New York Fashion Week Men’s Recap: Fall/Winter 2017

If you didn’t find time to make it to New York Fashion Week this year, have no fear. We have compiled a list of a few noteworthy designers and their contributions to this year’s runway. If you are looking for style inspiration, you have come to the right place. Let us guide you by displaying some of our favourite menswear looks that are fresh off the runway.

Raf Simons

Photo Credit: Gerardo Somoza /

We couldn’t mention our favourite Fall/Winter 2017 collections without first discussing Raf Simons. Perhaps the most anticipated show of the season, Raf Simon’s debut at New York Fashion Week was incredible. Championing the title of Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein in August, Raf has certainly been busy. The collection devotes itself to New York City, with bold titles of “NY” carefully placed on knit sweaters. A highlight from the collection is noted in the accessorizing of the models. Oversize beaded necklaces hung off each model and displayed messages such as “I LOVE YOU” and “WALK WITH ME.” This collection presented a youthful exuberance inspired by those native to New York City, while making it accessible to all.

John Elliot

John Elliot’s Fall/Winter 2017 menswear collection presented itself as a sportswear brand that doubles as a streetwear brand. This season, the runway was recreated to look like a basketball court and engaged the cultural exchange taking place within the world of sports. John Elliot incorporated satin and silk materials onto metallic bomber jackets and reinvented the classic leather jacket by adding an array of colours. While not only including incredible texture into this line, John Elliot integrated hues of blue, green, and silver together, creating a colour palette that won’t go unnoticed.


Ovadia & Sons

Photo Credit: Gerardo Somoza /

Ovadia & Sons brought military inspired wear to this year’s runway with camo prints and army greens. The collection, created by twin brothers Shimon and Ariel Ovadia, features a personal history inspired by their father — a professional soccer player who was conscripted into the army. The collection recounts his time spent in the Israeli army and creates a visual canvas of his past as a soccer player. Much of the line fits into the athlesiure wear trend that is very popular in today’s menswear. As both designers were born in Jerusalem, they took inspiration from their roots while presenting their personal history onto their clothing, by adding Hebrew lettering to soccer jerseys. Ovadia & Sons let us into their world by sharing their intimate details, and allowing individuals everywhere to partake in their history.  


Orley has masterfully integrated neutral tones onto knit workwear. The collection trademarks a preppy aesthetic, while at the same time drawing inspiration from singer-songwriter Nick Drake. The collection creates a nostalgic kinship for the seventies, and features corduroy as one of its main textures. Orley offers a collection that is polished and perfectly tailored to the individual. Since the brand’s debut in 2012, Orley has achieved a great deal of success. This season, Orley continues to make a name for itself while offering a clean collection that is carefully crafted. The line exudes vintage tones through its’ presentation of wool sweaters and cashmere suits.

Uri Minkoff

Uri Minkoff crafted a collection inspired for the metropolitan man and his daily commute. The line includes tailored clothing that is carefully designed for men on-the-g0. For example, Uri Minkoff included buttons on the ankles of pants to ensure that chain grease from bicycles doesn’t soil the garment. The runway was recreated after a New York City crosswalk and appeals to bike messengers and businessmen everywhere. Uri Minkoff  includes weatherproof jackets with fashion forward designs. Accessories were also a stand-out of this collection, through cross-body bags, to smaller-type luggage. The collection is timeless as it is effortlessly trendy, while practical.

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Interview with Lesley Hampton

Meet Lesley Hampton, a talented fashion designer and creative director based in Toronto, who established her label in 2016 after graduating with honours with Bachelor of arts from University of Toronto and Sheridan college. Although Lesley only launched her line last year, the young and ambitious designer has already showcased her collection at Fashion Art Toronto, Toronto Women’s Fashion Week, Vancouver Fashion Week, and was also featured in Elle, Vogue, and Glamour.

We met at Stylist Box, an exclusive showroom for fashion stylists, fashion editors, and designers, founded by Christian Dare and Gail McInnes. The modern space was filled with the designer’s pieces from her current collection. Lesley welcomed me with a smile. She is naturally charming and her personality shined through her honesty and confidence.I was amazed by her determination to focus on important issues in society, such as body awareness and breaking the rules of what considered the ideal female body. We spoke about her collection, current fascinations, and  goals for the future.

Liat Neuman: At what point in life did you decide that you wanted to express your creativity through design? 

Lesley Hampton: I did a fashion designer internship the summer before I started university, and I studied art and history, which definitely help me to make my way to fashion design. During my study at the university I realized that I definitely see myself working in the fashion industry.

LN: How being a fashion designer has changed your life and is it helping you to enhance your point of view on things you believe in?

LH: It’s definitely helped me figure out how people feel in clothing and how you can make them feel more comfortable or stronger based on what you dress them in or what they choose to put on their body. It helps me to understand that anybody can look beautiful and you don’t have to strive to be in a specific size. It is more about how fashion works for you and makes you happy

LN: Which materials are you using for the collection and how is it different from your previous collection?

LH: The materials for FW 2017 collection are made from sequins, including sequinned mesh, embroidered lace, and Palmira sequins lace and poly finish like poly cotton. It’s different from the summer ’17 collection, I was focusing a lot on sequins and sparkle,with floral printed crepe and stretch sequinned mesh. The collection before, which was shown at FAT, was called City Warrior and I used mailer pleating.

LN: Where do you find your inspiration? Does everyday life inspire your work?

LH: The colours of the collection was inspired by the golden hours, which is when the sky turns a soft gold, the hour before sunset or after sunrise. The golden hour is also a term used  in trauma cases, that is the most crucial period for treatment. Since the golden hour refers to a period of time that lasts for one hour, following tragedy or injury, I brought it into my runway people that experience the golden hour, like Adrianne Haslet, the dancer, who was one of the Boston bombing survivor.

LN: Who is your target audience?

LH: I like to say that my target market is any woman who feels comfortable in her own skin and wants to look strong and powerful when she is attending a red carpet event or an evening party. My target audience is mainly women between the age of 25 to 40, but of course I’m worn by women of all ages that feel comfortable in my design.

LN: What message do you want to convey through the creation of your design?

LH: The message I want to convey is to be comfortable with the body that you have and do it through clothing. Don’t feel like trends or body ideal should hold you back from wearing what you want.

LN: What motivates you?

LH: Every time I see someone wearing my clothing, it makes me happy and motivated. The energy and the excitement come when I see people wearing my designs. It helps me push myself forward and  to continue designing.

LN: What are your goals for the future?

LH: My current goal is focusing on production and be able to reach a wider audience. Right now it is definitely expanding and moving into sales. Another goal is to be able to inspire more people to feel comfortable with their body and what they wear.

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Gerhard offers a carefully curated range of locally made menswear and lifestyle products, delivered with unparalleled customer service. Our idea is simple: high quality, good design and a fair price for both the makers and the buyer. Our “Made-in-Canada Mandate” is merely a means to that end.

Location: 2949 Dundas St West, Toronto


Paul Mason: VIP Interview

After more than 30 years in the fashion industry, renowned model Paul Mason remains as down­to­earth as though his professional career has just started. In fact, behind that silver beard—his signature feature—there is a fresh, youthful energy that’s infectious to anyone around him. Upon meeting him in person, I found myself wondering if the polished Mason has more in common with Mr. Newman than just a first name.

I had a roster of questions prepared for my interview with “Fashion Santa” (that’s the title he earned during his latest gig, which launched him even further into superfame), but a few minutes into our conversation I completely forgot them. Sitting in Le Gourmand at Richmond and Spadina, with Mason sipping a black coffee and I a decaf Americano, the mogul’s warm genuinity let our interview sink easily into more of a friendly chat during which he revealed the most important things he’s learned as a model and his hopes for Canada’s fashion industry.

His journey began in the midst of a Bachelor of Social Work at Ryerson University. Sometime during his studies the young, less bearded Mason was asked to walk for a presentation in a sociology class. Afterwards, he was handed the phone number of Judy Welch—the head of one of the first modeling agencies in Toronto. Mason made the call, and it wasn’t long before he was on the runways in Tokyo and Paris.

It’s a killer origin story, and it launched Mason into a lifelong and very successful career on the catwalk and in front of the camera. Naturally, he’s picked up a few jewels of fashion intel since then. For one, he sees fashion as an expression of how we feel and perceive ourselves (“Through our clothes, we tell the world who we are”) and thinks style is all about the details (“They define our personal style. Through them I can totally see which people are stylish”).

Then he touches on the street style phenomenon that’s had an increasing effect on the fashion world in recent years.  “Even designers look at what people are wearing on the street,” says Mason. “It’s the trickle­up effect! One of my favourite documentaries is the one about Bill Cunningham, the renowned street style photographer at The New YorkTimes. That’s a great example of what you see on the streets, which a lot of the time is much more interesting than what you see on the runway.”

With a solid career on his back as a fashion model, any advice from Mason has more value than anybody else’s. He encourages up­and­coming designers, models, stylists and makeup artists to fight for their dreams and always keep an open mind. He also stresses that in this industry, working hard is definitely more important than playing hard, despite what it might look like on Page Six.

“I think that people working in fashion are probably the hardest­working people,” says Mason. “From editors, to photographers, to stylists, to models, it is a really tough industry to work in!”

In the last few minutes of our interview, I ask Mason for his opinion on the Canadian fashion industry and how we should go about resolving the lack of local support that we are dealing with. His response sounds as calm and cautious as usual, but more determined than ever.

“My biggest hope for the Canadian fashion industry is to keep it at home,” he says. “We should start buying more clothes by Canadian brands and supporting each other. This is a place that’s unique on the planet. I think now through TOM* we have kind of set a standard even that there is a lot of controversy around us. I believe that through more initiatives like that, the cultural institutions and the government in power really can’t turn their backs on what is going on. We have to support this industry from the ground level but once we get the government involved, everything will be easier, definitely.”

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Photographer: Yannick Alain Gauthier

MUA: Marika D’Auteuil

Hair: Patrick G Nadeau

Stylist: Emmanuelle Neron

Paul Mason wearing Philippe Dubuc

Female model Marie Laurence Goyette (Montage Models) wearing Marie Saint Pierre