Life is like a collage that eternally runs into things it creates itself.
To interpret this into fashion is surreal and challenging all at once.
New York Mens Day (NYMD), held at the financial capital of New York at Dune Studios, showcased a collection of funky designers linked by a backdrop of grunge, street style, rebellion and fantasy, against a backdrop of a setting sun at New York Fashion Week Mens (NYFWM). The modern ways of living, particularly in New York, were covered in totality in the political and personal statements made by these fantastic collection of brands.
Private Policy is known to define itself by designing genderless clothing. The theme has resonated well with the fashion industry, especially amongst non-conformists. Combining pop color with glam rock, this was a nod to the wild west world of cowboys. Glitter tops and metallic jackets were paired with cowboy boots on a cow hyde mat, a coy and fundamentally juxtaposed mesh of East and West. A favorite was an underwear exposed shiny pink varsity jacket with joggers, a tease at athleticism and its demands. A cheeky ‘Thank you!’ bag printed outerwear jacket stabbed at our consumerist culture too. Pink satin overalls, a grey coat with matching shorts, and a romper of sorts all showcased unisexuality and pointed at the trend of monochrome and single color outfits, which was clearly here to stay.
This one had a dark and intimately styled presentation, with Rafal Swiader blended a background of his Parisian upbringing, Polish roots and Brooklyn home to create a collection. This one was an elegant collection, with refined sheer white and cream shirts with curvy collars and black piping, a similar look in sleeveless but tailored white, and gorgeous black shirts in oversized fits. One revealed a nipple under a surreal printed cardigan, a print that was reimagined as a kimono dress too. Layers in gauze and sheer were common, but appeared classy and almost tailored. A transition to camo-like fluid prints in purples and blues and paler hues reigned over dungarees, blazers, denim jackets, vests and jeans, almost relaying an organic sense of living. While hard to classify, this was perhaps street style made elegant, a testament to a space in fashion that was less occupied.
I am always fascinated by masks, which was the central theme of Descendant of Thieves, a curious name with tribes of men in colorful and versatile outfits. I liked the floral varsity jackets, the preppy collar red shirt and the yellow floral trousers, which were disparate looks amongst the collection. With a string of thigh rise punchy shorts drew much appeal due to their muscular drapers, I simply enjoyed the pairings of contrasting colors, like bright yellow pants with cropped navy and mustard blazers, or the indigo satin shirt with a yellow neckerchief.
A quirky name, Life in Perfect Disorder one embraces the New York way of living by constructing a set which resembles a New York apartment with friends meeting up. These include your anti-Trump tee shirt clad buff dude, a pink haired New Yorker juxtaposing a clean white shirt with distressed denim, a piped jogger clad lad with Vans shoes, and a damsel with pierced nipple inners and contrasting clean eyewear. It was a simple, clean and understated way of representing the life of a New Yorker.
Disorder and post-war experiences were a theme once again for Julius Juul, designer of Heliot Emil, who had forays of plastic to symbolize over-consumerism as a set. There were utilitarian styles and military looks, with cargo boots and vests and harnesses aplenty. All of them were styled haphazardly, some woven diagonally, and all speaking of the impact of our consumerist culture.
One of the funkiest apres-surf designers Thaddeus O’Neil chose a tribal look dipped in magenta and purple hues as the highlight of his party. In synch with his lifestyle choices, the long haired models draped linens and cottons in comfy hues of blue and white, reigning with stripes that transitioned into earthy tones and prints. A calm collection, accented with a punchy hue of nature inspired palms and leaves and accessories that made nymphs and fantasy creatures out of these casual lads. A fun time indeed.
Overall, it was a refreshing set of designers who chose fashion as a medium to tell their story about modern living in one of the most bustling, and admittedly most bizarre cities on the planet.