Bespoken’s known for taking some rocked out sensibility and stitching into the refined quality of Saville Row suiting, so the library at the NoMad Hotel was the perfect setting. For Fall 2013 they played around with some unexpected styles—contrasting collars, wide ties, tuxedo jackets, plush fabrics, interesting textures and at last one blazer that reads like a varsity jacket. It’s all about mashing elegance together, clean reconstruction and messing with trends…and done well.
The color blocking theme was one of the most noticeable trends at the mens shows in New York and one that newcomer Lucio Castro interpreted through an eye of irreverence and illusion. Pants are blocked to look like shorts and ties are blocked and appear short. And then there’s the part you don’t see—all the pieces have been designed with an interior of yellow as a shout out to an all yellow Upstate New York Courthouse the designer spent some time trying to hammer out a speeding ticket. Also what you don’t see is that the playfulness is woven with an ethical hand. Lucio Castro uses mostly organic Japanese fabrics, Argentinean leather and small factories in the developing manufacturing nation of Sri Lanka. The rest of the collection offers great pops of bright primary reds, yellows, purples grounded on beige, charcoal, and black and good stipe options, both horizontal and vertical. All in all—casual, laid back for the man who appreciates a bit of flippant humor.
Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown Fall 2013 is a collection inspired by camo, but not of camo. Like any good union of creative talent, Daniel Silver and Stephen Cox rarely agree—Silver was for using camo as an integral part of the Fall 2013 collection, Cox was not. Silver had a ten year old swatch of camo lying around and they both decided to develop it for the collection, though agreed not take it to the same apex of repetition they did for khaki in Spring 2013. Rather it served as a starting off point in creation, though in the show appearing as the closing statement. From this special camo, they got brown, eggplant, grey, olive, “moutard,” and the opening track to the show, the theme song to Deliverance. Also, beautiful bombers, which appeared in a patent leather and brocade paisley. They still injected Duckie into the Perry Ellis silhouette— drop crotch pants and oversized shirting—but the majority of the collection comes in much more easy to translate shapes crafted out of beautiful, high-end fabrics. Whereas the first collection delighted for it’s bravado of reinvention, the second collection succeeds in smoothly transitioning to the new direction. Here’s to the road ahead.
Asher Levine never fails to turn out a collection to spark conversation, be it with the clothing or the manner in which he presents it. For Spring 2013, it was a motley crew of acid drenched comic book villains on the Hudson River Piers, this time around, it was a combo movie theater/runway/presentation amalgamation and a bat outta hell. He honed in on the iconography of the houndstooth and the bat, two disparate symbols that become one under Levine’s helm, playing with the theme on both the clothing and with an original film playing as the backdrop. The effect was fun, if spooky (see video), and really a fresh take on a tried and true pattern. Levine also focused on tailored shapes, emphasizing broad shoulders and relaxed fit pants, a manipulation that injects a bit of 80′s glam into the whole thing. A gorgeous, texturized weekender bag was new territory for the designer as was a foray into some GPS technology. Asher Levine partnered with Phone Halo, linking his clothing to an application on your phone via bluetooth techology, meaning should someone make like a bat and fly off with your jacket, you’ll be able to track it. Check the show video and images of the looks after the jump.
Something that we took away from New York Fashion Week? Japanese leather is a thing, and in a big way. To drive this point, the Japanese Ministry of Economic Trade and the fine people at Maguire Steele and set up a Lincoln Center presentation that refused to be ignored. The formula? A ten piece Japanese punk band (Turtle Island) encased diaphanous fabric set on a stage, flanked by the handiwork of six leather based japanese labels ensconced in plexi boxes that served as a runway/presentation platform for two of the other brands. Following? It’s ok if you don’t. It was a chaotic scene, but one that gave us a chance to really get a sense of the kind of Japanese irreverence that’s bubbling out of said country these days. Crows toiled with luxury jewels, briefcases grew from potted soil and the clothing was neo-primitive glam (which is also a thing). It was a lot to present all at once, but we left with the seed planted in our heads—Japan and leather…go together. Pardon the rhyme and check some burgeoning Japanese Leather brands after the jump.