Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New York Fashion Week Menswear: The New Prep

Art, Fashion Week:
Billy Reid Spring 2012 presentation during MBFW; Image: Andy Kropa, Getty
Sophisticated menswear-for-her is the style of fall, so it’s fitting that Tommy HilfigerBilly Reid and Simon Spurr reinterpreted the genre for the guys, reviving camouflage, slim shapes and a Crayola palette inspired by pop art.

The bold and imaginary Hilfiger family (from his inventive campaign) has crashed its sailboat. The younger Tenenbaum-styled kids have made Hilfiger hipper with age, preferring motorcycles to yachts and leather to khakis. In this menswear collection, he spliced Americana with East Village grunge. Red leather bomber jackets, indigo denim blazers and camouflage sport coats subsumed traditional cable knit and seemed relevant for the Cape or New York club kids. Karl Lagerfeld’s newly anointed muse and rapper Theophilus London, a face of Hilfiger’s campaign, seemed at home in signature red and blue.
Tommy Hilfiger Men's Spring 2012 fashion show; Image: Peter Michael Dills, Getty
Models had manly, well-coiffed manes, and the audience didn’t fight over a front row seating. Instead, they enjoyed Brooklyn Lager at brightly colored cafe tables at the Chelsea Passage at the Highline.

Hilfiger’s shift in aesthetic can be partially attributed to his new consultant Simon Spurr, a young designer who showcased his own collection of countrified menswear Sunday evening. The Hilfiger-Spurr collaboration has paid off, attracting a crowd that included British actor Ed Westwick of Gossip Girl, actor James Marsden and hockey player James Richards.
Actor Ed Westwick at Tommy Hilfiger Men's Spring 2012 fashion; Image: Jason Kempin, Getty Images
Just down the street, Billy Reid, too, revitalized his lo-fi Southern luxury collection, taking the fabrics further west for a 70s just-off-the-commune vibe of layered plaid, crumpled linen and dirty white cotton sneakers. The space at Milk Studios, covered in imported mulch not indigenous to Chelsea, featured live singer songwriters crooning under dim lights as guests drank Dogfish Head Ale. The setting added to the “Hotel California” aura of the collection. Bearded models wore hand-made suede sandals, distressed gingham and wrinkled trenches, indicating that Reid is becoming more comfortable with his own woodsy tastes.
Model at the Billy Reid Spring 2012 presentation; Image: Andy Kropa, Getty Images
Reid, always the kind-hearted Alabama darling, charmed onlookers by joining the crowd in the final half hour of his presentation. His Georgetown store, which was scheduled to open last year, is still in limbo: “We’re waiting for the old tenants to leave,” he said.

Anna Wintour made a brief appearance, sneaking backstage to greet the designer late in the presentation. As a CFDA-Vogue Fashion Fund Winner, Reid received $300,000 and the invaluable support of Wintour and her circle.

[Source: The Washington Post; Article: Katherine Boyle]

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