Good vibes happen on the tides.
Surf is synonymous with ocean air and salty hair, fit bodies and hazy sunshine, sandy shores and long days. Which is a space that many designers have played in with underwear and swimwear. But Thaddeus O’Neil plays in a different zone at New York Fashion Week Mens (NYFWM). He caters to the apres surf dudes with a mix of three key ingredients: well fabricated textiles, oversized and comfy knits, and bright, punchy colors.
Inspired by a Temple of the Burning Sun, the fantastic studio was glistening in red and gold hues, the prime colors of his sunny, golden sand inspired collection, with hints of blue to represent the ocean. Apparently his inspiration came from the orange and red Shinto temples of Japan, evident from not just his sunset colored tones, but from the immensely talented set of drummers. Thundering beats echoed through the epic Cadillac House, making stand still models shimmer in their respective looks.
Inspired to have met the talented and charming Thaddeus himself, he explained much about the origins of his fabrics, ideas, and the collaboration with UGGs, all over sipping Prosecco.
All the designs were layered, owing to the apres surf theme. As such, loose fit trousers and shorts, and excessively large and often striped outerwear was a mainstay, married with boys and girls in lusciously long hair. For long hair is a testament to fun on the beach!
The jackets were high on texture – palm jacquards or knits, cotton and linen mixes, which while often in horizontal stripes, used their own textures to create a simple and alarmingly effective look.
There were details to be found in several parts: the rope-like draw strings on sleeves or backs of jackets, the theme of seashells in hair pins and jewelry, the wooden style toggles, the ultra suede shorts or continually jaquard joggers (clearly a more inventive way to present patterns than printing) and so many more.
The slouchy trousers, the loose fit shirts, and the light joggers all seemed fairly gender neutral too, playing on this highly popular trend. One of my favorites was a block print sweater of sorts, perfect for layering in winters and to wear post beachy wind chills, paired with a signature seashell necklace.
Summer nights are one of the overlooked parts of summer, which require well knit and well cut layers, and these were well presented in the collection.
Each model was seen sporting signature UGG shoes. As an uncanny choice, the fact was that these are still worn on the beach in Australia, and have been since the 70s. It was only off late that they were adopted as first a fashion staple, and then a parody of sorts, but still stayed strong in popularity and sales. And thus, the partnership worked, and enlightened viewers too.
6 editorial shots courtesy of Vogue.
Itching to hit the beach and lick the salty sea air, all I could come up with when leaving were three simple words.
Sea You Soon?