If you're not familiar with Cadet, it's a New York-based brand that specializes in military-inspired menswear. So you have to walk into a show expecting to see a similar aesthetic as it relates to past collections, but you also expect that it'll be done extremely well because it's their specialty. Today's offering held some surprises including the brand's debut fall/winter women's collection. The color palette was dark and neutral only venturing as far as navy or deep purple in terms of risk. The details were clearly very carefully examined: the metal buckles and buttons, the shirts open to the navel, the cropped pants paired with high top sneakers. A silver sneaker here, a printed sweater there. The look was militaristic and athletic. A guy who hits the gym on the regular is the guy who will look best in this. The womenswear played on similar themes from the men's collection in the space of color and overall aesthetic, but lots of satin created feminine, flowy silhouettes. And it was clear that a militaristic, athletic woman shows lots of skin-the collection included a mesh top layered with nothing but skin and necklines that plunged to new depths. In a departure from last fall/winter, there was less color and less formality. It was a step in a popular casual direction. All in all, in step with a lot of what I've seen during this week, there was nothing fantastically new here. It was a showcase of a brand doing what they do best and doing it well. And Cadet showed a hint of future blockbuster success in womenswear. There's nothing wrong with the same ol' same ol' as long as it's great.
The middle of my day seemed to be defined more by spectacle than fashion. In a baffling move, every person in line for the Nick Graham presentation was let in at the same time: onlookers, photogs, celebs, just everyone. So I had to wrestle my way through and fight to get some good shots, but it was worth it. This presentation was a dapper journey through wilderness. The aisle way of the space was decorated with miniature pine trees, and each model displayed some type of out there accessory like bird feathers, a pine cone studded hat, deer antlers, you name it. It actually felt a bit holiday-oriented, but not to complain. At first glance, the accessories seemed outlandish, but they created a surprisingly cohesive story, and brought to life a presentation that could've ended up being another super flat suiting expression. Kudos to Nick Graham and team for creating something fun and fresh to experience. Easily the social media moment of the day.
This is streetwear at its most intergalactic. 3/4 length sleeveless vests, bell bottom pants, satin overcoats, patchwork jackets and shorts in beige and blue. Some models had their faces painted. Some were adorned with dyed hair, hats, or matching patchwork accessories. This was more like abstract art. The chopped and screwed trap music blaring throughout the venue really made this feel like some sort of extraterrestrial journey into space-space where the 70s and current day clash to create something unique and fresh. The 70s message is one that I've seen throughout the week, but Gypsy Sport really went for it. I guess it's either go big or go home, even if the total concept doesn't completely stick.
Greg Lauren wanted to make one thing about his collection crystal clear-these were clothes meant for an active lifestyle. Complete with an actual boxing ring in the room and models waiting on the bench to get in on the action, this was designed for the athlete in all of us. It was like stepping into a lost scene from Creed. I was waiting for Sly Stallone to pop up with some advice about my jab. Another neutral story here-off-white, beige, gray, olive green. The collection was strong not for its concept but for its cohesiveness. Joggers and cotton tees paired with overcoats, unstructured blazers, loose fitting pants and jackets with room to breathe. This wasn't for the active guy who wanted to show off his body to anyone willing to glance in his direction. This was for the active guy who wanted to get down to business while still in his full outfit. And I have to admit that I was into it. And it's always great to see a superstar cameo from Mr. Tyson Beckford himself donning a signature Greg Lauren look as part of the presentation.
Ok I get it already. The 70s are back! Or at least that's what many of this season's designers are trying to tell us. From the shaggy hairdos to the wide leg pants to the ponchos, the influence of that soulful decade was the blood running through the Kenneth Ning presentation. The capes and outerwear on display, coated in a pattern reminiscent of top tier graffiti, were gorgeous and the obvious high notes of the collection. The rotating line up of models gave onlookers the chance to get up close and personal with every piece. It was an intriguing and challenging view with some strong points. Not my favorite by any means, but I could see myself lounging and living in some of these coats for sure.
So that's all folks. There was a ton of fashion and some common themes throughout this week. I'll be recapping my biggest takeaways in a separate piece (stay tuned). But don't be afraid to sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on the week in general. What did you love? What did you hate? Is New York Fashion Week: Men's working? Let me know!