How many times has something that has raced across the runway actually bolted right into your wardrobe? Well this time, I found a winner at the first ever New York Fashion Week Mens (#NYFWM), at a formalwear collection gone quirky, comfortable and entirely wearable by Loris Diran.
Loris Diran is of French Armenian descent, a mix that not only affects the looks and styles of his models, but also the adventurous sensibility he drives into his contemporary menswear. Having worked with luxury brands like Versace and Chanel, all his runway pieces exuded a sense of luxury. I had only known that his designs were worn in The Devil Wears Prada and by the likes of Ricky martin, Beyonce and Britney Spears, and was consequently of high expectations for a menswear line, what with his accolades of best menswear designer in 2011. Pre-show, I found myself sitting with Loris Diran’s close friends, coincidentally bumping into eyewear designer SBShades.
To say that this was probably one of the most comfy looking ready to wear collections would be an understatement. Transporting me into a near future, the combinations of short blazers and joggers – especially the joggers akin to previously seen jodhpuri styles at Delhi Fashion Week – made me instantly at ease in my front row caterpillar runway. Whether paired with jackets or with flowing cardigans and classic knitwear, the jogger meets jodhpuri was a trend I could see being licked up by fashion outlets worldwide.
Called Am I Blue, the collection represented Summery Navy as a softer alternative to black. Colors included blue, gray, beige and brown, alongside notes of teal, turquoise and coffee. While generally homogenous colors for the entire outfit, there were times of trigonometric printing, too. Unlike other designers who worked with motifs and prints, Diran used texture to communicate movement. Rustic textures and urban aesthetics, suits sans padding and interfacing, the fabrics kissed the bodies of their models to formulate a terrific, comfortable shape.
As such the collection reflected some sporty attitudes with block colors, devoid of prints, and catering to an accessible luxury point. The fabrics themselves included neoprene for a sporty look, as well as gabardine which offered a flexibility and movement to otherwise stiff blazer looks. I found several connections to my Indian roots, probably owing to Loris Diran’s own Armenian origins – sherwani style longer jackets or jodhpuris, shimmering fabrics and tone on tone hues, as well as knits that the Northern Indians were so well known for.
I particularly liked the contrasting piping on blazers, as well as the play with length – some ended right below the waist, while others went below the derriere and even included a tie up in the front. Truly neat twists on formalwear, a trend that continued to prevail the shows this season. Alongside were classic blazers, double breasted jackets and even trending collar-less jackets, a trend that I adored out of a sheer disdain for collars.
Some surprises included meeting the man himself for a charming conversation. He shared that Rain Dove Model, the world’s famous gender capitalist, was a key showstopper for his collection, and super friendly with the audiences backstage.
Content with a collection worth wearing immediately, I stepped out to waltz right into a charming after party by the most warm-hearted designer I had met. With a collection to be reckoned with.