Colleges are timed institutions.
College memories are comparatively timeless.
One way to encapsulate them is to dedicate an entire fashion collection to them, a mere look at which brings all those days to life again. Parke and Ronen‘s spring 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week Mens (NYFWM) whisked everyone back to the days of college athletics. Similar to last season, the collection was an interplay of whimsy and class. Designers Parke Lutter and Ronen Jehezkel, who met almost 20 years ago, built the innovative brand to celebrate boyhood forever.
Aptly labelled ‘The Baby Ivies’, the collection had enough collegiate culture with varsity jackets, frat font initials, and bold stripes and colors. Having come from an Ivy League myself, I could testify for the classy and preppy attire for being spot on with college boys.
The preppy styles screamed of team sport and after hours spent in college pools and grassy backyards of fraternity houses. And yet the collection was fresh and classy, owing to the refined cuts, the whimsical graphics, and the undertone of the tropics.
The varsity graphics were on color-blocked varsity jackets, Letterman sweaters and classic polos, most of which were worn unbutton with cropped swim shorts, boxers and low-cut briefs. Being a fan of red, most of the red themed attire caught my fancy.
A standout was the use of matching or contrasting socks in the loudest of hues. One nude pair was cleverly disguised, and standouts were the pairing of turquoise and my favorite red.
Stripes were a mainstay, also in several other collections, as well as the beachy motifs of shells, crabs, seahorses, and marine critters. While red, navy and white were common colors, their variation in hue and texture allowed for enough choices for the modern swimmer and professional lounger.
From snapbacks to weekender bags, the accessories matched the punchy tones of the swimwear and outerwear. Handbags by Lodinatt and sunglasses by Leisure Society assured that the boys were well prepped for a trip to the outer banks or Hamptons.
The grand finale had the boys strutting in their briefs, leaving many audience members panting and wiping the steamed up camera lenses.
Akin to last season, Parke and Ronen showed that classy and contemporary swimwear and underwear could be carried off with effortless ease.
And when nudged with a sprinkling of college history, all of us can convert into Ivy Babies.