New York Fashion Week: Men’s is over, and no one is more excited about that than my feet. Because I can finally stop stuffing them into narrow Chelsea boots. After 4 days, 23 designers, and countless attempts to bait the street style photogs waiting outside of the venue, I can wear whatever the hell I want and get back to normal life. If I learned one thing this week, Fashion Week isn’t really about the shows and presentations. It’s not about comparing one designer’s 2016 offering to his 2015 collection. It’s about the insider moments that people wish they could experience. The starstruck moment when you recognize a model that you follow on Instagram (i.e. Walter Savage and Andrea Denver). The moment when two models almost collide headfirst in the middle of the runway. The moment you finally get photographed by a street style photographer on the day you stopped caring about your outfit. It’s these moments that you guys have voiced loud and clear that you want to read about. So here they are without further adieu: my top 10 observations from Men’s Fashion Week.
1. Bring On The Polyester
If there’s one message that was painfully clear during New York Fashion Week Men’s, it’s that the 70s are like the Kardashians. No matter how much you love to publicly hate them, they keep coming back to satisfy your penchant for guilty pleasures. I can’t recall a season in recent memory where I saw so many bell bottom pants, so much synthetic fabric, and so many technicolor paisley prints. At times, I couldn’t figure out if I’d landed on the set of a tribute special for The Partridge Family or if I was at a fashion show. Whether it’s ironic or completely misguided, expect to see people charging through the superstorms of 2017 in some psychedelic threads.
2. Start Dressing Like Kurt Cobain Again
The scent of teen spirit reeked throughout the Skylight Clarkson. I’m not sure I needed a designer to show me how to stop caring. By the looks of things, next winter you’ll have all the justification you need to start wearing your comfy sweaters 3 sizes too big. No one will think you’re frumpy or depressed. You’ll just be cool. And if they have dried yogurt stains or tiny holes in them, that’ll be even more authentic to the grunge era. That’s right kids. You can never be too old for angst. A whole new generation is about to schooled on how to stick it to the sartorial man.
3. Athleisure Isn't Just Some 2015 Trend
It’s a great time to be fit and into fashion. Whether designers were just trying to capitalize on your emotional weakness after failing at your New Year’s resolution remains unclear. But what was totally clear is that your workout gear should not be a separate wardrobe. You should be able to style your joggers with a blazer and feel appropriately dressed for the occasion. Ignore the baffled looks that seem to personify the thought “why is he wearing THOSE here?” Own it. Make everyone feel bad about themselves by wearing your most elegant hoodie and sweats around town like a badge of cardiovascular honor.
4. Start Caring About Diversity
Look at all the black people in these shows! This definitely isn’t a case of #MensFashionWeekSoWhite. David Hart cast his entire show with black models. Gypsy Sport showed off huge clusters of black models. This wasn’t a season of token models of color tucked away in corners or in less than savory looks. This season was a celebration of black beauty and masculinity. And not to shit on the more important diversity movements happening throughout the country, but we need to see this too. Seeing someone who looks like you reflected back at you does wonders for your style self-esteem.
5. Change The Way You Wear Your Pants
I’m guilty of it. I like every pant fitted. Not so skinny that you see the definition in my quads. But not so wide that you can’t see my shoes. This Fashion Week served as a PDA for equality in pant fits. Wear them wide. Wear them cuffed. Wear them tailored. But know that you are free to wear any pant fit just the way you like it. I saw bell bottoms, super wide leg pants, cropped military pants, the list goes on. But not a skinny jean was in sight. It’s time for things to get freaky. Who wants to go wide leg pant shopping with me?
6. Street Style Is Where It's At
Gaining access to runway shows and presentations is merely a price of entry. The action is happening in the front of the venue. The bloggers and journalists are covering this. It’s all about street style. What are the best dressed attendees wearing? Because they arguably have more influence on the fashion buying public than the designers. Street style photo galleries rack up far more views and clicks than formal reviews of the collections. The people don’t want to be bogged down in industry jargon that would only interest an FIT student. They want to see how to wear it and how these crazy fashions translate to real life. The people want to see people just like them that just dress much cooler.
7. The Media Is Unbothered
Really. If you’re hoping to find up-to-the-minute coverage of NYFWM, you’re going to need a really specific Google search. Refine those search terms, boo. Because the fashion media just isn’t biting. Other than street style galleries, it just feels like people don’t care. There aren’t a lot of articles about this week. Bloggers just seem intent on being photographed there but aren’t inclined to write about it. Everyone else just seems destined to keep business as usual despite the fact that there really isn’t any big fashion news this week besides NYFWM. Men are getting the shaft! And it’s clear that we’ve got a lot more work to do to gain the respect we need. We got our own week. Now it’s time to let everyone know about it.
8. People Apparently Still Get Naked In Winter
Skin is in. From the girl bearing her breasts in the mesh top at Cadet to the shirtless boxer at Greg Lauren to the guy in the powder blue bomber with no undershirt at Gypsy Sport, the fearless fashion crowd will be seemingly unfazed by subzero temperatures and record-setting blizzards. Sex sells in every season, and that point was not taken lightly.
9. Don't Leave Out The Ladies
Everywhere I turned, there were women in menswear. And I’m not talking Diane Keaton in Annie hall women in menswear. No quirky, ironic social statements here. I’m talking bespoke suiting, pressed pocket squares, contrast colored socks, shiny luxury loafers, and the finest topcoats you can find. Whether it was in the front row or on the runway, the ladies represented menswear in a much more authoritatively dapper way than any men I saw.
10. Don't Be A Douchebag
This doesn’t serve as a cautionary warning for me or other bloggers. But this is a reminder to our photographer counterparts to practice common courtesy. There’s a small war brewing between bloggers and photogs and it’s not a cold one. It’s one where they yell at people to move so they can get the shot and then mutter snarky things under their breath about not understanding modern technology or what a blogger is. We know you need to get the shot, and we’re not trying to take that from you. But we’ve been invited because we have influence. We’re on the scene to report a story with our unique point of view, tone of voice, and vision. We need to get the shot too. So here’s looking at you Mr. unionized photog who missed his fifth cup of morning joe. Next time don’t be a douchebag!