Patrick Michael Hughes Senior Fashion Editor Men's Fashion Writer
NEW YORK: The February fashion season of NEW YORK FASHION WEEK Autumn/Winter 2024 is in full swing. It began with the NEW YORK MEN'S DAY collections presented by HILLDUN Corporation
The morning and afternoon featured eight well edited groups of designer's highlighting next fall's genderless and male inflection styles. The over-arching themes were tailoring, craft and clothing that is attune to cultural discussion and concerns. What was clear about many of the presentations is, that they are highly specialized service oriented zero waste commerce and an appointment is needed to make a purchase.
SIVAN is designed by Jack Sivan, is a Bostonian, who is crafting sustainable tailoring in Brooklyn. The brand is interested in functionality, bespoken timeless styles and of course fun. SIVAN was founded in 2020 continuing the traditions of tailoring. The brand is interested in innovative explorations of craft to seek out the suits place in the modern wardrobe. Accessibility is also a concern and is achieved through creating a transparent model, highlighting all of the components and people involved in each garment. The brand believes that sustainable design is linked to good design.
The Autumn/ Winter 2024 season highlighted clothing with a creative flair recalling, the most exquisitely and artistically dressed man on the university campus of yore. Far from ivy style more in the vein of a Cambridge on the Hudson. It was a wardrobe which had a range of textures, tailoring styles and silhouettes with a strong inflection toward formality. The eye was drawn to subtle patterns in check, plaid and chalk stripe. The palate highlighted deep rich colors such as midnight blue in day suits and evening dinner suits with generous contrasting polished peak lapels. The shirting was particularly lovely and some of neck attire took nods from equestrian formality. Particularly attractive was a check outerwear garment with a dramatic neck tie under a large Bryon collar. There were also bursts of color in red items such as a cropped single button jacket and a full circle.
Poetic looks continued in a generously cut wrap top coat in shade of grey with a deep shawl collar partnered with soft collar Henley inspired shirt, single pleated trousers in a full, crop length. The soft and generous construction of a sack suit with a four button stance was also striking. Once again the shirting style was eye catching featuring self bow tie was fresh and modern. The over all silhouette recalls a paletot jacket a saught-after style during the late nineteenth century. This was a strong collection filled with tailoring ethics and modern responsible design.
LANDEROS- New York was founded in 2013 by Andre Landeros Michel Jr. his collections emerge from impetus of memory connected to music He actually look a bit like a rock star. Far from 'a remembrance of things past' he looks to Goth, Punk, New Wave and Industrial sounds. The genderless clothing brand likes to celebrate and indulge in the romance of a dark and moody New York. It begins with fabric high-density textiles are needed to create structure and the details are inspired by album art.
Autumn/ Winter 2024 truly highlighted a sense craft and playfulness. The collection featured deep jewel tones like purple to lighter colors such as lavender and quartz pink to true steel grey and black. Polished and formal fabrications for evening were front and center. There were also bold black and white graphics placed on the straight grain and on the bias elevating jackets to modern takes on suited statement pieces, a tailoring look recalling Tommy Nutter's work on Savile Row during the early seventies. Covered buttons in a four button double breasted stance drew attention to bespoke hand finishing was on performative lapels. The armsaye on the jackets was tremendously high drawing the eye to further hand stitching details on a pronounced, strong shoulder. Tulle, the new genderless fabric of our lives, was seen in a bold dot pattern on a jacket and in a formal shirt silhouette. What was also a lovely was the detail that the collection was styled entirely in ballet slippers and slipper shoes. One simply has to step from Uber-Black to venue solidifying that these clothes are not pedestrian. One of the looks with full black tights worthy of an all Balanchine evening. These are clothes, that would be at tremendous ease at a venue such as Lincoln Center for an evening at the ballet or the opera.
The true subculture nod were seen in strapless tops with matching wide leg trousers in deep purple and black however it depends on who is wearing it. LANDEROS is a labor of love which is all designed and produced in New York City on West 38th Street. Michel has presented a captivating and obviously personal collection, a must for those looking for extremely well made and unique pieces.
Michael Ward and Manel Garcia Espejo are the designers of thesalting a genderless clothing brand conceived through an exploration for newness. Ward founded the company with Michael Smaldone in 2018. The name is in reference to a "coastal piece of land that gets flooded with sea water. when the tide recedes,.. the land is gently coated in salt, making all appear worn, like it had been that way for thousands of years and millions of stories. this universal visual helped define the haunting and sensory ethos of thesalting." 'It is a unisex brand that stands for craftsmanship, the raw and the refined. a deliberate embrace of a clear mentality. The client is interested in a simple and luxury investment made in America. Thesalting is committed to zero waste garment production and is sold by one on video appointment with the designers.
The set design by Brandon Matthews clearly read as a dock by the waterfront, however, the stand out pieces of the Autumn/ Winter 2024 collection evoked a look of French Revolution and not American longshoreman. The brand's love of stripes, detailed styling could was also recalls of as the fashion of the Incroyables, who were affluent dandies during late eighteenth century in Paris. The look was connected to green jackets stripe pants and knotted accessories known as cockades worn on lapels and banded details around the neck. These details were symbols of a new citizen and lingering fear of retribution. It's a subculture often mined by John Galliano. In this collection the black and white narrow Breton stripes, black tights and Phrygian style caps might be seen as a statement in a year of pending cultural shifts.
This collection was much younger this season, perhaps consciously or unconsciously speaking more to an ascending generation of succeeding reformers and the fashion forward. However, the Hampton's client was not thrown off the dock and will find comfort in blanket weight wool topcoats and generous body wrap shawls in oat and natural plaid colors with blanket fringe details. They will also be drawn to the languid Chanel like tweed looks in black and white short suits.
The fashion sensibility in thesalting has always been stunning fabrication, a fluid ebb and flow of resort weight textiles inviting a sense of escape. However, the combinations of the most interesting pieces communicate 'in the know' luxury, fashioned with more of an edge and flexibility in a modern wardrobe. There is wider range of fabrics weights such as flannel, tweed like woven textures. The presence of fashionable items stood out in full suited plaid looks and a dotted pair of belt loop trousers resembling a rich foulard fabrication. There are still a number of rope drawstring trousers. A standout was a pinstripe short suit with tunnel belt loops and the brand's elongated patch pocket signature detail. This collection featured also sharp black jackets and a cape like coat in black for the forthcoming Autumn/Winter 2024 season.
Thesalting is evolving and what had looked like glamorous resort folly and escapist meditation only suited for a single demographic in headed to a stunning location is now firmly in wider fashion world. This collection is produced by highly respected fashion veterans and is clearly looking to do something new, pay attention to this beautiful brand with the lovely name.
BULAN founder Beam Ratchapol Ngaongam graduated form college in 2019 in San Francisco and moved to New York City to start his own knitwear company in 2020 during the last days of the global pandemic. The knitwear design major interned with a few of the major New York fashion brands such as Proenza Schouler, Dion Lee and 3.1 Phillip Lim all of which aided him in establishing his own brand. Ngaongam's goal was to create a brand no one had seen before a highly creative way of seeing fiber art. All of the work is created in Thailand and is an excellent showcase for handcraft and the advancements in technology and knitwear. Fiber arts and knitwear are tremendously labor intensive.
Autumn/ Winter 2024 unisex collection was titled Garbage Collector and had an extensive set design of empty boxes and paper trash around the studio. It was a statement about recycling and the possibilities of fiber's volume in 3dimentional printing. BULAN showed complex forms of fiber art in vivid colors and bold patterns. Stripes were a central motif they were wrapped and tied on the body. The result was work on the bias drawing attention to different line weights and textures and knots all within one look.
Opening the collection was a raffia knit, the designer is known for championing sustainable knitwear and using recycled material from plastic bottles. There are a number of short film clips and statements about waste in Thailand and the benefits of recycling as an industry in his social media. The collection had a rich and highly creative outcome, his innovation is what was so wonderful about this emerging designer.
BULAN is another one to watch and it was clear others were as well judging form the packed venue with fashion industry leadership in attendance.
Photojournalism by PMH 2024