New York Men’s Day Fall/Winter 2018

New York Fashion Week kicked off with a bang, as it has recent years, with New York Men’s Day (NYMD). The bitter February wind whipped through sequins and shearling (and sequined shearlings) as the fashionistos, editors, and influencers made their way to Creative Drive’s Sand Studios on Water Street. A modified Gandhi quote from Creative Drive’s CEO (“Be the action you want to see in the world”) emblazoned on the wall opposite life-size action figure boxes gave context to the ‘grammable boxes in which guests posed – “You are our action figures,” a sign read at the end of the short, introductory, interactive exhibit.

Lab Skin Series for men had a whole experience for fashion-goers today, including a meet and greet with blogger Justin Livingston. Shave and beard-trim stations offered guests an opportunity to join #teamshave or #teambeard, with skincare and beard care advice (and samples!).

The designers and labels presenting at NYMD came out strong, pushing the boundaries of creativity for some engaging experiences. Ever the creative force, David Hart always brings a fresh collection to NYMD. Menswear has included many of the same elements quite literally for centuries – how, then, does a designer take that standard and present it in a truly original way? Arguably, they can’t – perhaps that’s what sets David Hart apart, that he seems to realize the futility of inventing something truly groundbreaking, and so instead relies on twisting trends and manipulating details to create a unique interpretation of menswear.

David Hart FW 2018

This season’s collection continues this mode of working with a nonchalance, drawing on a French aesthetic à la Audrey Hepburn and the philosopher’s cafe in Funny Face. The collection styled with a beret on nearly every head and a baguette-bearing tote on the arm of many of the models, the collection is an array of horizontal-striped polo shirts and open cardigans. Trousers range from plaid to solid chino, to paint-splattered. Footwear for this show was exclusively by Timberland, save for the pair of furry strapped, high-heeled sandals adorning the one woman model. Never one to completely ignore trends, Hart’s collection includes an ultra-violet suit, paired with a cigarette-print blouse, styled with the collar spread over the jacket and the sleeves pushed up to the elbows. Such flair and fanfare!

Maiden Noir’s collection took us through a retrospective from last year’s greenery, shifting to a complementary red, and on into this year’s color of the year. Life in Perfect Disorder presented a modern-day family portrait of the family we choose and featured pieces that are immediately available for purchase online as well as some that will be rolled out in coming weeks. Krammer and Stoudt turned up the edge with a fun, party vibe, androgynous models both posed with Heineken on blocks and dancing in the background in fabulous boots by PSKaufman. Newcomers to NYMD Diplomacy and TAAKK both served up some late 90s-inspired with wildly creative twists including a plaid, vinyl jumpsuit.

-John Stolen