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.

Report from New York Men’s Day at New York Fashion Week Men’s

 
The energy at New York Men’s Day — the men’s week kickoff event, tucked between Hudson Street and street style photogs galore — swept me away. I feel strongly that it has so much to do with how “young” this fashion week is.

The vibe is refreshing, as everyone is excited and happy to come together to experience what American designers have to contribute to the world of design.

Everyone is excited and happy to come together to experience what American designers have to contribute.

Here’s a preview to some of the designers’ creations.

Uri Minkoff
 

For the Uri Minkoff presentation, the designer cast interpretive dancers as his models, with strong thighs and larger-than-life personalities. Minkoff staged a performance that went beyond the expectation of a NYFWM presentation … and seemed to exceed the grasp of the show-goers. The actual performances were very obscure, with swinging microphones and trust falls from cinder blocks using angular movements. As curious as it was, it was hard to tell who was a part of the show, and all the activity made the clothes get a little lost.

The collection overall had a very narrow color palette, which made it focused and clean. It had a range of blues, usually grounded by a gray, and the suiting was consistent throughout the show, with the occasional hot pant to add a spring vibe. The clean, crisp lines showcase Minkoff’s talent for focused aesthetics, making me wish there was less of a performance and more of a presentation to highlight this talent and clear vision.

One additional curious detail in Minkoff’s presentation was the silent touch of activewear or casualization in menswear. Despite the importance of well-fitted suits in this collection, he added a little length to the knitted jackets, and thumbholes to buttress this attempt. It shows that Minkoff wanted to maintain the integrity of menswear, while adapting to the modern trend toward casualization.

Krammer + Stoudt
 

To kick it off, Krammer + Stoudt showed a very clean and cautiously beautiful collection. It implied a grand awareness of the season, which can’t be said about all of the presentations from the second half of Men’s Day.

A touch of the sea and vacationing was in the air, with trousers coming in flax and linens, and elegantly paired with nautical stripes in varying directions. The styling was easy, even playful, and beach-ready.

The less obvious details — such as a standard rope standing-in as a belt, socks with sandals, and kangaroo pockets — are what sold me to the focus and consistency; these details showed that the clothes were there to complement a very specific lifestyle. It also succeeded in presenting a range of looks for the same person — a day at the beach in shorts and a guayabera (nod to Cuba), as well as a three-piece linen suit. The looks were kept from feeling too airy and light with the assistance of metal rings, necklaces, and tasteful tree-leaf hats.

Another brilliant move, which was also used in other presentations, was the presence of lady models donning men’s looks. This proves that fashion is not yet over the gender-bending and gender fluidity stage. Maybe it’s here to stay.

Overall, there were silver and metal accents in every show at Men’s Day, from accessories as large, loose chains, to grommets in shoes, and even the toiletry bags at Minkoff. Men’s week has been proven so far to be a far more friendly environment than women’s, which showed me there’s a little more fun to be had in designing and presenting menswear.

Men’s week has been proven so far to be a far more friendly environment than women’s.

 
Lots of love,

FWO

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