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Where the runway meets the street

Highsnobiety is on the ground at the world’s fashion capitals, bringing you up-to-date reporting on the latest shows and events from the SS17 fashion weeks.

To save you the hassle of checking countless different collection reports, we’re bringing you all the most important happenings in one easy-to-digest daily roundup.

Here’s everything you need to know from Day 1 of New York Fashion Week: Men’s SS17. Check out the last of Paris’ action here.

Linder Taps Gender Fluidity for the Modern Workman

I have to admit, given the lackluster reputation of New York’s burgeoning menswear-dedicated fashion week, my level of enthusiasm was set almost ground floor. At just three seasons in, the affair’s track record has so far proven to be underwhelming, forgettable and overall poorly organized – which is odd for a city considered to be the zenith of all things trendy, eclectic and unpredictable. But given how young the Big Apple’s men’s week is, a few hiccups are bound to occur in the beginning; LCM was a series of trials and errors before it became the renowned incubator of raw and vivacious talent that it is today. But the day started out on a hopeful note after I went to check out Linder’s debut catwalk show.

Hosted in a downtown theater far off from where the majority of NYFW:M’s shows were being held, Linder, the brainchild of designers Kirk Millar and Sam Linder, took to their usual practice of breaking down what is traditionally conceived as “menswear” – which is very now seeing how designers are consistently flexing a penchant for genderless narratives in their collections. According to the press release, the focus of SS17 was to use “familiar pieces of the everyday wardrobe, and [figure out] how to make them unfamiliar without making them unwearable.” Bit of a stretch in my opinion; skintight cropped wife beaters, flowing tunic tops and long denim skirts are still a bit niche for the average dude, unless you’re, say, Jaden Smith or Young Thug.

On his Jaden Smith tip @linder.nyc #ss17 #nyfwm

A video posted by Nico aMarca (@sinisterminister_) on

Traditional white button-up oxfords were cut just above the navel, cardigans were fastened asymmetrically upwards revealing hints of cleavage and skimpy terrycloth shorts exposed more leg than the eye could handle, but the denim trousers embellished with those braille-patterned belt studs are what really stood out for me. Though nothing really left me with a “wow, that’s genius” reaction in the end, the collection was a promising one for the burgeoning label and shows that Kirk and Sam are really making steps to evolve and nurture their brand’s identity.

Private Policy Speaks out for Fisherman Slaves

Private Policy was my favorite collection of the day; not surprising considering how sick their debut FW16 collection was (those Chewbacca faux fur sleeves though). For their sophomore range, Parsons graduates Haoran Li and Siying Qu took inspiration from a news article published by Associated Press in 2015 exposing slave labor in the South Asian fishing industry. Set to a dark ambient soundtrack, models donning slicked up mohawks and black face paint (not sure that was the most savory touch) stood in a sterile white room decorated with biohazard trash bags while wearing accessories meant to represent “imprisonment, restriction, and pain” – think chainlink belts, harnesses and unnecessary straps that dangled from pant legs and sleeves.

Weighty sociopolitical overtones aside, the brand stuck to its guns by preserving its whimsical flair and downtown sassiness (hence the oversized pearly bomber emblazoned with the words “Sworn to Fun. Loyal to None”). Graphics were scarce, but there was this gnarly illustration of a disfigured man with a carp hanging from his mouth that was featured on a deconstructed tank top (my favorite piece, actually).

Private Policy may be young, but what it lacks in age it certainly makes up for in fearlessness, which is really something that Men’s Week needs to be honest.

Rideau Brings LA Cool to NYC

Though based in New York, fledgling luxe lifestyle brand Rideau decided to tap the effortless “cool factor” that defines the indie rock scene of Downtown Los Angeles (evidently Hedi Slimane isn’t the only one inspired by LA’s music culture). Using fine fabrics such as fox fur, brushed suede and Chinese silk, SS17 marked a bold turning point for the (normally) neutral and basics-loving brand. A mustard suede biker jacket, sheeny multi-colored blazer and shorts combo and fur-lined trucker jacket were the obvious eye-grabbers, but the real banger was the Qi Pao black silk suit ensemble. Try wearing that to the club.

Chapter Gets Dramatic

If Rideau brought the West Coast to the East Coast, Chapter did the exact opposite. The three-year-old label may call the bright and sunny SoCal city of LA their home, but the brand is anything but. Sticking to its affinity for angular silhouettes and stark colors, Chapter’s SS17 collection took cues from the lush cinematography of Baz Lurhmann’s 1996 flick Romeo + Juliet along with the angsty aggression that defined Gen-X youth street culture.

With a live classical string band playing in the background, sulking Jim Jarmusch-looking models towered over spectators amidst white sprayed painted palm trees and basks of lagoon blue light. Pleated wide-leg dress pants were styled with mesh tanks, dark patterned bowling shirts and a bevy of metallic accessories – wallet chains, O-shaped belt links, chain necklaces, a zipper harness, ankle bracelets, etc. Paisleys, florals and stripes added a splash of airiness to the otherwise dramatic presentation, but this was shortly remised after you made eye contact with the models’ unflinching faces which were mostly covered by these massive Terminator sunglasses.

The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of Highsnobiety as a whole.

Words by Nico Amarca
Fashion Editor, North America
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