Gabriela Billini is a non-native New Yorker who travels the world to understand why people wear what they wear and how. She is an independent fashion reporter, trend chaser, and self-proclaimed beatnik.

When Less Could Be So Much More

GRUNGY-nyfw-men's-mainThe amount of people waiting at the W New York, anticipating the start of the Grungy Gentleman show, was rather alarming.

There was certainly a sense of excitement and urgency in the air, until it became obvious based on floating remarks that most guests had been invited to probably the first or second fashion show of their lives.

Now, “democratization” of fashion — and fashion shows — is certainly a good thing. But I have to confess there’s also something to be said for people who really do care about fashion. As playful — even silly — as fashion can be, the craftsmanship behind it deserves to be taken seriously, for in the best designs, a mountain of labor is involved.

And maybe that’s where this show fell apart for me: a show should be 85% about the clothes and 15% about there being a show at all. And at Grungy Gentlemen this NYFW: Men’s, the ratio seemed to tip dangerously in the opposite direction.

Up Close

As the invitees gathered into the event space, the DJ was playing fantastic tunes — we would later find out that the music would turn out to be one of the more exciting elements of the showcase.

Countless stripes and one hour later, the show was beyond underwhelming — and although there were some nice moments, there was no interesting or finitely complex detail to make this collection as memorable as it needs to be, to bring talented designer Jace Lipstein to level he may yet deserve to be.

Every product category that was presented had only a variation in the location of GG’s signature stripe, and all were extraordinarily simple. It became exhausting to see the same knit pant, tee shirt, and boots in endless minor reiterations, with no noticeable variety to speak of. He also presented too many looks, making the lack of variety even more evident.

As a result, the aforementioned excitement flatlined very quickly.

The most exciting look was a pair of possibly-vinyl pants, although a bit ill-fitting on the model.

As much as I wanted to like it, I feel Jace needs to do something — anything — to break the monotony, and instead of wearing us out, leave us begging for more.

Here’s to next season from this otherwise burgeoning talent.

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With love,

FWO

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