With NYFW:M coming to an end, editors, writers and readers alike can check another fashion week off of their lists. This Fall/Winter 2016 season seemed like a retrospective in menswear, a visual comparison of the then and now. Of the long designer roster, Robert Geller, Greg Lauren and Ordinary People all highlighted key menswear moments from the past: ‘30s era mobsters, poverty-stricken dandies and subtly gaudy ‘70s clubgoers. And while those designers chose to reminisce, others like John Elliot and Bumsuk Choi at General Idea celebrated menswear today with more familiar shapes.
Robert Geller’s collection was delightfully all very film noir. Long, streamlined coats and pinched-front fedoras recalled early American gangsters. Monochrome ensembles included perfectly tailored cigarette pants and dramatic capes. And while we might not know the ending to The Grey Gentlemen, Geller’s storybook muse, we can assume it ends happily based on the florid use of color at the tail end of his show. Likewise, Greg Lauren and his signature deconstructed aesthetic sang an ode to traditional masculinity — when men were men, as it’s so often heard. Beyond distressed, Lauren’s garments were completely and beautifully worn in. Pinstriped vests and army parkas were reworked with today’s tastes in mind.
A discerning combination of ‘70s kitsch and modern restraint, Korean label Ordinary People walks the line between the past and present. Jang Hyeong-Cheol brought back signature pieces of the decade like Sherpa-lined bomber jackets, but presented them in a softer palette of champagne and blush. Other details, like embroidered gingko leaves and a cheetah print, seem derived of a more globalized influence.
Fast-forward to today, John Elliot’s collection was unlike all the rest in that it looked staunchly current and wearable. A hybrid of American sportswear-meets-streetwear, Elliot was keen on comfort and familiarity. Relaxed, woven fabrics like flannel, French terry, and thermals were made into hoodies and half-zip sweaters. Worn underneath quilted jackets, the collection begged the attention from the likes of Kanye and Malik. Though also contemporary, General Idea approached menswear from a drastically different slant. Heralding the new classic, Choi redesigned traditional menswear colors like navy and camel into chic outerwear. Cropped and tapered trousers, as well as boxy staples and funnel necks cement these details as trends for the modern man.