New York Fashion Week has always celebrated the glamour of women's fashion, but has relegated menswear to a supporting role. This week, building on a growing public appetite for menswear, the industry is putting on the first stand-alone men's fashion week in New York in nearly two decades (a brief attempt fizzled in the late '90s.)
Here are some highlights of New York Fashion Week: Men's.
MICHAEL KORS TAKES AN ISLAND VACATION
The affable Kors went old school, presenting each of 27 looks himself, salon-style, to intimate groups of fashion editors, buyers and media.
The goal: to outfit the Kors man for a quick island getaway, from Capri to Catalina. He departs in black — a crushed-cotton blazer, tank and loose single-pleated trouser — and changes upon arrival into all white seersucker that has the ease of cozy pyjamas.
No linings or shoulder pads here. And Kors was feeling tactile in fabrics that included chambray linen, along with an Anorak you can actually wear when it's wet.
"We all have a closet full of raincoats that you can't wear in the rain," he said to laughs.
Banter might as well be Kors' middle name. He did it well when presenting a cashmere pullover and long cardigan sweater.
"The weather is crazy," he said, echoing feedback from retailers. "We need sweaters all year round. We need cotton in the winter. We need wool in the summer. Forget the rules!"
Kors worked for spring 2016 in a range of Mediterranean blues, whites that included ecru and ivory, and a brown the colour of peanuts.
He was going for polish in unstructured casual, using linen and cotton blends, traditional pinstriping in unstructured silhouettes and accessories that included a reversible tote with suede on one side.
Collars are meant to be open and anything goes these days, he said, noting: "I think my grandma thought air conditioning was just an excuse for another fur jacket."
— Leanne Italie
TOMMY HILFIGER GOES ON '50s GLAM HOLIDAY
It's not just about the journey. It's about how you look whilst embarking on it.
So says Tommy Hilfiger in a collection inspired by a stylish 1950s holiday, with a few modern twists for spring and summer looks of bright yellow, coral and teal.
Suits came with skinny pants and slightly cropped, tailored jackets. Some of the jackets were double-breasted, including one in blue with horizontal stripes with a sheen in cotton sateen. Another suit was made of blue denim.
Hilfiger himself was not on hand for the presentation of 21 looks, but show notes said a few patterns were inspired by Honolulu's architecture. Nautical notes came in Breton stripes on sweaters and crested buttons. And don't forget the outerwear: lightweight nylon macs and airfield styles.
Nobody does Hilfiger like Hilfiger and this collection screamed his name.
— Leanne Italie
BARE CHESTS — OH, AND SOME CLOTHES — AT NAUTICA
One could have been forgiven for neglecting, at first, the clever New York City-inspired prints on the swim trunks worn by the male models at the Nautica presentation. That's because there were so many, well, bare chests on display — certainly not your usual fashion show.
But looking beyond those attention-getting, and avidly photographed, chiseled torsos, one could find references in the prints to New York's Chrysler building, to New York waterway maps, and also to gargoyles from the tops of buildings. "We have these little storytelling moments to tie the whole thing together and put it all through a New York filter," said Steve McSween, Nautica's creative director.
McSween, showing his first collection since joining the brand about seven months ago, described the theme as "where the water meets the city." What he meant was that these clothes, today, are as likely to be found on a city street as at the beach.
"To be honest, the last place guys are wearing these shorts are in the water," McSween said. "These guys are having this beach-to-street moment."
McSween raved about the opportunities created by New York's first successful stand-alone men's fashion week.
"It's the dream!" he said. "It's what you want. The men's market has obviously got enough swag to carry its own moment, and to be able to have that platform, to be able to showcase what you want to do and the way you want to do it, is everything."
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