Words: Cristian Burbano
New York Fashion Week: Men’s AW16 managed to narrowly avoid blizzards and 25 inches of snow to successfully complete its sophomore season, bringing a diverse collection of menswear to the US fashion capital. Much like its debut season last summer designers showing were a healthy mix of established global brands and new up and comers.
Here are a few highlights from the first 2 days of the 4-day fashion week.
Public School AW16
Designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School kicked off their AW16 show to dramatic effect by dropping the curtains to reveal an outdoor crowd of 50 fans specially selected to attend the show.
“The theme of this show was outside/in, which prioritizes the outside,” Chow explained afterwards. “We wanted to give our fans the chance to have a behind-the-scenes look, even if it was just a split second before everyone else.”
Looks were mostly layered in a restrained palette of greys, blues and moss greens with colour pops of orange and camo prints. In a nod to the late David Bowie inspiration for the 28-look collection came from the icon’s 1976 sci-fi movie ‘The Man who fell to Earth’ by Director Nicolas Roeg.
American label Nautica’s AW16 runway show began with a short video with an aptly nautical flavour, which transitioned into a collage of a cosmopolitan urban scene. The juxtaposition between these two environments was the inspiration for the new season, which the brand said was “Inspired by the sea, designed in the city.”
One of the most wearable collections on the schedule, looks were strong on separates with a wide range of outerwear such as large duffle coats, peacoats in classic camel as well as references to nautical and winter sports mixef with utility wear.
John Varvatos AW16
For his second season in New York, John Varvatos opted to forgo the traditional runway show and instead offer visitors a multimedia ‘experience’; a labyrinth of rock and roll. His store in New York’s The Bowery (once home to the legendary CBGBs) was boarded up earlier in the week; with a giant billboard erected outside asking the question ‘Rock is Dead?’ Guests for the experience were invited to go to an address at the rear of the building. Upon entering looks for the season were presented in a combination of static mannequins and real-life models with most wearing disguises or animal heads, visitors to the walk-through presentation were confronted by different characters, in the freak show like setting. The collection stuck to Varvato’s strengths of rock-inspired outerwear with classic leather jackets teamed with slim cut denim, as well as bold suiting. On entering the final room in the presentation guests were presented with a message of hope from Varvatos with the wall bearing the triumphant message, Long Live Rock!
Joseph Abboud AW16
For his return to the runway the designer stuck close to home by delivering a collection that in his own words was an “ode to American craftsmanship and tailoring,”, with all garments manufactured in the company’s New Bedford, Massachusetts factory. The looks were mainly in grey and brown colourways with suiting and outerwear dominating, with layering playing a big part of the styling.
LA based streetwear label STAMPD debuted their 20-look collection titled The New Soldier as part of day 2 of NYFWM. AW16 heavily referenced military influences and fused these with classic streetwear pieces in a mostly blue and black palette. With the LA weather in mind, outerwear pieces included plenty of lighter options in the form of bomber jackets and light knitwear pieces though heavier pieces such as heavy coats and cable cord knitwear were also featured.
David Hart AW16
With most brands embracing the streetwear look and the modern dandy, David Hart was one of the few to reference old school gentlemanly vibes. With his AW16 collection Hart looked to the New York Jazz scene and in particular the Blue Note Jazz Club and effortlessly cool musicians of the genre like Jimmy Smith, Art Blakey, and Max Roach. Colour and textures were inspired by the works of photographer Francis Wolff and graphic designer Reid Miles.
The collection showcased Hart’s signature tailoring and evening wear but also included casual pieces short-sleeve knits, cropped trousers and bomber jackets.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our NYFWM highlights