Photography: Amanda Evans
Amidst the sweltering heat of July in New York City, New York Men’s Day kicked off fashion week with full force on July 10th. Transporting us back to the 1960s mod, designers ranging from well-known David Hart to Nigerian newcomer Taofeek Abijako brought Dune Studios to life on the second Monday in July. The Spring/Summer 2018 men’s collections, although largely defined by the reinvention of old trends, brought about a new understanding of the casual man.
Descendant of Thieves’ SS18 collection, largely modeled after the 1960s, championed the transformation of staple slacks and button downs by pairing diverse prints and bright colors with classic cuts to allow the everyday man to express a bolder and more curated sense of style. The slicked hair and floral trousers sported by models of all races transported viewers back to the eccentricity of the 1960s, which like Daniel Hechter’s collection, revitalized the classic pair of tailored slacks and fitted blazers.
Woodhouse and Maiden Noir took a more light-hearted path towards reinvention by evoking imagery of fictitious sites of refuge and playtimes of the past, effectively shifting the viewer away from the harsh realities of the present. Models with baseball bats in hand wore caps adorned with the slogan, “Make Menswear Great Again”, to emphasize the overarching theme of reinvention. Similarly, Maiden Noir’s use of vibrant stripes and lighter typewriter broadcloth shirting to juxtapose muted army prints and dark overcoats emulated artist David Hockney’s portrayal of American West Coast culture to further the collection’s underlying theme of escapism.
Others undertook the theme of reinvention through a more mechanical approach by incorporating bold hardware to offset a lack of brighter colors and vibrant prints. Bristol’s SS18 collection screamed monotonous street style, while Heliot Emil’s ‘PTCS’ collection evoked images of combat. Drawing on the theme of 1960s reinvention, Heliot Emil traded in brights colors and bold patterns for fashion-forward bulletproof vests and embellished combat boots.
David Hart and Head of State crossed borders to showcase Cuban and West African trends in their SS18 collections. Playing on the western idealization of Cuban culture, David Hart combined patterned neck scarves and espadrilles with blazers and Panama hats to emphasize a seemingly outdated and dubious portrayal of Cuba in foreign pop culture, while still managing to deliver a collection of revitalized vacation wear for men. Similarly, 19 year-old Taofeek Abijako of Head of State drew inspiration from famed West African photographers and musicians to produce a collection of gingham-patterned trousers and muted brights geared towards the everyday man.
Krammer + Stoudt’s SS18 collection collided resort-wear with metallic patterns and business casual. Drawing on Southwestern influence and vintage SoCal subculture, the collection expressed a modern twist on contemporary menswear by combining eccentric prints with a muted palette of beige, blue, cream, and grey. By combining linen suits with sneakers and metallic backdrops, Krammer + Stoudt adds glitz to everyday garb.
Drawing from the diverse culture and characteristic bustle of the United States, Private Policy’s SS18 collection illustrated the fine line between the fragility and beauty of the American Dream. By coupling quintessential American symbols, such as cowboy boots of the Wild West and urban takeout bags, with eccentric hairstyles and a wide range of accessories, Private Policy’s SS18 line presented a unique interpretation of American culture that reconciles its past with its ever-changing future. Similarly, hinging on the growing streetwear trend, Life in Perfect Disorder’s music-accompanied presentation brought us directly to the streets and challenged the popular interpretation of casual wear. Graphic prints, patterned button-downs, and drawstring leather jackets gave the collection purpose, effectively conveying a more politically charged message.
In their ability to reconcile trends of the past with those of the present, designers, both young and old, revitalized men’s fashion to mirror the ever-changing sociopolitical climate of the future. Men’s Day proved to be an opportunity to showcase creativity and innovation, but also one to revisit the past and alter the path of the future. Designers used their collections to vocalize their present-day political and cultural qualms, further emphasizing fashion’s capacity to possess influence beyond the creative sphere.
Amassed, Men’s Day forecast a theme of reinvention and purpose for the remainder of men’s fashion week.
Feature image: Maiden Noir Presentation
July is the month that celebrates our nation’s independence. This particular year, our individual, and global freedoms are challenged. Let’s not forget what our founding fathers wrote in our Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” — Declaration of Independence
We should remember that America was founded on the principle that freedom should be for all!
As we reach the pinnacle of the summer months, there is a sense of possibility in the air, brought on by the freedom of these warm days. We embrace the adventures of summer vacations and weekends. The beautiful weather and long days provide the perfect opportunity for exploration, be it a walking tour of the neighborhood, or a vacation to a faraway destination. Whether you’re working or embracing free time, staying home or traveling, it is difficult to ignore the excitement of the summer months, and the sense of freedom embodied by the month of July in particular. Take advantage of this newfound openness by exploring new hobbies, visiting new places, and trying new things.
Get creative in the kitchen and try making your own Cherry Blueberry Amaretto Ice Cream in celebration of National Ice Cream Day on the 16th! Or get in the spirit of July 4th with Broma Bakery’s Miss American Pie. Top it all off with a Watermelon Mojito that uses the freshest, in-season ingredients!
May your July be free and full of adventure!
Photography: Thea Macdonald
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt.
Beauty really is all around us. In these tense times, we sometimes forget to observe the beauty abounding in our day to day lives. From the oceans, rivers, mountains, fields, forests, and ice across the globe, our environment is the most beautiful and precious gift of all. We must all do our part to appreciate, and make conscious efforts to preserve the ultimate beauty: life itself.
Then there is of course the everyday reality that summer is fully upon us. Experience all of your senses to the fullest. With nature full of color and life, enhance the beauty of the meals you eat with simply prepared, fresh local produce. Take the time to assemble your meals artfully on a plate…the food experience is so much more satisfying! Spend less time on technology, and more time listening to beautifully composed music. Be observant… look around, be grateful that you can see the beautiful things that are in front of you. Be your best self by living life with joy and purpose and by giving back to others.
Get in the spirit with a summer barbeque (even if you recreate it inside) with grilled skirt steak with chimichurri and roasted summer vegetables. Don’t forget about Father’s Day (18th) and treat dad to a blueberry and orange brunch cake, and don’t forget the card!
Love Kate x