Updated: Jul 5, 2019
Patrick Michael Hughes Men's Fashion Editor
( First Looks @ NIHL... Black spandex leotards with leather spliced pants and splice blue pleated trousers)
This is where we are now…it was spotted in Paris during Men’s Fashion Week and currently the New York Men’s Fall 2019 season has pushed the envelope even further. Bodies are usually not the big news in the NYFW Men’s season however, typically it’s in the spring when American collections highlight biceps and abs in a tremendously healthy and aspiration based body. However, it’s 2019 and a generation born in this century is staring into adulthood and forging identities. They are tempered by technology, instant gratification and a countless stream of imagery from real to pornographic, technical to political male to female and female to male.
Those born in 2000, the Generation Z will enter their twenties next year and there are fashion brands ready to embrace those making a mark and statement about gender, non binary, queer, performing masculinity all wrapped up in a savvy of technology and alternative virtual realities known to gamers.
( Asymmetrical yanked beaded collared shirt with flare spray painted cream and maroon Guipure lace)
NIHL Fall 2019 derives its inspiration form a series of disparate male identities, which have become superimposed, manipulated and subverted into an alternative queer fantasy. This season creative director Neil Grotzinger sought a great deal of inspiration from the idea of a Midwestern American Gamer, reflecting upon the symbols, tropes and objects that might fill the fictitious basement such a character could live in. As a way of creating a parallel, Grotzinger also developed his own narrative around the conflict between a video game obsessive and his militant father.
The juxtaposition was successful. The collection splices through jackets, collared shirts, superbly fitted leather pants and shirts. Manipulation was used to codify and ‘queer-ify’ the conflicting identities. The elements of the collection which were most inspiring for IRK were the glimpses of a retro-future a mini narrative spotted on the rise last spring. The daring body suits exposing large amounts of skin. The fit of the looks recalled the modern looks of Pierre Cardin from the seventies. These were looks, which ushered in new technologies in fabric and flexibilities in men’s fashion.
(Red and orange spray Painted Guipure lace vest with black leather crotch zip dungarees)
What is modern is NIHL emphasizes the beauty of abnormality in his clothes the future is for all. He explores ways of translating rigid military garments into highly erotic and versatile fetish gear. Through the use of undulating zippers and extended closures pieces, which were once highly restrictive, become effortlessly elegant and sexually charged.
Grotzinger’s goal is to clarify and specify the aspects of masculinity, which he finds to be difficult to relate to and transform them into something, which celebrates queer alternatives.
( Blue lace-up collared shirt with black leather pants with undulating silver zipper)
(Spray painted black and copper Guipure lace vest with spray painted black,red and silver Guipure lace pant)
(Green spandex singlet tee with white and black leather dungarees)
(White leather straight jacket tee with white leather hook and eye dungarees)