The pink of a flamingo, on a pair of boxer shorts?
Or the plumage of feathers on a varsity jacket?
Juxtaposition was the name of this game.
Men in pink, reflecting in a sunlit pool of a New York rooftop. Having attended Ricardo Seco‘s bright and colorful presentations for the last two seasons, with a punchy animal motif spring and a striped Mexican sarape inspired winter, his choice of both colors and venues was always a winner at New York Fashion Week Mens (NYFWM).
I have seen 4 socially responsible and aware designers present their showcase at Made by Milk during New York Fashion Week before. Mexican designer Ricardo Seco took this a step further by not only brightening up a sepia or grayscale dipped menswear palette with pinks and pastels, but drawing awareness on preserving nature. In particular, his work this season drew attention to Holbox, an island off the northeast coast of the Yucatan peninsula. With a penchant for travel, I was surprised at not having heard of it, especially as it was home to endangered species like the Carey Turtle, the American Flamingo and sea cow.
Aptly named “Life”, the collection drew inspiration from the textures and colors of these virbant creatures and their gorgeous habitat in order to bring awareness to the island of Holobox, and to enlighten viewers on the topic of planet conservation. Aptly marked on the back of one of the model’s jackets, too, in a bright rainbow font.
It was quite similar to my own vibrancy in color for the day, and general infatuation with densely populated color on menswear.
As a self taught designer, the collection spoke most to his history as a businessman, having combined a philanthropic viewpoint into his fashion line. The combination was both inspiring and enlightening, a rare feat in the often story driven or attention seeking fashion domain. He drew a metaphor with New York City itself, and what is endangered in what we take for granted or as virtually missing, especially in the world of fashion.
Placed on the rooftop of The Americano Hotel in Chelsea, the view of the sunset over a mid sized pool was an ethereal setting for the models to be perched in bright hues, reflecting into the water. While the sun momentarily played hide and seek, reflecting glares off the models, their retro headpieces were an apt distraction, which while partially shielded their pretty faces, made for a sequenced thread through a series of disparate textures and colors.
Seco took from the textures of his animals of choice, with flamingo feathers, whale skin prints, sand textures and even entire flamingoes on many pieces. Almost as a throwback to one year ago, when he also had punchy hues for summer. Oversized silhouettes, bomber and biker jackets were in abundance, often paired with slim or relaxed pants, sweatpants, joggers and boxing shorts. They were all immediately wearable, and in larger and comfy silhouettes that made the bold prints and bright colors pop even more, given the grander canvas they had to cover.
My favorite was a white tee with an abstract painted flamingo, topped with boxer shorts and a loose bomber with graphic prints.
As well as a midnight hued feather print varsity style jacket with a poignant flamingo neck breaking the monotony.
The sarape influence of last season continued with a few striped pieces or over lengthened fabric, which was either tied up for style, or worn loose like a men’s rendition of a kaftan. As Seco said himself, it was a combination of urban sophistication with street style.
With the boys reflecting like flamingoes in the rooftop pool itself, bathed in sunlight, it was a pleasure to see the sunset over a glass of Prosecco while appreciating the infusion of pink in contemporary menswear. And learning about saving the planet and its species in the process.