25 Jul. 2008
IN NEW YORK, A SMART AND SOPHISTICATED SPRINGThe New York spring 2009 men’s market shows ended Wednesday, with shrunken leather jackets, washed blazers, stripes, textured summer knits, ultra-technical raincoats, tailored shirts with smaller collars, shorts, odes to classic American sportswear, Yves Saint Laurent’s play with form and urban-safari themed collections as the strongest trends of the week.
In its third instalment, Capsule showed a sense of identity. The 70 collections, mostly a mix of Scandinavian and American brands, were smart yet experimental, and in many ways defined the look of new luxury that until now had been a stranger to American stores. Our Legacy, Wood Wood, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, Corpus, B Store, Chronicles of Never and Public School had some of the strongest collections here. Worth also noting were Maui & Sons’ madly addictive reproductions of original surfwear patterns and cuts.
Two new shows nodded to a new generation of emerging streetwear void of contemporary clichés such as over-embellished back pockets and skulls. At Rewind, Cargo hosted half a dozen streetwear brands, including immediates and holiday pieces by Leroy Jenkins and Triko, and sporty timepieces by No Label. The line to watch, however, was Amivectic, a new line by Triko’s Hector Estrada, which offered luxurious wrap cotton shirts and knits for guys. The MVMT.NYC, a new heritage streetwear show by new and former designers of brands such as Rocawear and Gawsie Athletic, made its debut in SoHo next to Adidas' headquarters. Notable items included denim and new camo hoodies by Expansion, island-inspired prints and ombre guayaberas by Top Rankn and highly imaginative tees by No Love Lost. Grin & Fury, with its dark yet witty graphics shown alongside burn out “batstooth” prints, was sophisticated and thoughtful. It underscored the sensitivity of its contemporaries to cultural diversity and the idea of “better” streetwear.
While the buzz at The Collective was all about whether Dunhill was previewing Kim Jones’s new work for the storied British house (spring 2009 did offer glimpses of Jones’s light-handed approach to classical men’s tailoring as in perforated leather linings and lightweight anoraks), Blue held its own with some substantial collections on show, including Conference of Birds, with its South American-flavored jackets and tie-dyed tops, Nicholas K and its oversized cardigans and urban safari-styled long jackets in mustard tones, and 429/NUMBER:Lab, with its athletic-cut basics with reversible styles and tweaks to collars. Tony Melillo was memorable for his shorts as was Plaster. Orlando Carreras had some of the most delicate and directional fabrications of the show, including striped sheer tops for layering.
Once again, ENK and IMG teamed up to produce runway presentations for brands, including Charles G. Bailey, Conference of Birds, Nicholas K, Obakki, Buckler and Orthodox, which touched on the season’s trend in lighterweight blazers and double-breasted, cropped jackets. Obakki, meanwhile, was all about tone-on-tone effects, gray, innovative tie-dye treatments and double-layered cotton pullovers. Designer Treana Peake also showed great dark, low-crotch denim.
Not all was lost at Project New York, which could have done with a tighter brand mix. Modern vintage as a style was done well by CPT by Cockpit USA, Pratt’s and Mike & Chris, while newcomer Mottainai offered unique overdyes and recycled treatments in denim. Spiewak’s cross-dyed, colorful poplin jackets and other technical, lightweight innovations were a fresh approach for the brand and unexpectedly one of the most directional offerings this season.
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