ROBERT JAMES FALL/WINTER 2016: AS SIMPLE AS BLACK AND WHITE, AND JUST AS ELEGANT
Sleek and sophisticated, with just a touch of whimsy. That’s the best way I can think of to describe Robert James’ Fall/Winter collection. These are grown-up styles for grown-up men, no boys’ “athleisure”, no trucker caps, just real clothes for the real world.
All black and white and shades of gray, James’ perfect tailoring was present in every piece, from trousers to outerwear. There were so many standouts, from a classic black overcoat to monochromatic suits, from a gorgeous houndstooth coat with black lapels to a leopard print blazer (hence, the touch of whimsy), along with a beautiful black leather coat.
This is a standout collection, notable for its modern take on traditional styles. That’s what Robert James is all about, a man who knows his customer, the successful, well-dressed 21st century man.
MATIERE FALL/WINTER 2016: EXPLORING A NEW WORLD OF MEN’S FASHION
NYMD is where you find menswear designers you may not be very familiar with, but have a very definite point of view that may be a bit outside the mainstream, and have a growing group of fans and customers. Matiere fits in perfectly with that ethos.
Designers Scott Sandalove and Jake Zeitlin were inspired this season by modern-day explorers, travelers making their way across the globe. The story is told through fabric and texture, achieved with Italian wools, gauze, cashmere, mohair and jersey. Color is just about a complete non-issue, all blacks, grays a touch of cream and a little dab of burgundy.
This is a beautifully straightforward men’s collection, with tailored pants, fun and functional outerwear, comfy sweaters and, of course, the required-for-this-season, Doc Martens.
Functional, wearable, manly yet fashionable, this may be the perfect men’s collection for Fall.
LUCIO CASTRO FALL/WINTER 2016: A COLORFUL COLLECTION, INSPIRED BY THE HOME OF THE DRUIDS
There are the sleek, classic looks of a Robert James, then there are the cool, out-there looks of Lucio Castro. The two couldn’t be more different, yet both are masculine, wearable and inspired, each in its own way.
Castro’s inspiration was Stonehenge, the U.K. spot that is the site of unexplained stone sculptures, where Druids gather to celebrate the Summer Solstice. He reached back to the ‘80s and’90s, a time when the spot was also home to a series of rock concerts.
You can see the influence of both the time and place in almost every piece. The colors were earthy, forest greens, gold, brown and brown-reds. The cut was relaxed and comfortable in everything from bomber jackets to suits, sweater-vests and overcoats. The rock ‘n’ roll was in the patterns, multi-colored stripes, paisleys and prints.
Then, of course, there were the culottes. Definitely not for the faint of heart, in green tartan plaid and a more subtle beige, they push men’s fashion to a new and different place.
Lucio Castro’s collection takes a nostalgic step backward, to a fun part of the past, then gives it a bold, modern edge that makes it work for the man of today.
HVRMINN FALL/WINTER 2016: MILITARY PRECISION IN A CHIC, MODERN COLLECTION
There is no doubt about Min Hur’s inspiration for Fall/Winter 2016: military precision in design and tailoring. It was obvious in some looks, like the flight jackets, uniform overcoats and even a vest, clearly fashioned after one of the bullet-proof variety, complete with navy caps.
It was also apparent in the ever-so-crisp lines in his suits, a collection of beautifully-designeD, ‘40s-inspired, jewel-toned dress-up wear, masculine, mysterious and a little bit dangerous.
Make no mistake, reaching back to the World War II era doesn’t make this a nostalgic collection. No, it is most modern, but designed for a man who cares about his appearance, loves being neat and noticed. Overcoats are straight and serious, but burgundy instead of black. Suits are cut perfectly, but just a bit relaxed. This is a serious collection, for the man who is serious about fashion.
CWST FALL/WINTER 2016: TURNING A BLEAK ISLAND INTO A FASHION STATEMENT
This is how I see Winter: cold, wet, bleak, scratchy, bathed in shades of grey. Because I choose to live in New York City, I shiver through it, but not happily. I only grudgingly see the beauty in freshly-fallen snow, and only for about a minute before it becomes an unidentifiable, filthy mess. My only real comfort comes from watching the weather, post-December 21st, to confirm that the sun is setting a minute or so later, every day.
For Fall/Winter 2016, CWST designers Derek Buse and Joe Sadler fed right into my dreary vision, and turned it into something warm and cuddly, if still bleak. Inspired by the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound, an isolated, mobile-free zone north of Seattle, their vision of winter wear is seen through “grey washed rain shadows, cordovan tide lines, sandstone outcroppings and weathered Douglas-fir”.
That inspiration is clear in the washed-out colors, greys, blues and blacks, and also in the warm, comfy fabrics. Shearling and wool coats, vests, panchos and manly pashminas are designed to fend off the cold and damp. The styles and patterns take this collection from a utilitarian way to stay warm to fashion-forward looks, made to warm cold, hipster hearts.
This may not be a collection for every man, but it is on point for the young and hip, determined to stay warm in the worst of Winter.
© Red Stiletto Media 2016 Photography: Anton Brookes