Menswear fashion week can often be overshadowed its womenswear counterparts. But it remains an inspiring showcase of skill, innovation and craftsmanship. Fashion week exclusively for menswear has even proved a controversial issue in the past. Several naysayers ask why designers require separate showcase for their men’s and womenswear at all. But creative executives, journalists and designers alike have spoken out on the importance of the equality of the two. They represent entirely different markets, for example, and arguably different skillsets. "The men's business and the women's business are still separate," remarked Michael Maccari. “The men’s buyer is different from the women’s buyer, for example. The men’s magazine and women’s magazine are different. The market is still segmented.”
The trend forecast for Fall 2016 places a strong emphasis on fabrics, tailoring, and refined sportswear. Some of the most wearable yet visually striking examples came from a wide range of established houses. Newer work from Rag & Bone and J Crew was also notable and predicted to sell well.
In New York's ferocious weather, Rag & Bone’s cool aesthetic and played particularly well. High-performing outerwear and edgy looks were tempered by the influences of classic English tailored. The lined parka layered over a skinny wool suit, for example, captured an easy-going retro charm. Functionality was also emphasised in a pared down bomber jacket silhouette. Layered on top of sweaters it made for an outdoorsy look that was still street smart. Military influences were the undercurrent of the khaki shades and heavy duty knitwear. The show was a wearable classic with strong couture craft that will still translate well to the street. Several brands are expected to inspire reputable companies like Comfy Clothiers and other favourites.
Michael Kors was expectedly opulent and heavy on texture but still grounded details like utilitarian boots. Wool, fur, and a sleek take on the traditional puffer jacket meant the looks were more fresh off the slopes of Aspen than the streets of New York. Think t-shirt clad Paul Newman in a classic car meets Robert Redford’s Gatsby. Equally luxurious but perhaps with a touch more athleticism was Polo Ralph Lauren. Slick suits atop cashmere sweaters and silk ties were collegiate and club influenced, but worn in a younger way. One model wore dreadlocks with his tailored tweed suit. A three piece number cut in black denim was perhaps particularly contemporary. The equestrian style, complete with sweatpants and a durable duffel coat, was All-American charm.
The Alexander McQueen showcase was unapologetically edgy with a refreshing Scottish influence. Bold red, black, and quilted leather left a lasting impression. Eye-catching tartan and Fairisle knits also stood out. Colours often clashed and fabrics were heavy and voluminous. The aesthetic was a playful parade of the Scottish romance classic I Know Where I’m Going meets the punk rock scene. The burgundy wool and cotton blend suits were paired with chunky gothic style boots. But the flowing fabric and sculpted model features still kept an air of youth and vulnerability.
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