• Patrick Michael Hughes Men's Fashion Editor

NY Men's Day Highlights Room for Many


New York Fashion Week Men’s kicked off a new season in the city’s newest neighborhood, Hudson Yards. The fashion calendar for NYFW Men’s changed from a July to the first week in June in advance of London, Florence, Milan and Paris.

New York Men’s Day moved their series of presentations from the financial district to Daylight Studios across the street from the latest major tourist attractions and luxury shopping venues. The street is a mass of rugged sidewalks, detours and loud construction noises of steely skyscrapers. The seasonal event is an anchor for the men’s fashion collections, highlighting new designers, established New York labels and international talent testing the waters of New York. There are fourteen designers including the debut of a special All Star Men's Day showcase, featuring brands who are branching out to runway shows this season or showing abroad.

New York’s June 2019 is buzzing with unpredictable weather, polo season visitors, teams of tourist, models in the street in hope of getting sent to Europe and a heavily marketed World Pride celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riot. The first day has been a wonderful reflection of all of the above. These are top favorites of the first day.

DAVID HART

An established brand on the red carpet and for young celebrities in the know its about David Hart. This season his collection was in partnership with the International Center of Photography and the Weegee Estate. Weegee (pseudonym for Arthur Fellig 1899-1968) was an iconic New York street photographer.

The suiting this season exhibited a type of exhale and ease not seen in past collections. The late nineteen thirties Pre World War II silhouette seems to have been an influence. The photo prints featuring Weegees’s work are timeless, stark, black and white images that worked well with the tailored pieces and even gave Hart’s collection a new kind of street savvy and heritage. Hart loves history from political to creative narratives.

The hands on styling by Hart this season lent the collection a stronger and more authentic sensibility free of complex staging. It really was about the clothes which spoke very eloquently about spring 2020.

AMIROK

A new label making its debut at NYMD is by Michael Nelson a fashion designer who splits his time between, New York, West Africa and Asia. He made is industry debut after graduation from Parsons School of Design as a successful accessory designer retailing highend leather-ware with African beaded details to stores such as Browns in London.

Nelson has now entered the realm of men's fashion with a polished, a well edited collection of eight looks true to his interest in supporting and bringing to light global manufactures and artisans. Spring 2020 showcases handwoven Ikat textiles, Burmese traditional weaving and shoes designed in Tunisia. AMIROK celebrates and brings to New York fashion a needed global moment. The color palate was simple with traditional men's aesthetics of indigo and gray paired with earth tones in rich natural red, olive green and gold. Surprise elements in the collection were the clever use of Gahnese Kente cloth strips as well as hand dyed indigo cloth strips from Mali on t-shits, cleverly called 'strip tees' by the desinger. This was a wonderful collection and it will be very interesting to see how Nelson moves forward in fall 2020.

KA WA KEY

Reworking textile and crafts from everyday street wear has been the hallmark of the KA WA KEY label. The brand has shown collections in London, Shanghai, Tokyo and New York. Last season was their first showing at NYMD. The performance of male models moving through the space, trading clothes undressing each other and forming a series of group poses has captured the talent and imagination of photographers and visually rich social media feeds for yet another season. There is a wonderful echoing in the overall effect of the pile of clothes in colorful distressed looks against piles of clothing on the floor and on chairs. A strong composition and one rich for further dialogue about consumption.

The fashion news for Spring 2020 in this collection is bright colors in a painter's palate easily layered. Washed out stripes, fearless pattern mixing, tie-dye details and far more gender fluid silhouettes. There is also more body exposure in distressed pieces as well. What was also noted could it be, that there was one hoodie in a brand that identifies as street wear? Is there be an evolution in the mix? This was a brightly optimistic collection growing in scope, silhouette and sophistication.

VASIILIS

Gender, performance and representation are the primary concerns Cyprus- born New York designer Vasilis Loizides. The outlook of the label is playful, creative and exceeding well made. These are beyond seasonal market narratives and a truly looking to the world for high fashion and high concept. Historicism, allegory and personal experience are infused in these designs.The silhouettes are strong and require a careful eye to to disseminate.

The collection fills a void this season for the designers who create in this vain and have shown during men's fashion week in the past. What is wonderful about this collection is the geometry and carefully crafted storytelling within the prints . Further the re-imagining of traditional men's fabrication in a new way. Pinstripes, cotton shirting next or paired with silk organza, lace, check and Argyle. This is a label to watch and have on your fashion radar its a needed expression in the New York Men's lineup.

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