Fashion Week, for an editor, is really an overwhelming affair. For one, the schedule is ever changing, so it’s almost impossible to draft up a concrete itinerary (heads up to all you OCD planners out there). Secondly, the sheer quantity of designers showing their respective collections all at once makes it nearly impossible to attend every show, so the selection process can be quite daunting.
The FW17 menswear-dedicated Fashion Month recently concluded in the Big Apple, where industry folk flooded the city’s streets to soak up all the sartorial happenings taking place at breakneck speed. While we did our best to hit up as many shows as we could, some shows unfortunately didn’t make the cut (time travel sadly doesn’t exist yet).
The latest installment of our ongoing Under the Radar series spotlights five burgeoning designers whose collections generated a sizable amount of buzz at New York Fashion Week: Men's this season. From ghetto-fab Louis XVI voguing gear to politically-charged repurposed sportswear, stay ahead of the game by getting to know these brands before they become huge.
If your label wants to be considered for future posts then, by all means, get in touch.
This season marked NYC-based designer Raun LaRose’s first ever Men's Week presentation. Dubbed "To Whom It May Concern," the collection was defined by operatic cuts and whimsical silhouettes, drawing inspiration from '90s hip-hop, skaters and Austrian artist Erwin Wurm. Further heightening his extravagant vision, LaRose made ample use of kinky fabrics such as PVC, metallic silver lamé and mesh, adding a fetishistic and feminine touch to his baggy "menswear" ensemble.
Key Pieces: Invisible mesh cropped varsity with lamb fur collar, white PVC wide-leg trouser, beryl green quilted PVC bubble throw.
For his sophomore presentation, Scottish-born designer Nicholas Elliott sought to shatter all notions of homogeny with a collection inspired by 1992 fantasy film Orlando as well as David Lynch's ill-fated 1984 sci-fi movie Dune.
Ethnically ambiguous, Elliott's most blatant translation of disparity came by way of his show's cast, which featured male models, both tall and short, with a variety of skin tones and hair textures. The clothing was quite diverse too, piercing together looks that paired up everything from tanning bed sunglasses and militaristic shirt jackets to faux-Astrakhan coats and marble-printed leggings.
Key Pieces: Orange crushed velvet blazer topcoat, faux fur coat, oversized heather grey hoodie.
Matthew Adams Dolan
Australian-American designer Matthew Adams Dolan’s name has been uttered around the fashion water cooler for some time now, thanks to his eye-grabbing denim creations worn by none other the bad gyal herself, Rihanna.
For FW17, Dolan incorporated his penchant for utilitarian fabrics into a collection comprised of avant-garde workwear. Models encased in layers of quilted blankets, nylon pajamas and oversized corduroy trousers slouched atop a large white bed, a setup inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed Piece, while a single slogan tee reading "Remember the Ladies," a phrase cut from a 1776 letter written by second First Lady Abigail Adams, underscored the minimal mix of colors, textures and shapes.
Key Pieces: Dusty rose elongated parka, cream quilted coat, blue corduroy work shirt.
New York Fashion Week: Men's has a reputation for being stale, overtly commercial and downright boring, but this season, a designer by the name of Alejandro Palomo completely annihilated the event's stereotypical traits with his label Palomo Spain's gender-warped designs.
On a catwalk festooned with bright pink lilies, male models dusted in metallic blush and eyeshadow strutted to a sort of voguing opera soundtrack in flowing gowns, bustiers and thigh-high heels. Animal prints, latex, pin stripes and houndstooth weaved in and out of the collection, cheekily titled "Objecto Sexual," with ease and delicacy, creating this surrealistic rococo vibe that went completely rogue from the week's archetypical GQ-tinged offerings of suits, ties and minimal sportswear.
Key Pieces: Wouldn't wear any of it, but the cow-printed fur coat and white latex tailcoat were certainly interesting to look at.
We originally caught a glimpse of Siberian-born designer Maria Kazakova's most recent collection for her label Jahnkoy at NYFW SS17, during Parsons's MFA show. This season, however, was the first time Jahnkoy hosted its first solo presentation and included a few additional pieces that were absent from the brand's original showcase.
Instead of conducting a conventional runway show, Jahnkoy, which translates to “New Spirit Village” in the Crimean Tatar language, built a red-tinted set that called to mind any urban area across the world, complete with faux foliage, newspaper clippings and abandoned grocery carts.
The collection was equally as graphic and blended into the scene ever so seamlessly. Iconic sportswear logos were repurposed, sleeves featured ornate beaded details, tassels and feathers hung from headbands, tank tops and joggers. National pride (or rather global unification) seemed to be a principal theme throughout, with various country flags emblazoned on everything from tracksuits to capes.
Key Pieces: Red and white jersey with sleeve tassels, beaded green burka, multi-flag cape.
For more up and coming talent, check out the rest of our Under The Radar series.