A Closer Look At NY Fashion Week

For those of you who simply can’t get enough fashion, our girl Piera Gelardi of Refinery29 fame offers a more in-depth look at some of the this weekend’s independent shows.

Obedient Sons
Though Obedient Sons titled their newest collection “The Kingstown Mutiny,” designers Swaim Hutson and Christopher Ryan continued to push their way further toward mainstream marketability and away from their politically charged roots. The sight of Obedient Son’s backer, bassist Mike Drint of Green Day, greeting visitors at their chosen venue, The Women’s National Republican Club, caused a touch of cognitive dissonance. All that went away however when the clean-cut collection of prep-school rugby wear, dining-hall togs, and spring-prom jackets strolled by to the sound of Fugazi. Straight-cut twill shorts, flattering sweatpants, gray club jackets with sharp shoulders, and cream sleeveless cardigans worked well on the men, but even better when re-proportioned for the girls. In a season where thin lapels and skinny ties have given way to a full preppy explosion, Obedient Sons have cornered the market on school pride with knit ties and honest-to-goodness letterman jackets.

Patrik Ervell
Well, at least Michael Stipe showed to lend support for Patrick Ervell’s under-attended show at Pier59. It’s always difficult to present during brunch hours, somewhat of a religious holiday for a portion of Ervell’s audience. In any case, the clothes themselves were clearly well-tailored–the ash-colored tweed trousers, lime and lavender jeans and creased navy pants were thin, but never tight. A tan-pleated tux shirt was good and the rounded-collar shirts matched with convex-shouldered jackets pleased. But other than a natty houndstooth suit, this collection seemed to pull all its punches.

Robert Geller
With memories of his work for the now now-disbanded Cloak, we started Saturday with Robert Geller’s intimate presentation of fine, crisp mensware suitable for skate punks (Keds were in use) and more mature males (who will opt for the contrast-collar blazer?). Hip, yes–but Geller’s balanced, sensitive approach steered the line far from hipster trash. A gray brushed “gros grain” blazer was mature and versatile and we can’t really recall ever seeing pilled denim before, but we’re eager to see it again. Skinny pants were balanced by wide-leg trousers and the general charcoal-and-ash palette was accented by that neon chartreuse that’s been chasing us from show to show this week. An eminently wearable mix of Cali and New York, this collection adds to Geller’s growing reputation as a creator of thoughtful, thoroughly modern men’s fashions.

Tim Hamilton
For the second spring/summer in a row, American Tim Hamilton paired a blazing red with black–an unusual seasonal combo, but we’ll take all the excitement we can get. Hamilton’s collection was focused in message while diverse in form and the seated showcase allowed him to play his speedy Londoner looks against touches of futurist prep. A shining silver metallic reversible trench seemed even more daring when contrasted with a complex, supple knit ivory coat. It’s good to see that someone out there has their thinking cap on. From the blue shiny anorak to a crinkled parchment-colored cardigan, Hamilton’s laboratory experiments were predominantly successful. It wasn’t all theory and oversized silk bow ties however (though there were oversized silk bow ties.) Well-executed banded tanks, wide-waisted plaid shorts and a diagonal-striped button-up sweater were pleasingly approachable.

Loden Dager

Just to clarify: The basic, very current men’s pieces by collective Loden Dager are tasteful in that hipster-gone-straight way. The live music of the guitar and Rhodes keyboard band Great Lakes is a good show. Even the affectionately ramshackle art space CUETO Project is a fun visit. Unfortunately, the combination of the three–which probably looked good on paper–didn’t do the clothes justice. Unlike past Loden Dager showcases, the audience was not in the best venue to view the appealing gingham shirts, loosely woven jumpers, or pale linen shirts that had us wishing summer might last just a few weeks longer. We’re keen to see the group come back next season with more energy and the straightforward presentation their laudably straightforward work deserves.

United Bamboo
Thuy Pham and Miho Aoki turned down the volume on United Bamboo…not that they were ever loud. It’s their penchant for experimenting with forms that only rarely overtakes their grasp of taste, never over-eager showmanship. There’s a solid internal logic to United Bamboo–most notably available this season in their ivory circle-patterned blouses and woven waist skirts with origami trim for women and quilted T-shirts and black seersucker pants for men. Their were some poor choices in motifs on good clothes and some questionable applications of great ideas elsewhere. But the quiet stuff won us over; a plaid men’s jacket in refreshing colors and a slate cabled short-sleeve sweater for women were winners. With a limited but lovely range of tones, Aoki and Pham completely sold us on what we liked, and made us gloss over what we didn’t.