As New York Fashion Week officially kicks off, the first day of shows proved that a new wave of menswear designers is experimenting with tailoring as fashion’s love affair with streetwear and sneakers cools off.
Throughout the day on Friday, shows and presentations from brands including Landeros, Sivan and Y Chroma, among others, showed that men’s fashion is fully embracing two somewhat contradictory trends: old-school tailoring and a very modern view on genderless fashion.
At Landeros, designer Andre Gerard Michel Jr. showed off a collection of genderless tailoring that married classic menswear silhouettes like double-breasted jackets and wide-leg pants with more traditionally feminine elements like blush-pink colorways and necklines that fell off the shoulders and exposed the collar bone.
For inspiration, Michel told Glossy he looked backward to the 1980s, specifically music groups like Duran Duran that embraced aesthetics like pastel colors and flamboyant outfits that clashed with traditional notions of masculinity.
He said he expects the genderless fashion wave to keep on going, filtering down from the runway to celebrities like Harry Styles and eventually to the masses.
“It will take some time, for sure,” he said. “But for fashion-forward people, it’s already a no-brainer. If you like a piece of womenswear, you wear it. But now, the masses are seeing their favorite musicians and performers wear it; I think pop music has embraced genderless more than anyone. It’s giving them the license, the freedom and, frankly, the balls to do it.”
Jack Sivan, showing off a collection in Chelsea for his eponymous custom tailoring brand Sivan, said his brand has been boosted by the return of formal tailoring, suiting and dress shoes after years of streetwear and sneaker dominance in men’s fashion.
“I definitely see more people embracing tailoring and, as a tailoring-focused designer, I’m happy to ride that wave,” Sivan said. “I’m not sure I could say what’s causing it other than the inevitable pendulum swing of fashion. But it’s good for things to change over time. When the pendulum swings back to tailoring, it brings with it some of the elements and innovations from where it was before, and that’s how interesting new things develop in fashion.”
Sivan’s collection is a great example of the pendulum swing. His collection, mostly awash in deep blues that were just a touch poppier than navy, incorporated elements like boxy, loose overcoats that emerged from womenswear takes on men’s overcoats. He said the primary aesthetic trend he’s referencing in this collection is dandyism, an early attempt in Western men’s fashion to break the mold of what men were allowed to wear.
“That era, the late 18th and early 19th centuries, is where a lot of the elements that we think of as classic tailoring came from,” Sivan said.
3 questions with Vestiaire Collective North American CEO Samina Virk
On Tuesday, luxury resale company Vestiaire Collective hosted a swanky pre-NYFW party in NoHo with special guests actress Jessica Chastain and stylist Elizabeth Stewart. Chastain was promoting her closet sale with Vestiaire Collective, through which she is selling off some of her one-of-a-kind dresses. That includes a Carolina Herrera dress she wore to the premiere of The Good Nurse. Vestiaire Collective’s presence at NYFW and its A-list draw are marks of luxury resale becoming a bigger force in the fashion industry. I spoke with the company’s North American CEO, Samina Virk, about the importance of a presence at NYFW and the challenges facing the fashion industry.
Why was it important for Vestiaire Collective to have a presence at NYFW?
“We’ve worked with Elizabeth Stewart before and thought that this would be the perfect time to work with her and Jessica Chastain. We want to spread the message of fashion circularity and encourage everyone to make thoughtful fashion choices including shopping secondhand and re-wearing things that they already have in their closets.”
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing fashion right now?
“Overproduction and overconsumption, which are also having a direct impact on the environment. While the industry is paying more attention to sustainability and fashion circularity, we need to see more momentum and initiatives that have an impact on both consumption habits and overproduction.
Since the launch of Vestiaire Collective, our goal has been to champion fashion circularity, and we are proud to be the first fashion resale B Corp. As part of our movement, we have banned fast fashion brands from our assortment. Following the ban, 70% of our members said they were impacted by our fast fashion ban to shop for better quality items and invest in second hand.”
Are there any trends in fashion that you’re particularly excited about right now?
“The growing interest in vintage. There are so many wonderful pieces that truly stand the test of time and can be restyled. There have been big red carpet moments for vintage and re-wearing. For example, at our event on Tuesday night, Jessica re-wore her beautiful Cong Tri dress [which she also wore at the September premiere of her film “Memory”].”