NY Fashion Week’s Most Noteworthy Spring 2018 Men’s Shows

Five New Menswear Labels at New York Men’s fashion Week You Need to Know

New York Men’s fashion Week has had an influx of fresh new faces of late with a whole new crop of designers positioned to evolve the menswear landscape. These noteworthy labels are adding their imprint to the larger names at the semi-annual menswear shows, reminding us that in the fast turning world of fashion, a new crop of designers is ready to step into the limelight. Below are the five standout labels from New York Fashion Men’s Week that should be on your radar.  

1. Luar

At his Spring 2018 menswear show title ” Corporativo,” New York designer Raul Lopez turned traditional business dress code on it’s head deconstructing business suits as genderless, erotic fetishistic incarnations.  “People dress in such a specific way to go to work,” Lopez says. “But then they go home and they take off those clothes, they get rid of the dress code, and they are into fetishes or drag—out of the office, they’re completely different.” In the world of Raul Lopez, guys no longer have to separate the two worlds. The crazy subverted hair styles also had a message.  Bits of flyaway hair were attached to random parts of the models’ faces in a cheeky nod to Trump’s toupee flapping in the wind.

2. Sanchez-Kane

As a Mexican born designer, it’s only natural that the current state of American politics would manifest itself in Barbara Sanchez-Kane’s latest work for her label Sanchez Kane.  At her spring 2018 presentation Sánchez Kane channeled the many misguided stereotypes and attitudes directed at minorities. The designer incorporated the current plight of immigrants and embellished garments with various peek-a-boo cut outs, Mexican silk flowers, a water-bottle head piece and metal sculptures bent into the shapes like a stiletto boot. In some of her pieces, Sanchez Kane incorporated messages from her journal entries. In others, Mexican references included the wooden bead seat covers used by taxi drivers in Mexico City, and the floral applique embellishments that adorned many of the pieces.

3. Raun Larose

Designer Raun Larose’ Spring 2018 collection was full of dramatic silhouettes that are modern, and somewhat futuristic.  Many of LaRose’s creative and conceptual pieces for his collection titled “System Down” were comprised of  what Larose referred to as Wall Street-in-the-’80s with lo-fi graphics and elements of emerging new technologies. LaRose collaborated with Portuguese artist José Cunha on graphics elements that resembled the error message of old, crashing computers. This gave the collection a vibe that was both familiar and a little science fiction. The collection was rendered in a strict palette of silver, white, black and blue, along with the occasional pop of color.  Larose’ elegant wide cropped trousers were seen in denim, Glenplaid wool, and a liquid-like material.  These were carefully styled with shoulder baring sweaters that hung off the body, or shown with sheer knee-high socks and flared tailored shorts.

4. Feng Chen Wang

For some people seeing something marked, “Made in China” is sometimes greeted with scorn and contempt.  As a Chinese designer, Fengchen Wang proudly displayed the slogan in her latest Spring 2018 collection. Bubblegum pinks and bright shades of vermilion are paired with muted neutrals, in a nod to the rural Chinese countryside and China’s national colors. Wang’s silhouettes are fun and wonderfully city-appropriate. Jackets blossom with pockets galore, and mesh overlays cover many of her designs providing a deliberate frame and pleasing structure. The shapes are playful and voluminous with ruched, puckered trousers legs and sleeves created by the addition of removable add-ons that can be adjusted using pull drawstrings and toggles. Wang also emblazoned “Made in China,” in 3D accessories on many of her designs with a clear dose of confidence, and pride. It’s not hard to see why her collection titled “Made in China” is turning industry heads. 

5. Kenneth Ning

Kenneth Ning’s Protocol Spring18 collection highlights the tension between computer hackers versus the government and the current national security state. The two adversaries were illustrated on the runway in a contemporary way using clever deconstruction techniques that had blazers and shirts skewed sideways on the body, and worn in a haphazard way.  The designer’s invite to his show at Cadillac House resembled a draft notice. However, from the first look seen on the runway Ning quickly dispelled any idea that the show might have a strict, military theme. Instead, the show was the sartorial equivalent of burning your draft card: Resistant, not militant. The concept worked best when he channeled the established governmental side in cropped leather motorcade-style and short denim jackets, embellished with the designer’s version of an official patch. The looks paired with boots by Dr. Martens drove home Ning’s disruptive “punk” attitude.