Friday, July 17, 2015

NYFW: Men's Day 4 (Last Day): Extending a Welcome to Capsule Is So Right, Such a Good Fit

REAL FAKE: Select enesembles from the CMMN SWDN S/S16 collection at New York Fashion Week Men's. Photo by Yours Truly.

Players of Day 4 (Last Day): Aquatalia, Coach, Capsule, Craft Atlantic, deTroit, Edmund Ooi, Franco Lacosta, Hickey Freeman, J. Lindeberg, John Varvatos, Lucio Castro, Orley, Park & Ronen, Perry Ellis, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ricardo Seco, Sergio Davila, Siki Im

SAYS CMMN SWDN co-designer Saif Bakir of the label’s S/S collection called “Genuine Fake”: The inspiration starts out as focal point and an idea, thinking of the perception of fashion, the image that fashion portrays. Is it genuine? Is it fake?”

One is pleased to be having this conversation at New York Fashion Week: Men’s. Whether it was an afterthought or the stakeholders could not reach an agreement before the schedule was set, it is a good thing. A natural cross-pollination. Witness the example of Billy Reid, Perry Ellis, Rochambeau and Timo Weiland.

The “it” is the presence yesterday, the last day of the new men’s fashion week in the United States, of several designers, including CMMN SWDN, who will also be displaying their work at Capsule New York Men’s S/S16 (20-21 July; The seven labels invited presented a truncated version of what will be on show at Capsule.

The jacket from the CMMN SWDN S/S16 collection is not what it seems. Photo by Yours Truly.

One manifestation of genuine fake at the four-year-old of London-based CMMN SWDN is the real leather jacket gussied up to look like snake skin.

For those not in the know, Capsule is a showcase of men’s and women’s fashion and accessories from emerging and independent designers around the world. There are shows in New York, Las Vegas and Paris. Importantly, Capsule – which launched in 2007 – is timed to the so-called market week when buyers are buying. It returns to New York for the women’s edition in September.

CMMN SWDN design co-chief is Emma Hedlund. In thinking about her craft, she likens designers to con artists. Really? “It is the idea that we create something that is fake but at first glance it looks … it comes off as an original.”

Case in point is another jacket. It looks like pleather but it is actually latex. The design duo furthers the genuine /fake dynamic with proportion.

Another aspect of CMMN SWDN S/S16 is its androgyny, and that is by design, EH discloses, buttressing the notion that many men's wear designers are now blurring the lines. (

“Today, you can almost design a collection that is unisex without thinking so much about it … It feels a bit dated with masculine and feminine and women’s collection and menswear. I think it is more interesting to see it all as … adjustable … Gender is irrelevant.”
Elsewhere on the last day of New York Fashion Week Men’s:


ALWAYS GOOD TO GO: Craft Atlantic S/S16. Photo from Craft Atlantic Facebook page.


MIDNIGHT COWBOY: J. Lindeberg S/S Collection. Photo by YOURS TRULY.


GYMS: Perry Ellis S/S16 Collection. Photos courtesy of CFDA.


LUCKY DEVIL: Ricardo Seco S/S16 Collection. Photos by Yours Truly

Visit to learn more about New York Fashion Week: Men’s, including shows and show times.

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