Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New York Fashion Week: Men's Day 1: If Everything in Life Could Go As Smoothly ...

Kenneth Ning S/S2016. Photos by Yours Truly.

The players of Day 1: Boyswear, Cadet, Carlos Campos, Chapter, CWST, David Hart, Eponymovs by Hvrminn, Fingers Crossed, Garciavelez, Kenneth Ning, Matiere, Plac

IF this is the norm, we like it.

Intimate is a word that can describe Day 1 of the inaugural New York Fashion Week: Men’s. One is almost tempted to say, easy, too.

The day was broken up into two sessions: the morning session and the evening session. In the cavernous confines of Industria Studios, the presentations were shown simultaneously in six spaces, including an annex across the street.

Viewers go from room to room, getting their fill of the looks, forming opinions, taking photos and so on. It is all so civilized! At VEVLYN’S PEN, this is our maiden voyage with a major men’s showcase. Our only references are the women’s showcases. (http://www.bit.ly/1M3wSRc)

What a difference! Here, there is reverence for the clothes. But not the demented worship and the dreadful behavior it spawns in women’s wear. As if fashion is a matter of life or death.

Of course, much more fuss is made over what women wear. Look no further than red carpet shows before any awards show and the Monday morning quarterbacking shows.

A female in Chapter S/S2016 – shocking!

Perhaps if the common man on and off the red carpet were drawn to say, a Kenneth Ning design, that would cause far more tongues to wag.

The Academy of Art grad owns the day. He seems to be perfecting a simple formula since he launched his eponymous line in Fall-Winter 2014. As a base, simple tailoring whether it be a shirt, jacket or pants. Could he have picked some of this up during his time at Michael Kors and Calvin Klein? Then, overlay or emboss it with another element such as a geometric or graphic shape, horizontal and vertical panel, pinstripes, bands, color blocking and so on.

The effect, as it is for S/S 16, is arresting e.g., the b&w graphic/floral motif on a matching jacket and shorts as well as matching sleeveless coat and pants. Self-same graphic/floral motif on the pocket and front of horizontal white pinstripe on black slacks.

Another arresting sight is the black shirt emblazoned with a huge yellow floral treatment on the front from shoulder to waist. A slightly tailored pinstripe suit in charcoal gray over a graphic-print shirt and white scarf with black print. The strip of white – is that chalk? – down the front of the leg is a conversation-starter.

Meanwhile, David Hart, a nominee for the 2016 International Woolmark Prize (http://www.woolmarkprize.com) along with Cadet and Thaddeus O'Neil, is not channeling New York for S/S16. Instead, the Maryland native is channeling various other notions, including art movements, radical photography and geometric prints from a certain era. One cottons to the marsupial pouch on the front of a couple of pair of shorts and the colors scheme in general.

Elsewhere, Chapter is considering “Displacement” for S/S16. In other words, ruminations on the past and present, visual refraction and mirroring; shadows. As it regards the clothes, that means boxier tops and tailored bottoms, resulting in an inverted whole.

However, the most interesting thing going on here is the one where the mind is doing all kinds of mental gymnastics trying to determine the gender of a couple of models. After what could have been an impertinent question is answered, the mind settles down in the confidence – yes, these are females – that no tricks are being played.

David Hart S/S16.

Indeed, Day 1 was easy. The rest of the week, not so sure, for it features a mix of shows and presentations at various venues, including the hub, Skylight Clarkson Square. No doubt the construction going on yesterday at said hub will be complete in time for the Shinola Detroit Leather presentation this a.m. at 10.

On deck today, Day 2: Anzevino Getty, Calvin Klein Collection, Coach, Duckie Brown, Engineered for Motion, Malan Breton, N. Hoolywood, Nick Graham, Ovadia & Sons, Public School, Rag & Bone, Rochambeau, Robert Geller, Shinola Detroit, Thaddeus O’Neil, Thom Browne,
Timo Weiland, Todd Snyder

Visit http://www.cfda.com/programs/new-york-mens-week to learn more about New York Fashion Week: Men’s, including shows and show times.

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