Fashion Week started with Men’s Day in New York. Start-up brands were invited to showcase their fall / winter 2022 collections, and the next generation of designers shared their interpretations of contemporary menswear.
From the height of the Hudson Yards high-rise, against the backdrop of an unusually bright February day, began a demonstration on New Year’s Day in New York. The showcase gave the same encouraging energy as the weather in the afternoon.
Entering the showroom, designer Nicholas Raefsky took the observer away from the pomp and circumstances of Fashion Week to a more carefree setting from a bygone era. A fall / winter 2022 brand show titled “Meet Me By The Bleachers” presented a scene that won’t be out of place in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza”.
Resting in the stands, models decorated in various styles of the 70s, radiated the energy of youth, combined with clothing. Calm pastel shades, funky patterns and a confident blocking of colors were reflected under the warm glow of the top lights. AstroTurf carpets completed the image of Friday night in the Southern California suburbs of the 70s.
Amid the revival of 1970s aesthetics in modern fashion, this collection is the result of Raefski’s study of man’s propensity for nostalgia. The compelling story is the cornerstone of the young designer’s fashion philosophy. Weaving self-reflection into the collection, Raefsky conveyed his story with a sense of authenticity.
The brand’s sophomore collection is a modern attempt to recreate the fashionable aesthetics and style of that era, and it managed to give the brilliance and glamor of the decade with modern functionality. While it may end up missing the substance its designer aspired to, the fun and brightness it exudes makes it a respectable entry in the brand’s catalog.
New York Academy
The New York Academy has created a minimalist atmosphere for the opening of its inaugural menswear collection. Tall windows flooded the white walls of the showroom with the radiance of the evening sun. Views of private helicopters descending over the gleaming Hudson River enhance the sense of luxury that the brand seeks to present.
By abandoning live models, the brand presented its collection to visitors for direct interaction, contributing to a more intimate showcase experience. Every detail reflects quality craftsmanship – the central focus for the brand. For FW22, designer Swaim Hutson reinterpreted men’s custom-made clothing, finding inspiration in exquisite yet daring ensembles from Katsumi Watanabe’s portrait photography. The collection aims to emulate the main fashion philosophy of iconic menswear designer Ray Petri, which challenges tradition to create new classics.
Hutson’s arrangements combined a variety of winter clothing styles with classic clothing, including a wide color palette. The designs avoid subtleties with their exquisite designs and unique silhouettes. The highlight of the collection was a three-piece suit with a floral ornament. On a muted dark green base stood out embroidery, present even on the buttons. The clothing created the illusion of a botanical body armor, the owner veiled in overgrown vegetation.
Reminiscent of luxury streetwear brands, including Aimé Leon Dore and Kith, the New York Academy’s official foray into men’s clothing has managed to breathe life into timeless styles, thus surpassing tradition. However, the brand has ways to differentiate itself from its aforementioned contemporaries. Consistent collections need to see how the brand continues to hone its own unique image and corporate aesthetics.
Atelier Cillian, the brainchild of designer Stephen Michael, debuted at NYMD 2022. Models dressed in sharp collection styles cast a sinister glance at salon visitors. Terrible overhead lighting drew the viewer’s attention
Template designs by Michael. Black, silver and scarlet shades came to life on a shadow background. Melodramatic music created a deliberately disturbing feeling.
The collection, entitled The Wires of Dashwood, deals with Michael’s childhood obsession with religion, mythology, and history. The first season of Atelier Cillian was primarily inspired by the mysterious Hellfire Club in 18th century Britain. Each ensemble radiated the sinister aura of a secret society that remains shrouded in rumors to this day. There is a cheerful but sinister tone that permeates the entire collection.
However, Atelier Cillian’s debut collection failed to achieve the sophistication of haute couture design she sought to emulate. It was less Christian Dior, and more a museum piece of Johnny Depp’s most iconic roles.
A loud house beat struck in the background, adding to the sterility of the showroom – a common feature of futuristic fashion. Minimalism is central to the work of designer Clara Son. The simplicity of the composition of the salon reflected this fact. The models stood in front of a snowy background and faced a curious audience. The physical and symbolic distance between the two groups evoked the image of a theatrical stage on which clothing came to life.
A presentation entitled Exuvia capsule, embodied a post-apocalyptic quality similar to the Yeezy Kanye West brand. Inspired by the peculiar anatomy of insects, the Dream presented unusual silhouettes, uniform in color. However, behind the strong exoskeleton hid a hidden sensitivity.
Elements of uniforms and overalls of various professions were visible in the collection. The works evoked the spirit of fighter pilots, firefighters and fishermen – all careers that embody traditional notions of masculinity. However, Son challenged these biases with emotionally rich choreography. The secluded behavior of the models dissipated as they advanced into the audience and performed a ballet sequence that revealed a vulnerability to masculinity.
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