EFM: Hybrid Sportswear
For Donrad Duncan, luxury means having both comfort and style, albeit in a highly stylized package of razor-sharp suits and separates. The designer referenced the “Rude Boy” culture from Jamaica associated with a fusion of R&B, ska, reggae and jazz. The smart style of dress focused on tight fitting suits worn with skinny ties and brogues. That style translated to supremely tailored suits engineered in hi-tech fabrics that transform an active lifestyle into a truly elegant experience. Duncan creates obsessively clean, hyper-modern menswear that moves and stretches in remarkable ways, but doesn’t look or feel like any sportswear you’ll see anywhere. Instead, his vision of menswear is cool and calculated with a uniquely modern sensibility. He takes it a step further, building in functional interior pockets with magnetic closures to accommodate daily tech life. Many of the outerwear pieces feature snap-off or stowaway hoods, and reverse entry pockets to ensure it was waterproof. His use of graphic elements such as geometric prints and camouflage jacquards added an interesting visual element to seersucker and silk fabrications.
N. Hoolywood: Retro Cool Loungewear
After a trip to Dallas during the election in November 2016, designer Daisuke Obana said he felt compelled to pay tribute to president John F. Kennedy and the nostalgia for a much simpler time. Each look in the collection chronicles JFK’s life, like a sartorial biopic. There was his collegiate/varsity prep phase, but done in drab and dreary colors, along with 50s suits and lounge wear infused with a modern spin. Nostalgic retro pieces became the base for mixing and matching separates with more casual options such as a V-neck sweater. There were also handsome louche varsity and tennis sweaters, chino shorts, and striped wide leg trousers paired with a dress shirt under a baby pink cardigan. The outerwear was ultimately the shining star, setting a perfect example for how to layer separates. A longline varsity jacket is the perfect transitional piece to take you from winter into spring. Although varsity jackets are typically associated with vibrant hues to represent school colors, the looks were mostly monochromatic in soft, subdued colors such as gray, khaki, pink, light blues and muted reds.
Landlord: An Ode to Dapper Dan
Leave it to Landlord designer Ryohei Kawanishi to pay tribute to Dapper Dan and Harlem’s Renaissance. Though he’s not the first designer to draw inspiration from Harlem’s street markets and largely Jamaican community, or even Bob Marley, Kawanishi is one of the first to give credit where credit is due and creates a thoughtfully curated homage, rather than appropriation. With only two years under his belt at Landlord, Kawanishi’s designs have already made their way into the closets of the most influential guys, including Tyga, A$AP Rocky, and Migos. The collection couldn’t be more reggae with vibrant red, yellow, and green color blocking, and gold chains complete with marijuana leaf pendants — the energy of Harlem is intoxicating. Offsetting bold isolated colors was an even more dynamic camo print styled both in head-to-toe matching sets as well as layered over a particularly familiar Burberry-esque plaid; a direct reference to Harlem street style icon, Dapper Dan. Perhaps one of the most eye catching elements of the show were the knits emblazoned with Rastafarian imagery, the colors of Jamaica, and even more marijuana leaves — including phrases such as “serious business”, “jerk chicken”, and of course, “Bob” (you know who.)
Forget about the stale pantsuits you’ve mindlessly been sporting since your first day on the job, Luar is here to reinvent your idea of the “office dress code.” Titled “Corporativo,” his collection turned traditional business dress codes on its head, deconstructing business suits as genderless, erotic fetishistic incarnations. Lopez breathes new life into the traditional corporate dress code by taking the typical business wardrobe and fusing it with an array of discordant ideas that merge an after-hours persona with the business one. Trousers, blazers, and crisp cotton shirts all feature prominently in the collection, but they’re unlike any you’ve ever seen. Shirts and trousers have added appendages like miniature clothes attached to trousers and sleeves, and silhouettes in exaggerated proportions poke fun at mainstream ideas. The show isn’t all business; Lopez shines a light on the lurid underbelly of corporate America and speaks to both the current sexual harassment scandals from Hollywood to Washington and gender roles in the workplace. 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 hair flapping in the wind.
Feng Chen Wang: Subverting Menswear Dress Codes
For some, seeing something marked “Made in China” is often greeted with scorn and negative connotations. However, Feng Chen Wang deliberately pokes fun at the stigma and proudly displays the slogan front and center in her latest collection, which of course is actually produced in China. The “Made in China” slogan is clearly visible on t-shirts and is even rendered into cheeky 3D “MIC” fanny packs. She also collaborated with Jordan Brand, which is no small feat for an up and coming designer. The sneakers are white 1 Flyknits with her logo printed on the swoosh and tongue. Globalization is an integral part of her label, and through this collection she has proved that high fashion design can come from China. In another nod to Chinese culture and the China’s national colors, bubblegum pinks and bright shades of vermilion are contrasted with muted neutrals. Wang’s athletic-meets-streetwear 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. Many of the shapes are playful and voluminous with ruched and puckered trouser legs and sleeves adjusted with removable add-ons that can be customized using pull drawstrings and toggles. It isn’t hard to see why her collection is turning industry heads.
Fenty x Puma: Sexy Hyper-Athletic Streetwear
Rihanna flexed her design prowess this season, introducing a fresh new take on streetwear for the fashion-conscious. The fashion spectacle featured daredevil BMX stuntmen, giant millennial pink sand dunes and a hyper-athletic mash-up of surf, motocross, rock climbing and extreme sports. The fetishization of the X Games and hyper-athletic-meets-sex-appeal may be a new concept, but if you’re Rihanna it’s an everyday aesthetic. There were baggy tracksuits trimmed with industrial size zippers, adjusters, and utility buckles. Elements of surf, motocross, and rock climbing appeared at the heart of each look. She emphasized heavily oversized silhouettes and a strong selection of outerwear. There isn’t a look in this collection you won’t spot Rihanna wearing, which adds to her authenticity and speaks to millennials’ no bullshit attitude. As if that weren’t enough, BadGalRiRi lived up to her Instagram handle, closing the show with a victory lap on the back of a motorcycle, blowing kisses and throwing horns up.
Gustav von Aschenbach: Monochromatic Silhouettes
Robert Geller has launched a second menswear line, Gustav von Aschenbach, that is focused on beautifully cut basics that are more widely accessible. Each piece carries a certain amount of street cred and works just as well styled with your existing wardrobe. “In my mind, that’s where menswear is going,” Geller says. “It’s about silhouettes and ease.” The collection couldn’t be more on-point for the modern guy, who has more to worry about than what he’s going to wear, but still wants to look ultra fly. The collection is highly in-tune to what young guys really want to wear, and is remarkably affordable, with prices starting from $180-$650. Geller’s exaggerated, yet approachable urban silhouettes manage to fuse cool street style with a high fashion aesthetic and appeal to a diverse group of guys who share one thing in common – a keen sense of style.
Palmiers du Mal: Decadent Loungewear
Forget about sporty athleisure as we know it; loungewear is taking on a whole new importance.
The easy going silhouettes recall the heady 90s and vintage images of Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion in his signature crimson robe. Even the suiting was low key, with deconstructed jackets rendered in relaxed lightweight Japanese fabrics and a phalanx of neutral tones. Robes and caftans draped over flowy trousers in contrasting prints and dissimilar colors somehow work as harmoniously as a standard matching set. Ultra high-waisted pink velvet sweatpants with a coordinating robe scream “IDGAF what people think of me,” yet thanks to the luxurious fabrication and sophisticated detailing, they maintain an air of sophistication suitable for any rockstar type. Now’s the time to trade out your worn out sweats and mismatched pajamas for the kind of decadent loungewear Palmiers du Mal is famous for, and take your A-game from the villa to the streets.
Raf Simons: Replicates Blade Runner
Under the Manhattan bridge on east Broadway in Chinatown, where bustling produce and fish markets line the streets with dank odors of rotting food, Raf Simons transformed a plaza into a post apocalyptic set for his latest menswear show. His models paraded down a crowded, neon washed, puddle strewn walkway wearing water-resistant coats and rain gear in a clear reference to the sci-fi film “Blade Runner.” Simons’ replicants stormed the catwalk shrouded in trench coats and tattered, oversized sweaters, while wearing round-brimmed hats and carrying umbrellas that glowed like light sabers.
Sanchez-Kane: An Emerging Mexican Designer
As a Mexican born designer, it’s only natural that the current state of American politics would manifest itself in Barbara Sanchez-Kane’s work. Titled “Men Without Fear,” Sanchez-Kane channeled the many misguided stereotypes and attitudes directed at minorities. The designer highlighted the current plight of immigrants, embellishing garments with cut outs, Mexican silk flowers, a Mohawk head-piece made out of water bottles, and delicate metal sculptures bent into shapes like a stiletto boot. In some of her pieces, Sanchez-Kane incorporated messages from her journal entries, “Freelance Lover and Post Coital Relationship,” as graphics on t-shirts. Mexican references like the wooden bead seat covers used by taxi drivers in Mexico City and floral applique embellishments adorned many of her pieces. Curated by “emotional chaos, and inherently unapologetic, Sanchez-Kane’s intimate presentation deftly put on display the designer’s childhood memories. Those memories manifested themselves in an artful collection full of imagination with each look aided by her eccentric use of fabric and materials amid a structural concept. The runway cast made up entirely of Latin and Hispanic models strived to perform the designer’s innermost dialogue on the runway.
Gustav Von Aschenbach The Patch Pocket Linen Pants • $269
Feng Chen Wang Detachable hood jacket • $815
EFM-Engineered for Motion Ramsey Monochrome Blazer • $395
FENTY Mens Side Laced Long Sleeve Hoodie • $240
N. Hoolywood v-neck cardigan • $331
LANDLORD New York Men’s “Jerk Chicken” Knit Soccer Shirt • $395
Raf Simons White New Order Power, Corruption and Lies Movement Baseball Cap • Raf Simons • $450
View Our Top 10 List for New York: The Top New York Men’s Shows Spring 2018