PFW Men′s: The Round Up

Although there was “no Ralph, no Calvin and no Tom”, as Steven Kolb, the chief executive of the Council of Fashion Designers of America said before the Carlos Campos show, New York Fashion Week was as brilliant as ever. Here’s our highlights from the week.

David Hart
David Hart isn’t one to follow trends; he makes them. For his 15-piece collection Hart had the belief that tailored clothing had stagnated for a considerable period of time. The normal slim skinny looks that have filled the runways of late needed refreshing which came in the form of bell-bottom trousers, wide lapels, and fat ties that could have been borrowed off your Dad. Inspiration was focused on themes as quirky as Malibu surfers pictured by the photographer LeRoy Grannis, spaghetti Westerns, Bauhaus photography or supremely elegant jazz musicians. Offering an admirable wacky collection, there were ruffled shirt fronts with outward pointed collars, high-waisted hopsack trousers worn with daisy shirts and patterned satin brocades with outrageous Cadillac fin lapels. For a colour palette, think brown plaid with pink. Accessories were represented unusually in every look; the embroidered eye brooches created by French artist Céleste Mogador and sea horse motifs.

Willy Chavarria
Willy Chavarria, a (pause for breath) California-born, New York-trained, Copenhagen-based designer who has already challenged the constrictions of gender binaries and homophobia that exists in Hispanic communities in his previous collections presented his fourth show in the Big Apple this week. Collaborating with Danish sportswear brand Hummels, Chavarria chose the American immigration policy has his thematical inspiration. “I was raised in a family that came from the civil rights movement’’ Chavarria said before his show. “When I started my own label, I wanted to make sure that was at the core of everything I did.” Dividing his show into two, the American designer first sent models down the runway in a series of XXL sport clothes such as roomy shorts and sweat clothes with printed AMERICA logo’s or an upside down American flag. A house favourite; the relaxed t-shirt with the face of Maxine Water printed – a representative amongst the most vociferous critics of President Trump and his policies. Then came denim and work clothes that paid homage to the streets of LA in the late 20th century. It may not have been a world-breaking collection, but it’s values and message amplified every piece.

Bode
Shown on the final day of New York Fashion Week Men’s, Emily Adams Bode, the head designer for Bode, turned her inspiration to the family history of her longtime collaborator, Aaron Ajula. Aujla is of Indian-Canadian descent and by using a hand spun Indian fabric called Khadi, which represented the resurgence of domestic cloth manufacture to India, a cause championed by Gandhi - Bode was paying tribute to him. Stating that she wanted to move more into tailoring, Bode’s take on the style was Asian-inspired, light and whimsical; think khadi bowling shirts, waffle-knit short-sleeve shirts and trousers that repurpose the cloth and graphics once produced by government-subsidised mills in India. The collection, which may have been the week’s finest show, was a demonstration of Bode’s incredible talent and craftmanship that she will use to dominate the industry in years to come.

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