Patrick Michael Hughes Senior Fashion Editor Men's Fashion Writer
NEW YORK: Fashion Week was swiftly out of the starting gate with a number of early showings prior to its true start at New York Men's Day. The Spring/Summer 2023 collective highlighted eleven collections a diverse, energetic mix of gender-less and traditional men's silhouettes. The beautifully curated and well organized season was packed with fashion press, retailers, photographers, stylist and beautiful fashion people, in the expansive spaces of DAYLIGHT STUDIOS, in the Hudson Yards district.
The current cultural moments in New York and observations in the city and around the world were part of the fashion's themes and discussion in the early week's men's presentations. Spring/ Summer 2023's reflected creativity, optimism and ambition. In New York there are ascending fashion labels who are leading the way in textile ingenuity to rethinking and re-draping classic American clothing leading to modern takes of tailoring. IRK was particularly struck by the high level and beauty of the work presented. There were noteworthy debuts in an array of fluid silhouettes and brands to watch.
FRIED RICE NEW YORK was a finalist in the Fashion Group International's 2022 Rising Star Award in the all gender category. For Spring 2023 designer Maya Wang presented another rich array of creative, downtown clothing in vibrant urban diversity and chosen creative New York City family. Wang's strength is in textile mixing in a variety of similar color fabric weights and closely mirrored patterns, creating a modern textile statement in genderless clothing.
The forthcoming season spring 2023 season continues to feature the brand's earthy green tones deeply colored denim and cotton pieces in earthy gold and blue tones. Boutique style details such as askew patch pockets and wide pointy collars on bright colored patterned shirts to pastel colored pants are counted as present in the brand's offerings. The leopard for spring 2023 is a playful optical treat in drawstring trousers with suspender attachments an often repeated detail. Over all the silhouettes were well cut tailored pieces, particularly the boiler suits. FRIED RICE NEW YORK also featured brightly colored bungee- cords allowing the wearer to personalized the look. The casting was reflective of the brands DNA a plural creative client. A rich selection of youth driven looks reflective of the constantly changing demographic in the NOLITA neighborhood on Mulberry Street and Lower East Side's immigrant communities.
A.POTTS Spring 2023 HIDING THE HORIZON is the story of earthbound angels manifested through nature and the elements. Aaron Potts was inspired by the 2021 Academy Award winning Best Documentary (Feature) Summer of Soul directed by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson . The film is about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival held in Marcus Garvey Park. It was a celebration of the spirit of liberation and the emerging Soul Music genre. The designer was drawn to the music of Mavis Rivers and The Lloyd Sly Quartette which made him think of "how angels might be surrounding us at this very moment.." For Potts "this collection is as much about an ascension into the clouds as it is about having our feet planted firmly in the grass."
Spring 2023 was full of cool colors such as light blue, violet, purple and white. The brands vocabulary of volume and flowing forms were seen striking bell shaped silhouettes and cropped ruffle tunics. A. POTTS use fringe was dramatic statement a noted detail that seems to be a popping up all over New York collections. He showed in open woven tops and black halter like creations. The black and white prints were quite striking the repeat on the textile was a mask, evocative of West African Art. Earth tones and moss green silhouettes were featured in the collections signature pieces such as raglan sleeve jackets, voluminous drop crotch pants and color blocked accents in floor sweeping dresses.
IRK was struck by the new take on the American shirtwaist dress. It's striking, as a genderless statement. It added a work ethic punctuation, in a collection inspired by longevity and urban endurance during times of great change and economic uncertainty. A.POTTS genderless collection is a choreographed assembly of silhouettes, a resounding 'they chorus' with an understanding of New York sportswear. There is a rich variety of tones suited for modern people of all complexions, the brand strives to support authenticity and who you are.
ATELIER CILLIAN Spring 2023 collection was titled "The Hubris of Howard Carter". The British-American designer Stephen Mikhail, looked at the appetite of the one of the truly last efforts in British Colonial acquisition, at the beginning of the twentieth century. The final days of funding of Howard Carter's patron George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon for the unearthing of treasures in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.
This collection was a stunning statement about rich textiles and precision tailoring. The collection featured natural colors from the desert in addition to crisp white linen, blue, gold brocade and fitted earth tone knit pieces in total looks. This is an expensive, collection with rich craft and the designer's luxurious imagination.
What is different from last season's debut collection is the wider color palate and variations in fabric. Looking ahead to Spring/Summer 2023, Mikhail's tailoring is the star and a true triumph. His presentation of modern suits, trousers, jackets and shirting shine in the variety of fabric weights and subtle patterns. His fitted suit looks feature high two button stances and medium to slender lapels. Bellows pockets and patch pockets were seen on safari style shirting and jackets. The wider trouser styles were also noted as well as a genderless iteration of a Royal Gurkha jacket in a gold brocade with covered buttons. It's one of the modern 'dressed-up' statements in this collection.
ATELIER CILLIAN still managed a dash of goth and 'consumptive illness' in the styling with a touch of arsenic white dusting and heavy black eyeliner adding to the theme and evoking a princely Ancient Egypt. The title and concept of the collection has an interesting adjacent curatorial discussion. Last year it was announced that The Metropolitan Museum of Art is returning Sub-Saharan African Art to the country of origin. Other European art institutions have also followed through this year by doing the same. It's an admitted recognition of passé colonial provenance...an interesting topic, when listening to advancing discussions around the role of King and Commonwealth.
TEDDY VONRANSON "mystics, artists, writers, musicians, those chasing beauty, healing and inner truth... " for Spring 2023 TEDDY VON RANSON is 'building on his affinity with desert-themed collections – shown in previous collections.' The designer stated “To explore the California desert and Joshua Tree is to be transported to another realm and the inspiration found in the desert tones and landscape was abundant…much of my time and exploration happened in the early hours which gave me a different perspective on desert colors and hues as the early morning light cast a “coolness” in undertone to the traditional desert palette. When one looks beyond the pale landscape on rock formations, crushed gravel and sand, one begins to see the pale tones of dried grasses, desert floral and mosses canopied by rich blue skies that hug the mountain-scape in deep teals fading into clear and bright blues as they touch the sun.”
The contemplative, poetic outlook was clear in this collection's harmony of colors and materiality which were spectacular. It's a modern tailored statement with a languid attitude and an urban edge. There were even flashbacks of nineteen eighties styles complementary for young frames, in a drop-stance, double breasted narrow, peak lapel jacket. A note, trousers fit right at the waist many without belt loops a nod to bespoke cuts. Spring 2023's collection only re-affirms TEDDY VONRANSON's goals of making new American classics. The suiting and ensemble dressing are consistent directions for the brand's goals of capturing modern American life akin to both east and west coast living and working.
A particularly outstanding look form the collection featured oversize contrasting plaids. The knee grazing, trench coat with generous lapel worn with wide neck top and soft, wide trousers, truly conveys West Coast relaxed demeanor with all of the fashion attitude of New York with a nod to European flair.
TEDDY VONRANSON's silhouette for Spring 2023 is a luxurious, roomy style that doesn't loose its tailored form. This is one of the few brands presented which has a sustainability statement. " The most ethical approaches for sourcing and manufacturing in all TVR products. A majority of fabrics the brand uses are stock fabrics already in inventory with suppliers. TEDDY VONRANSON is proud that a majority of TVR products are manufactured locally in New York supporting the local garment communities. VONRANSON work place solidarity "believes in treating all employees and partners with respect and dignity creating a diverse environment where everyone can thrive."