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

 

Custo Barcelona Spring 2017

Custo_Barcelona_Spring_2017For Dalmau Custo more is more; particularly with the Custo Barcelona’s spring 2017. But than again, more is always more with this brand.

Industry professionals have come to expect “the more is more” fashion dictum from Custo Barcelona. Season after season, Custo Barcelona has excited customers and industry professionals with collections that demonstrated design acuity, bold color and lots of fabric combinations. So, one wonders how far Dalmau Custo will go with “more is more” fashion inspiration this season.

Collages963That said, Dalmau Custo went a lot of places with his “more is more.” Sometimes he went in the right direction, other times the piling on of ideas needed to be rethought. And though one would think Custo’s “more is more” would work best in the brand’s women’s wear garments, the brand’s “way more” worker much better with the men’s wear looks.

Collages964Custo Barcelona’s “more is more” aesthetic is evidenced in more elaborate textures, more hand sewn items, more wealth of materials, more creativity, and looks that exuded more power. That said; there appeared to be a70’s nightlife aesthetic throughout the collection. This point of view worked best in the over-the-top pieces, but in the more subdued garments some of the fabric and color combinations were incongruent and overwhelming. Perhaps, “less is more” would’ve worked in for some of the garments.

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What worked best in this collection were the separates that could have been mixed and matched with other pieces in the collection or items already in wardrobes. Placing emphasis on separates has been a very good projection for Custo Barcelona in recent seasons. Not every consumer is brave enough to wear many of the bold pieces in Custo Barcelona collections each season.

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Still, it is debatable if this “more is more” fashion dictum is  a step forward for the brand. Better luck next season!!

—William S. Gooch

Berenik Spring 2017

Berenik_Spring_2017The athleisure wear trend has been around for several seasons, and though many brands have attempted to inject this dressed-down trend into their collections, Berenik has perhaps adapted athleisure wear to their design aesthetic better than any brand up to this point. Always known as a brand that pushed the proverbial fashion envelope, this season Berenik aimed for more retail viability. And this effort worked!!

Inspired by Veronika Brusa’s transcendent, meditative abstract paintings, Berenik, using a digital cloudscape print by Jack Hardwicke has infused the brand’s DNA of loose-fitting clothes with an interesting hodgepodge of meditative images and projections to inform a spring 2017 collection that goes beyond typical athleisure wear fare. This collection is more than an assemblage of garments that reflect millenials’ penchant for comfort and destination over style and sophistication, but a collection that expands the athleisure wear genre’s scope and style vernacular.

Collages892Berenik is proving that in this collection that athleisure wear can be chic, as well as promote ease of movement. And that the style genre can be infused with some tailoring and layering that speaks to a deeper conversation on what millenials might wear.

This is particularly evident in some of the men’s pieces that conjured images of early 70s rockers.  And some of the runners’ shorts and jogging suits also gave a nod to mid-70s style.

Collages893Though the more translucent and sheer garments hinted at a kind of slouchy sexiness, overall most of the garments in this spring 2017 collection leaned more toward androgyny. And isn’t this where fashion is heading, projecting, supporting, and merging concepts of masculinity and femininity in a society where gender norms are not only being questioned, but also challenged. (Just examine some of the male models in the show, who were not androgyny in appearance, but also gender bending in attitude and pose.)

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Images courtesy of Fernando Colon/Omen PR

If there was one downside to this outing is the lack of showstopper garments that could go viral on social media. Still, Berenik is not that kind of fashion brand. Berenik is a brand that is pushing the boundaries of fashion, and this season the brand has made its design aesthetic more retail friendly.

—William S. Gooch

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Blake Hyland Spring 2017

 Blake_Hyland_Spring_2017Blake Hyland has a reputation for outrageous clothes, and conceptual and deconstructed pieces made from recycled materials. For his spring 2017 collection Hyland focused on more practical wearable clothes while still maintaining his unique aesthetic. The results were stunning.

Though this is Hyland’s first time showing during New York Fashion Week, Hyland’s spring 2017 collection is his third collection. “I’m just trying to concentrate on making a more wearable collection for the majority of people but still having elements that are true to me and my style.” Hyland told Fashion Reverie.

Collages855For the spring 2017 collection, entitled, “Equality,” Hyland used black, white and varying shades of grey. Hyland combined these graphic, neutral colors to create dramatic eye-catching geometric shapes. Although the collection was clearly casual street wear, Hyland did uniquely juxtapose street culture against athletic wear, in other words athleisure wear. Hyland spoke of his influences “I grew up in a world of surfing and skateboarding, it seems to work its way into the clothes I design.”

After using black, white and grey, the final four looks incorporated red to make strong political statements that were unfortunately undercut by some questionable styling choices. One model’s long dark hair fell over the words on her chest, obscuring the message. Another had a hoodie layered over his political tee that featured Hilary Clinton—perhaps vomiting? It’s unclear.

Collages856The final look consisted of graphic tee of a washed out image of Donald Trump with “Erase the disgrace” in red type along with a black beret evoking memories of the 1968 student riots in France. The graphic elements combined with Hyland’s fabrics choices of silk, snakeskin, and linen, resulted in chic, dramatic and elegant pieces that were easy to wear that makes statements that are understood universally.

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Images courtesy of OMEN PR

While the crushing heat at the venue was reminiscent of Kanye West’s disastrous show on Roosevelt Island during the previous week, an audience member was clearly overheard saying, “This is what Kanye’s clothes would look like if Kanye was a really good designer.” Well put!!

—Cameron Grey Rose

Telfar Spring 2017

Telfar_Spring_2017Everyone has heard the oft-bandied adage, “Less is more.” This simplicity dictum that has been one of the tried-and-true principles of great fashion also applies to Telfar’s spring 2017 collection. Except, there is one hitch. Perhaps, Telfar’s spring 2017 collection should hinge on the not often heard or spoken fashion adage, “Less is deceptively more.”

Every season Telfar continues its signature design aesthetic of taken well-worn American sportswear silhouettes and turning these silhouettes inside out. In other words, creative director Telfar Clemens deconstructs and adds his eclectic twist on classics, reimaging these looks as functional and wearable garments of the future.

Collages917What works so well in this season’s collection is that Telfar Clemens injects a bit of tongue-and-cheek humor into each garment. The classic polo shirt becomes a commentary on gender bending, awkward sexiness. From the front the polo shirts look no different than the average polo shirt, except that collar may appear to be on backward. However the back of the polo shirt could be a total reveal, dipping to regions unknown or at the very least regions not talked about in polite company.

Collages918The continuing trend of cutouts also pops up in this spring 2017 collection. However, Telfar, true to his brand DNA, uses cutouts in an innovative and interesting way. There are no cutouts on the sides of bodices, as seen in most collections. Instead, Telfar’s cutouts are fleshed out, so to speak, in unusual locations. There are cutouts in the side legs of jeans, around the shoulder blades of polo shirts, and just above the chest of polo shirts.

Collages919And in a nod to the sameness and blandness of big retail giant colors, the brand makes use of what it calls Martha Stewart and Old Navy colors—lime, tangerine, and mid-grad blue bold colors. It was a though Willy Wonka’s ‘oompah loompahs’ fell into a bucket of Home Depot paint!!

That said; the inside joke is on the fashion industry that sometimes pretends to value fashion above clothes, but in reality mostly cares about retail dollars. So, Telfar sarcastically plays with this hypocrisy while at the same time repurposing some standard silhouettes into his version of fashion.

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Images courtesy of vogue.com

That’s right; clothes, which look, like fashion and are creatively fashionable!! In the words of Telfar Clemons, “Its not for you, It’s for everyone.”

—William S. Gooch

 

 

David Hart x Hart Schaffner Marx Spring 2017

David_Hart_Spring_2017Regardless of emerging men’s silhouettes that mix feminine and masculine elements, men’s traditional suiting is still the most popular male silhouette on the market. And the David Hart collaboration with Hart Schaffner Marx continues that tradition.

David Hart has shown consistent at New York Fashion: Men’s for several season now—first coming to fashion week prominence under the New York Fashion Week Men’s Day by Cadillac auspice—and he is known for a sophisticated style that pulls inspiration from classic male silhouettes of the 50s and 60s. (David Hart’s spring 2015 collection comes to mind inspired by Miami nightlife of the 1950s.)

Collages780For spring 2017 the David Hart x Hart Schaffner Marx collaboration drew inspiration from iconic environmental photography of Slim Aarons. For those not familiar with Slim Aarons, Aarons established himself as a photographer who shot celebrities of the 50s and 60s in easy, casual environments in formal clothes. Aarons most famous photograph is the 1957 Kings of Hollywood depicting Clark Gable, James Stewart, Van Heflin and Gary Cooper.

This collection is reminiscent of trips to the Maldives, Mustique, Palm Beach, and Provence in the 1960s. Imagine the 60s Brat Pack of Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford seen through a modern lens of sharp, color suit jackets and palm-printed slacks and you will understand the direction of this collection.

Images courtesy of fashionreverie.com/Ken Jones

Images courtesy of fashionreverie.com/Ken Jones

This David Hart x Hart Schaffner Marx collaboration does not break any new ground, and it doesn’t need to. It is beautiful men’s suiting in bold colors for beauty’s sake, and that is enough. And where in the past some consumers who have shied away from some of the bold, vibrant colors used in this collection, the modern male consumer is not so shy. And that is a good thing!!

—William S. Gooch

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