10 Standout Looks From NYFW:Men’s

Back in July, I had the chance to attend and cover shows during New York Fashion Week Men’s, and, even though the heat and humidity sometimes made me regret it, the many talented designers I got to witness firsthand was worth the trip.

To switch things up, I  gave talented local artist Fredsonn Silva Aguda images of ten of my favourite looks from the week and asked him to illustrate them for this article. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Ever since Raf Simons was appointed the creative director of Calvin Klein, New Yorkers have been able to witness his genius at home. The designer took his spring/summer 2018 collection to the streets underneath a bridge in the heart of Chinatown. The location hinted at Blade Runner’s influence on the collection. Chinese lanterns hung from the ceiling emblazoned with the art of Peter Saville, who famously did album art for Joy Division and New Order. Raf continued to play with proportions as seen in previous collections, but maybe due to the location and its atmosphere, this collection seemed new but nevertheless still undoubtedly Raf.

Robert Geller’s newly launched Gustav von Aschenbach was a bit pared down from his namesake collection and offered oversized coats, jackets, and pants of varying widths and lengths made from high-grade Japanese textiles. I have been a HUGE fan of Geller’s for some time now and was excited to see his new endeavor up close. This look illustrated by Fredsonn was one of my favourites shown in the collection.

Another highlight from the week was designer Raul Lopez’s gender-bending and boundary pushing Spring/Summer 2018 collection for Luar. The collection took me back to my ’90s club kid days, but, styled differently, its pieces could be completely wearable (for some at least) today.

Although when I first saw this look at Palmiers du Mal’s presentation at the Gramercy Park Hotel it was hard to imagine being able to wear this look in spring and summer, as we all know mother nature often likes to toy with our emotions. It can be feel like Hades one day and the next it could snow. Either way this look could be worn whenever necessary and will keep you cozy and looking good.

I fell in love with the way designer Emily Bode mixed different patterns and textures for her debut Spring/Summer 2018 collection. The collection’s vintage feel still felt modern and you won’t have to dig through a bunch of clothes at your local vintage shop to look this good.

Raun LaRose ’80s inspired Spring/Summer 2018 collection felt more today than dated. The oversized shapes of jackets and pants or, in this case, shorts paired with sheer knee-high socks and sneakers could have easily been seen on the attendees packed into the designer’s presentation or on the streets of New York.

During designers Vincent Oshin and William Watson of label Death To Tennis Spring/Summer 2018 presentation, male models posed on pedestals and took selfies with camera phones, selfie sticks, and a polaroid camera. The collection offered great menswear staples including trench coats, tracksuits, sweats, T-shirts, and shorts.

Designer Barbara Sanchez Kane was inspired by her Mexican heritage and drew inspiration from life experiences for her Spring/Summer 2018 collection. This was definitely one of my many favourite looks from the collection.

Drawing inspiration from President John F. Kennedy and from travels during the presidential election in November of last year, designer Daisuke Obana offered everything from suits to preppy pieces perfect for summers on Martha’s Vineyard for his N.Hoolywood Spring 2018 collection.

’90s nostalgia was on full display for Patrick Ervell for his Spring 2018 collection. The collection included leather pants and shorts, trenchcoats and wind-breakers. At times the collection felt like it was missing something but true fans of the designer would be able to find pieces they have grown to love.

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The best of Paris Men’s Fashion Week

Men’s fashion weeks around the world sometimes get a bad wrap as being mere fillers used to hold the fashion market between the ladies’ shows, which, to some extent, is true. With fashion being a predominantly female-focused industry, designers sometimes ended up creating menswear as a quick fix to engender male buyers’ interest in the brand. The result: lackluster and uninspired collections that really had nothing to do with the brand apart from carrying its name on the label. However, it seems as though many designers are finally understanding the power that a solid menswear line can have. Every season, it seems that more and more designers are popping up on the men’s week schedules, all with their own styles, twists, and innovative designs aimed at changing the face of menswear around the world.

Thom Browne

Photos: Vogue Runway

It looks as if the biggest trend this season is genderless clothing, the mixing and matching of men’s and women’s to create a new range of clothing that fit the term “humanwear” rather than menswear. At Thom Browne, the air was heavy with the idea of gender non-conformity. What was once seen as women’s clothing was quickly turned into a collection of genderless formal wear, at once crisp and heavily based on traditional tropes of masculinity, but also made soft and feminine through the use of tailoring and length. Thom Browne created a double image, almost like two images placed on top of one another. It isn’t either or, it’s about humanity and its similarities rather what makes what gender what.

Dior Homme

Photos: Vogue Runway

Now it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the spring collections are riddled with shorts. The whole point of a spring collection is to provide the customers with a seasonally appropriate outfit as the weather starts to warm up. However, it seems that, over the past few seasons, men’s shorts seemed to have been getting shorter and shorter. This is most likely due to the fact that menswear is only very rarely affected by the rules of masculinity and femininity. So it wasn’t in the least bit shocking to see designer Kris Van Ashe send out a flurry of cropped hems on the runway at Dior Homme. The beauty in this collection comes from the casualness of the shorts. Instead of creating a traditionally formal look for menswear, it creates a much more youthful and carefree silhouette.

Undercover

Photos: Vogue Runway

Jun Takahashi is no stranger to creating interesting and fiercely modern knitwear for his collections at Undercover. His post-apocalyptic ’90s cyberpunk collection is very relevant to what’s been happening over the last year with the massive influx of punk, grunge, and metal in menswear. But it isn’t just the heavy knits that make this collection something worth looking into. The outerwear is exceptionally well made and eye-catching. Oversized garments also seemed to be a big selling point throughout the collection. Exaggerated trapeze style coats walked alongside massive, overstretched flannels, and sweaters add to the “I don’t care, I wear what I want!” attitude of the collection.

Lucien Pellat-Finet

Photos: Vogue Runway

“How do you do preppy in 2017 without having to resort to beige cargo shorts and a candy coloured polo shirt?” That must have been the question designer Lucien Pellat-Finet must have been asking himself when he designed this fun take on the varsity jock’s go-to for his Spring 2018 collection. What’s interesting about this collection is the subtle yet completely recognizable throwback to the early ’90s jock — the inviting pastels as well as the velours and gauzy prints that scream varsity loungewear. Think Mark Paul Gosslear in Saved by the Bell, just far more high fashion. Another statement that jumps out here is one that was being made at many of the other collections. There was a real sense of soft femininity which may have either been brought on by the pastels, or the subtle change in fit. While most of the garments looked to be normal length, some were designed to fit a tad bit on the cropped size; an ode to womenswear for sure.

Juun.J

Photos: Vogue Runway

One of the biggest surprises to come out of Paris menswear week this season had to be designer Juun. J’s “formless and genderless” collection. The collection, which featured men’s and women’s clothing, was created with the ultimate goal of being interchangeable, the line between menswear and womenswear virtually indistinguishable. There were clear men and ladies influences. The hard pinstripe suiting and outerwear and the soft flowing shirting and caftan style dresses meshed and interchanged beautifully with one another. The collection showed its audiences that interchangeable unisex collections aren’t something of science fiction. They’re very now and seem to be a driving force behind the engine that is fashion. Take the army green hoodie paired with the long white caftan dress that walked the show. The entire look is completely wearable for both men and women without altering the look of the outfit itself.

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The fashionable life of an emerging designer: Aarón Fernández

Close your eyes. Now, picture a fashion influencer. Do you have it?

The first image that probably comes to your mind is an elegantly dressed girl, ready to capture her daily outfits with a camera on hand — guilty! But the term applies to a wide range of new and very different talents that are reshaping the fashion industry. And men are proving that they know one or two things about style.

This is the case for Spanish influencer, Aarón Fernández, whose hipster-inspired personal style is taking Instagram by storm. He has more than 35,000 followers who keep track of his daily adventures on both social media and his personal blog “AF Fashion Blog”. But there is much more than just buzz about this emerging social media sensation.

Credit: Aarón Fernández

His journey in the fashion industry dates back to 2009. As a child, he showed talent for drawing and, though his drafts were more about furniture and buildings, time would prove that he had a gift that would later translate to designing womenswear.

Since his start, Fernández has created beautiful and elegant pieces that reinvent classic designs in a sophisticated way. In 2013, and after having worked on several collections and having perfected his sewing skills, this emerging designer embarked on the adventure of creating his own brand. He needed to channel his inner world, because, as Fernández says, “design is pure art. It comes from your personal thoughts and tastes.”

Credit: Aarón Fernández and Matthew Lauren Photography

It was a huge challenge because he was still a student, but he says he “couldn’t wait any longer” to show his most personal creations to the world. The risk and effort have paid off. Fernández, who is from a small city in the east of Spain, Alcoy, received a lot of orders from private clients, and his talent was soon spotted by some members of the industry. He recalls a time when a client walked in a room wearing one of his dresses “and the audience fell silent because she was radiant.” I’m sure there is little to rival such an indescribable emotion he must have felt.

Following his success as a designer, Fernández got invited to fashion shows, parties, and magazines; all exciting projects and memorable experiences that he shared with his social media followers. These stories caught the attention of a lot of Instagram users, and attracted thousands of others who wanted to know more about the ins and outs of the life of an emerging fashion designer.

Four years after the launch of his brand, and after the unstoppable growth of his Instagram family, Fernández’s main resolution for 2017 is focusing more on his profile as influencer because what one can communicate on Instagram has completely captivated him: “[you] can show a picture in a poetic way.”

Credit: Aarón Fernández

If you scroll down his profile — @aaronfernandezmoda — you will see “the fashionable life of an emerging designer.” A cascade of pictures shows his different roles — from the designer, who works on the last details of a dress minutes before a fashion show, to his latest #ootd dose of inspiration.

His personal style is elegant and classic, and maintains the balance between sports-inspired looks and tailoring. He loves trends and makes them his own, “always adding a bold piece or accessory, and never really thinking about what others might think.”

Maybe that’s the key to his success — confidence and passion in every project he embarks on. What you can’t doubt when you talk with Fernández is that, although juggling all these roles must be difficult, he loves fashion and enjoys every step of the journey that will take him very far.

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Milan Men’s Fashion week recap

Milan Menswear has just wrapped up and the Italian fashion capital has once again taught the fashion world what stylish menswear truly is. Unlike its contemporary fashion capital counterparts, Milan has a long history of adding a Mediterranean freshness and zest to men’s fashion that really isn’t seen anywhere else in the world. However, adding hints of bright Mediterranean colour to many collections doesn’t mean the clothing comes off as childish or irreverent. Rather, the collections remain as stylish and elegant as they always have in Milan.

Now, colour isn’t the only highlight one should expect from Milan fashion week. Recently, designers in Milan have opted to recreate what a dapper European man should look like. The cuts are still rather traditional, yet they carry a sense of youth that isn’t traditionally associated with the iconic Milan design houses. With that said, Novella has highlighted some of the most inspiring and all around picture perfect collections at Milan menswear week 2017.

Prada

Photos: Moncia Feudi

Starting off the list is Miuccia Prada and her astounding take on the 1970s university “it” crowd fashion, Models stormed the runway in a sea of heavy jewel tone pieces in colours ranging from oxblood to turquoise. These simple, yet direct nods to the 1970s conjured up images of must have mustard and maroon items which swept the fashion industry at the time.

Another vintage staple showcased heavily throughout the show was corduroy, which Miuccia tirelessly splashed throughout the collection. Almost every look in the collection incorporated the use of corduroy in some way shape or form. Whether it was pants or even a jacket, Miuccia managed to take one of the most hated materials in the world and make it a fashion must have for the upcoming fall season. Which truly is a feat in and of itself.

Ports 1961

Photos: Vogue Runway

When Ports debuted their latest collection, it was almost too surreal to be taken all in. Here was a house who was never really associated with following trends or releasing a collection that perfectly mirrors what is going on in today’s fashion world.

In terms of the collection, all the current staples are there; he slight slouchiness of androgynous menswear; the bold colour choices; the shirting. All of the ingredients to make a wonderful menswear label are there. The true winners of the collection have to be the half-in-half-out striped shirts that we’ve been seeing everywhere during men’s and women’s fashion weeks, as well as the brightly coloured puffer jackets that have been seen everywhere from Balenciaga to Raf Simons. All in all, it’s lovely to see an iconic house like Ports 1961 embracing the changes in menswear and taking the time to understand what a newer clientele is looking for in a brand, while still maintaining a sense of European class.

Marni

Photos: Kim Weston Arnold

Fall 2o17 is the first collection to debut at Marni since Consuelo sadly took her final bow at last season’s iconic womenswear show. Now, most would assume the worst. After many years of watching a designer steer a fashion house through the decades, most would be hesitant to embrace whoever is hired to fill the shoes of the original designer. Fortunately, that isn’t the case at Marni. New creative head Francesco Risso has managed to create a collection that translates Marni’s offbeat spunkiness into something inarguably his, while still managing to keep the collection in quintessential Marni territory.

Like Prada, Marni‘s collection conjures up visions of 70’s and 80’s twentysomething’s that walk around oozing popularity. The wonderfully campy prints paired with the bold colour choices and crisp whites really create a sense of modern freshness, a sense of not taking oneself very serious and dressing how you’d like, rather than dressing for those around you. The real focal points of the collection must be the wonderfully belted pantsuits that adds a slight safari touch to a collection, yet still keeps the collection grounded in its central theme.

Marcelo Burlon County of Milan

Photos: Luca Tombolini

It’s always refreshing to see a rarely mentioned brand come out of the blue and present a collection that is truly one of the best for its season. This was the case for Marcelo Burlon County of Milan‘s fw 17 collection, which featured its menswear collection alongside its womenswear pre-fall collection. But that wasn’t what set the collection apart from the best at Milan this season. It seems as if designer Marcelo Burlon was aiming to express his take on the new normal in fashion. Everywhere you looked it seemed as if the lines between menswear and womenswear were crossed. Nothing seemed entirely feminine and nothing seemed entirely masculine. Both his male and female models seemed to melt into one another in a sea of red, black, and olive green cowboy inspired looks.

However, the beauty of this collection doesn’t end with its androgynous influences. The true glue that holds this collection together is the sheer mastery of cut and trend. Not only does Marcelo showcase the ever growing and important oversized trend in his collection, he manages to mesh it together with crisp pinstriped suiting, pajama style two pieces, and clear streetwear influences that have become so successful in recent years.

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Designer Profile: Troubled Collective

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Starting a clothing brand is definitely not easy especially in Toronto, which is not seen as a major fashion capital. Both Brandon Schulz and Mack Cathmoir of TROUBLED COLLECTIVE understand the trials and tribulations of managing a successful menswear label in 2016 that extends beyond just printed graphic t-shirts.

Mack and Brandon are life long friends that, at an early age, realized that they did not want to settle for the conventional nine-to-five job. So instead of TROUBLED COLLECTIVE being just a side project, they both dived in head first and made the brand their full-time priority.

On most days Mack spends endless hours on his notebook sending out emails and making calls as he handles the operations for the brand. For Brandon, his life on a daily basis is about sewing for hours in his bedroom, which he cleared out to put a sewing machine in, as he’s in charge of the majority of the pattern drafting and designing.

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They came up with this idea in 2012, but it wasn’t until after a whole year of planning and sleepless nights that the brand became a reality with the launch of their Spring/Summer 2017 collection which will be available in the coming months through their online shop.

All the pieces featured ride the waves of what’s currently in demand in menswear: a mix of monochromatic sportswear and activewear. The collection is a combination of tapered sweatpants, layering t-shirts, bombers, and hoodies.

Brandon and Mack want to make us feel confident, comfortable and relatable when wearing TROUBLED COLLECTIVE. As of right now, the label specializes in menswear but hopes to venture out to further creative realms such as music and art.

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For more information on Troubled Collective please visit their website.