie Harewood, Market Manager, Uniqlo USA. “Uniqlo has a strong menswear base and for Ines a lot of her looks are quite androgynous in a positive way, so why not expand that into menswear.”

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Miguel Vieira Fall 2017

 Miguel_Vieira_Fall_20172Miguel Vieira does not invent the wheel with his fall 2017 collection. But what he does do is give consumers a more expanded way of looking at neutral, monochromatic garments for the urban dweller.

Miguel Vieira returned to New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) after his welcomed debut season last September. For fall 2017, Vieira made some interesting changes. One of the most notable changes was Vieira inclusion of models of color in his lineup this season. Models of color were notably absent in Vieira’s spring 2017 collection that was surprising in that Vieira regularly uses models of color in most of the brand’s campaign. Someone must have tipped Vieira that in an international fashion capital like New York City an all-white model lineup is a no-go.

Miguel_Vieira_Fall_20171That said; this fall 2017 collection demonstrated that Vieira has his fingers on the pulse of how the sophisticated urban city dweller likes to dress. Though Vieira’s menswear was a bit more consumer friendly and accessible than the women’s wear, there were many women’s separates in the collection that could be paired and mixed and matched with garments already in female consumers’ wardrobes.

Collages1173When it comes to the menswear garments, practically each garment was chic, very well constructed and classically relevant enough to appeal to a wide range of male consumers. And his employ of black jackets and slacks with white stripes—a design motif that popped up in different forms throughout the collection—added a fashion-forward touch to many of the men’s garments that induced youthful vibrancy and viability without trying too hard.

Collages1174For the women’s garments, Vieira played with marrying soft and hard elements. In some ensembles the jacket might be architectural while the skirts or slacks might employ a light fabrication and flow easily against the body. Though the women’s garments had less of an impact on the runway, most pieces were elegant, modern with a wide appeal demographically. And the lacy black garments at the end of the show were interesting twist on the modern city woman might choose to dress for a night out on the town.

Images courtesy of Mao PR

Images courtesy of Mao PR

Vieira demonstrated in this collection that the urban dweller, regardless of the gender, should be sophisticated, current and incredibly chic—with little nod to street wear vibe thrown in—without appearing severe, hard and unapproachable.

—William S. Gooch

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

Images courtesy of

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

Images courtesy of

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

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!!


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

Images courtesy of

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

Images courtesy of

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







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