Inside New York Fashion Week Men's: Days 1 and 2
It was fitting that Plac help kickoff New Fashion Week with a collection that reflected the current vibes of New York style: streetwear. With a collection that felt both familiar and relatable, Plac has been pushing to become a serious contender in the streetwear arena and this collection may have pushed them a step closer to that title. It included takes on oversized hooded sweatshirts and zip-up shirts have become defining elements of current high-fashion street. A stand out piece from the collection was the souvenir mixed blouson, fur trimmed parka. It made you want to pray for a blizzard just you could have an excuse to throw it on and stunt on every single parka wearing person on the streets. Relaxed trousers and joggers were well designed but unsurprising. If Plac has their say, streewear is here to stay.
An Unhemmed favorite since it’s launch in 2009, David Hart has been able to find new and unique ways of making classic, retro-influenced styles feel fresh and modern. Hart creates confident yet approachable styles that appeal to a huge audience. For his latest collection Hart was inspired by the rich and soulful sounds of Blue Note Jazz and effortlessly cool musicians like Jimmy Smith, Art Blakey, and Max Roach. Taking his inspiration to a literal level, as you walked into his presentation you were greeted by the bass pulsing and smooth sounds of saxophone playing model. You felt as if you just walked into the swanky Harlem bar from the 1920s filled with some of the coolest guys in town. Plaid dominated the collection but with a judicious eye, avoided overkill. Rather than mix plaid on plaid, Hart would instead he pair a yellow, grey, and white plaid blazer with a tailored solid grey wool pant to create a more subdued look. With so many New York designers battling for the title of “streetwear king”, it’s refreshing to see a designer shine some light on the road less traveled.
Carlos Campos is an American designer who draws his inspiration from classic American style but adds a distinct Latin twist. He’s become buzzed-about for the unique ways he has discovered to add subtle and not-so-subtle upgrades to classic menswear pieces. At first glance an overall arc of simplicity ran through the majority of the collection. But upon further inspection, it was the stylish details and unique touches that really set the collection apart. Bold moves like pairing a navy velvet bomber jacket with a navy velvet dress shirt and pant really showed Campos’s point of view.
There’s been steady buzz and air of cool surrounding designer Daisuke Obana’s N.Hoolywood for a few seasons now. On Monday night he added even more fuel to that smoldering fire. His latest collection took street style inspired clothing to another level; and was packed with eye-catching technical fabrics capable of managing even the toughest winter conditions in style. The outerwear vibes were punctuated by a bold and bright orange puffer jacket and a timeless black on black bomber jacket that would be at home in any stylish closet. Never shy with fashion-forward pieces, Obana debuted stunners like a cream knit sweater with yellow racing stripes on each arm paired paired with neon blue pants. Talk about “no fucks given”. The upbeat vibe that ran through the entire show reiterated the theme that winter is not only the coldest but can be the coolest season.
Ever the rocker muse, Varvatos presented a covetable collection for fall, which fully embodies the disruptive and aesthetically groomed spirit of rock-n-roll. Going for a heavily theatrical vibe, Varvatos transported guests into a world infused with poignant storytelling, artistic disruption, and a healthy dose of audacity. An experiential presentation, viewers passed a row of coffins filled with the untimely corpses of rock itself and Varvatos blurred the line between reality and fantasy by creating a darkened labyrinth with models doubling as mannequins. Once we were able to move past the funhouse vibe we began to appreciate the clothes themselves. In typical fashion, Varvatos mixed materials like aged leather with tailored silhouettes to help tone down the costume-like feeling that the environment created. Slim silhouettes and tailoring dominated and every piece looked as if it could be equally at home on stage as it could in the closet of a well-dressed man.
Ovadia & Sons
This season brothers Ariel and Shimon Ovadia really allowed their origins to inspire their latest collection; two brothers raised in Brooklyn, with a Hasidic background, that found cool and honest ways to showcase their take on the true essence of New York street style. What better way to capture New York street style than to have collection of clothes where the color palette is focused around black and grey? Proving that this monochrome palette is not passe, the brothers started the show off with a showstopper, a dramatic yet restrained flannel coat with silk tassels. The massive opening salvo helped to create that enviable environment of every great show: anticipation. Highlights included outerwear pieces like beautifully-designed winter vortex-ready parkas with fur-lined collars and soft leather jackets lined with shearling. Both styles were were not only functional but would instantly upgrade any wardrobe. Ariel and Shimon always seem to find that ideal balance between street style and practicality and this season was no exception. The collection felt true to the brand of Ovadia and Sons while still capturing the current mood of New York street style.
If we’re discussing streetwear’s influence on current fashion we’d be remiss if we didn’t include the current cool-kid kings, Public School. For their fall collection designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne went truly “mainstream” by turning the sidewalk into the runway and making the collection available to view by not only by the fashion and media elite but also to the students and fans of New York City. Rather than feel contrived it felt like coolest and most authentic thank you card to the brand’s supporters. Having mastered the black and white, minimalistic aesthetic over the past few years Chow and Maxwell decided to up the ante with a twist, color. They opened the show with an oversized topcoat in standard grey but paired it with a bold teal-colored suit. The volume was amped even further with orange-lined camo puffy parkas and other pops of color. It remains to be seen whether this new aesthetic will mesh with the brand’s vibe or if it was a one-off, reactionary move strictly for headlines.