The SS17 menswear fashion week circuit has come and gone, as the global extravaganza made its last round of presentations in New York City just last week. As usual, the near two-month long spectacle offered an endless array of street style peacocking, free booze shenanigans and trend mimicry among designers and industry insiders.
Off the catwalk, Gucci Horsebit loafers appeared to be all the rage at LCM, while myriad bowling-style shirts glided through the streets of Paris and Milan. Designers, on the other hand, demonstrated a particular fondness for extra-long sleeves, with heaps of SS17 collections flashing ludicrously long cuts left and right on the runway. While NYFM:M’s shows kept oversized sleeves to a minimum (I don’t recall seeing any, in fact), designers did flex a penchant for another exaggerated sartorial attribute: gratuitously long belts.
Belts haven’t necessarily been the biggest fad in recent times – except for maybe when Gosha Rubchinskiy fastened shoelaces around his models’ waists at Paris Fashion Week FW15. But given the rising popularity of wallet chains and with buzzy brands like ALYX Studio churning out sick iterations of the accessory, statement waistwear may be destined for a comeback – let’s just hope that these remain but a cringeworthy memory of the early 2000s, however.
Burgeoning downtown NYC label Linder was the first to exhibit extra-long belts on the catwalk. The label accessorized its gender-bending collection with a broad assortment of dangling leather strap belts, most of which were ornamented with silver D-rings and chains. One of them was actually just a wallet chain itself, only it was styled around the waist as opposed to being attached at the side.
Tim Coppens’ belts were a bit more simplistic in design, but they really stretched the mile in terms of length, drooping so far passed the knee cap that they nearly touched the floor.
At Rochambeau, rugged black and brown leather belts were tightened then looped at the front, making them sag at thigh-length.
NYFW:M’s final day presented the sophomore collection of promising new label Landlord, who left many a fashion editor and buyer intrigued by its boldly-colored, construction worker-inspired streetwear. Keeping with the collection’s utilitarian theme, Landlord’s SS17 line featured a series of bright neon, elongated safety belts that were aligned with shimmery reflective tape and metal cam buckles.
It’s a bit uncertain whether or not super long belts will gain traction among stylish denizens across the globe; unlike this whole exaggerated sleeve trend that made its way on the European fashion week catwalks, belts that hang longer than the norm don’t really hinder everyday activities like scrolling through your iPhone or washing your hands after using the toilet. Do they offer an added pragmatism over regular-sized belts? Not really, unless you’re looking to flagellate an unassuming enemy during combat. But this is fashion we’re talking about, and as long as something looks cool, the matter of it being useful is usually irrelevant. I personally don’t mind them, but it’s up to you to decide.
Be sure to catch up on everything that went down this SS17 fashion week season.
- Photography: Thomas Welch