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New York Fashion Week: Men's plays on street wear and contemporary Americanism

By Kristopher Fraser

Jul 11, 2017


New York Fashion Week: Men's has kicked off its fifth season, and day one commenced with New York Men's Day, where a slew of rising designers displayed their fashion talents to editors, buyers, bloggers and industry personnel.

This year, many designers attempted to play up on the popularity of the streetwear phenomenon, and play up to motifs of classic Americanism,

Brands including Daniel Hecther Paris, Head of State, Descendant of Thieves and Life in Perfect Disorder were showing at Men's Day for the first time. In the spirit of trying to appeal to the U.S. customer for the first time, brand's played up to motifs and inspiration of classic Americanism.

David Hart, who is continuing his reign as one of the industry favorites of Men's Day, presented a collection of vacation inspired wear paired with his take on traditional suiting that has long made him so popular.

Krammer & Stoudt went for their usual California meets East Coast aesthetic, but their silhouettes had the appearance of pajamas and overly lax casual wear that stopped short of athleisure. While the brand is doing some great things, having recently launched made-to-measure, they need to elevate their ready-to-wear offerings to stay on the pulse of everyone in the industry. Pieces like seersucker suits and drawstring pants were a safe-to-sell bet, but they need to push the envelope.

Menswear continuing to go street style and genderless

Daniel Hechter Paris, one of the brands who showed at Men's Day for the first time, brought elements of Parisian street style to the U.S. to help draw a new set of customers. Pieces includes light weight blazers and jackets perfect for summer travel, playing on neutral colors like navy blue and beige. While they played it safe for their first venture into Men's Day, they knew their clothes would sell.

Private Policy elected to approach Americanism by going the political route. In the era of Trump, they drew inspiration from the lost American dream. Their collection, entitled "Trinkets," drew inspiration from Natvie American elements, and attempted to reinvent basics like jeans and denim jackets. The brand, which is actually genderless, focused on minute details like chain pieces designed by American youth who interpreted what the American dream means to them.

Descendant of Thieves presentation was an artistic experience focusing on the idea of human masking and playing on streetwear. According to creative director Matteo Maniatty, "Clothing in itself is a mask we put on every single day." The designer's collection was inspired by the fashion obsessed MODs of the mid 60s who showed that men can dress purely for show (Is this how we got peacocking?) Brightly patterned pants were the standout pieces from this show in styles such as bright yellow and an orange color with floral print. Maniatty must know his market, a.k.a. the boys of Pitti Uomo.

Life in Perfect Disorder also took their moment to capitalize on the genderless trend. Genderless clothing is a growing trend in the market, and not only that, but the brand also takes a seasonless approach to their designs. Instead, they focus on producing high quality garments in limited quantities. They even took the political approach with a t-shirt saying "Trump To Country: Drop Dead." Their color palette featuring pink, black and white took the neutral and played it against the feminine, a smart choice for what they were going for.

Men's Day proved that streetwear will continue to dominate, and designers have found a new approach to gender and have capitalized on both the street style obsession and dying gender norms in fashion.

Photos: courtesy of Agentry PR