New York Men’s Day
Online fashion week is very different to IRL fashion week. But one plus is the way in which designers are able create mini-films that push far past the bounds of traditional runway shows—as seen in the special section of the week devoted to men.
Wataru Tominaga’s collection was full of cheerful floral, whimsical patterns and gingham. Ka Wa Key made a gorgeous modern dance video that juxtaposed the openness of bucolic scenes and a feeling of claustrophobia in interior scenes, with models wearing alternating looks of tie dye and elaborate knits with a sculptural quality.
Fashion newcomer Stan immersed viewers in a world of hyper cool So-Cal surf nostalgia. The new company is rooted in the idea of sustainability, and their debut collection is an array of vintage quilts repurposed into men’s jackets and long coats. Teddy Vonranson also picked up on the surfer aesthetic, using surfboards as background props for his collection that featured western-influenced chic men’s suiting complete with fringed jackets and sneakers.
Carter Young took on a markedly different thematic approach with an art-house style film, and Timo Weiland presented a collection of understated and yet brightly colored retro casual wear. Future Lovers of Tomorrow was one of the few brands that showed models wearing face masks, firmly rooting them in the present day. Keenkee was striking in its minimalism, both in their video and in the fashions which were a variety of loose fit men’s suiting and futuristic jackets and casual wear. Sarah Shears
Probably nothing could stop Anna Sui, a NYFW perennial, from showing her eighty-forth collection at the event. So the neo-folk designer took her show, “Homespun,” online, for a down-home type virtual presentation. It opened with a close-up shot not of a floral embellishment or embroidery detail, but a damn delicious-looking pie. In her notes, Sui wrote she was inspired by the idea of “home,” which, go figure, she’s been spending a lot of time in lately.
What the locale means to her: “comfort, security, the smells of delectable meals and desserts being made with care.” So she opened with a close-up of a pie, with models posing in front of a cartoon prairie scene in easy-to-wear, waistless maxi dresses. She seemed to be pulling from all corners of the rustic aesthetic—some of the pieces looked like Laura Ashley comforters, and Polly Pocket would not look out of character in a few of the ruffled tops. More modern accoutrements like face masks and bucket hats toughened the lineup, and made things just a little less cutesy—but only a little. Alaina Demopoulos
Into the garden of a stately home we go, for a collection of escapist fantasies as symbolized by that Badgley Mischka staple, a blooming rose. The Spring 2021 collection, the designers said, was “inspired by places we have never been to—the isles of Greece, the capital of Cuba, the fabled ruins of Mexico, the Garden of Good and Evil.”
The clothes are unapologetically luxe, dreamy, and dramatic, with colors inspired by “classic Greek villas and their vistas, the Cuban flag, and the fabulous gardens throughout America, from Long Island to Georgia.” Skirts came in flowing full length with floral designs, and in fitted crepe. Belted trouser suits and tasseled dresses, in blue, white and green, just required cocktails—with a golden sequin tulle gown the undoubted showstopper. Cole Porter, BM said, was the vibe, and Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight their hero. Mission accomplished. Tim Teeman
Naeem Khan hopes that the last few months have given people time to “deeply reflect—on who we are, what’s most important, and what truly brings us joy”—this presumably if one is materially and physically comfortable enough to dwell on such things. This collection, for Khan, “is a reflection of the joy creativity and beauty can express.”
They say home is where the heart is, Khan writes; now it’s also “where the dancefloor is.” This Kylie Minogue fan wholeheartedly concurs.
Khan’s Spring 2021 collection is a wild and fun rollercoaster of glamour, sparkle, and vivid patterns, with dramatic, form-fitting dresses in luscious peaches and purples, stars and petals as dramatic signature adornment, and then leopard print running riot over clothing for day, night, and any hour in between. Evening gowns come with glitter and big shoulders; hooded trouser suits also sparkle. Naeem Khan won’t judge you for being in sweatpants the last six months, but he’s most certainly looking forward to your theatrical re-entry into the world. TT
Some things change: virtual reality fashion shows are a thing now! Others stay the same: black denim is cool! For his early morning “show,” the Tokyo-born, Central Saint Martins-educated designer Kozaburo Akasaka took viewers inside a digitalized version of his workspace, clicking through each room as if looking on Google Maps. It's a new way to show clothes, but the outfits themselves had a familiar quality: Matrix-esque menswear like leather topcoats, hoodies under blazers, and decidedly grunge bootcut jeans.
Some of the more out-there pieces, like a top and trousers set in an electric, pixelated pattern called “Galactic Camo,” look like what a former club kid turned working stiff might wear on a socially distant coffee date. That is to say: clothes that are recognizable, with a twist, which is well-suited for our current, topsy-turvy reality. AD