New Designer Fashion

Since 2004, Engineered Garments has been the singular menswear brand in New York when it comes to vintage-inspired sportswear. With a discreet identity and an “if you know, you know” reputation for quality in fabrics and construction, there is as much mystique as there is obsession surrounding the label. The Spring 2015 collection is a testament to why.

There is a story behind this offering: Designer Daiki Suzuki looked to the now-defunct brand British Khaki by Robert Lighton and the image of the British army in India, their khaki mil-spec gear commingling with bright colors and kalamkari and paisley prints. The result was a collection of contradictions. Khaki, olive drab, navy, and gray paired with bright florals, printed canvas, and jacquard; Nehru collars, harem pants, and long shirts alongside British officer jackets and double-pleated trousers. Military and workwear tend to be sober by nature, but here much fun was had in mixing and matching patterns, in unlikely fabric combos, and in the contrast between informal and exotic with formal and traditional. More challenging pieces like the wrap-and-tie wide-leg fisherman pants added irreverent fun to a jacket and tie. Numerous riffs on safari- and military-style jackets, all executed with a balance of nuance and convention, were never quite what you’d expect. Suzuki’s design process begins with the fabrics, and so one of the greatest strengths here was in the materials—luxe tropical wool; soft, richly colored twill; bright nylon; linen blends; and more unique fabrics like a water-resistant striped cotton with poly backing.

But the British safari narrative is somehow too confining for the clothes; it too neatly categorizes the collection. Above all, this is the vision of a sportswear mastermind. Suzuki doesn’t design from historical archives or a template for what a collection should be. He finds inspiration and intuits his way through both vintage and entirely original designs. While there are staple pieces in the line—the brand’s cult following knows them well, the Bedford jacket and workshirt, in particular—every pattern is new each season, constantly being tweaked to improve and adapt based on what Suzuki feels is right. “This is something nobody else can do,” the designer said, standing in the showroom of his Garment District office. “Only I can do this.”
—Noah Johnson View full post on Runway Feed

Beirut has been undergoing an architectural renaissance, with Herzog & de Meuron, Norman Foster, Steven Holl, and Zaha Hadid among the starchitects making their mark on the Lebanese capital. Zuhair Murad, who is based there, saw the potential for a Couture collection built from geometry—particularly Hadid’s extreme forms. To most eyes, Murad’s interpretation might seem tenuous; dresses generally adhered to classic cocktail or gala silhouettes, with an occasional angular bustline, displaced hemline, or enhanced-volume overskirt. But look closely at the surface detail and you could see how the stretched, encrusted wave patterns; guipure macramé; and puzzle-piece prism motifs expressed a certain neo-futurist edge—especially when rendered in black, white, and silver (the result of hammered metallic sequins).

In trading last season’s precious garden inspiration for a modern cityscape, Murad nudged his aesthetic forward, even if only incrementally. To his fairy-tale wedding dress, he added a 5-meter-long veil; yet the crosshatched embroidery evoked the distinctive cladding employed by various architects today. The designer could have pushed further beyond his signature glamour comfort zone—but perhaps his clients (well-evidenced by the primped-up women sitting front-row) don’t demand this of him. He mentioned that his couture customers are younger and younger—in age and also in spirit, and maybe the beaded, multicolored jump-short number will be purchased less because it represents a good investment than a youth-affirming indulgence. The penultimate look, a shimmery belted caftan, was an outlier in its Art Deco vibe; its unstudied elegance was the most modern statement of all.
—Amy Verner View full post on Runway Feed

Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left. View full post on Runway Feed

Virgil Abloh, the multitalented ambassador of youth culture, has finally infiltrated the world of fashion. His brand Off-White started as a step in the evolution of his vision for elevated streetwear, and is now a fully developed collection with an atelier up and running in Milan. Abloh is, in his mind, a shepherd. His mission: To “carry kids down the path of more informed streetwear, a streetwear that is more sophisticated but still has the signifying details of classic.”

That is exactly what Abloh offered up for the Spring/Summer 2015 collection. The range is overflowing with ideas, mostly centered around the world of a street-savvy beach bum. Layering is key to the Off-White look: The collection’s high notes involve T-shirts and shorts as top layers; elongated mesh skirts; ponchos; and striking red, black, and white monochrome ensembles. The thicker plastisol screen-printing techniques that have been popular for the last few years—used for Abloh’s old Pyrex wears as well as previous Off-White collections—have been swapped out for softer, less perfect graphics, often appearing near hems on shirts and pants. Jeans were cut long and tapered, a fit reminiscent of Hedi Slimane’s coveted Dior Homme denim circa 2005. Rider jackets in black and red leather and neoprene were cool enough to be must-haves for the season.

With this effort, Abloh has proven that he has an eye for color and a keen sense of how a full collection is put together, but he’s limited by his adherence to familiar ideas, relying on a few streetwear tropes that are ready to be retired—crotch prints, sweatpants, military patches. Paint splatters and fringe distressing aren’t quite convincing enough to portray the Baja-surf culture vibe Abloh’s attempting to capture.

Surely Abloh’s is a very active mind, with the potential to have influence greater than some of the very large, old fashion houses he now resides with in Milan. He made his name pushing the boundaries for what T-shirts and hoodies can be, but now that he’s in Milan bumping elbows with Prada and Gucci, he’ll have to start taking even bigger risks to stand out.
—Noah Johnson View full post on Runway Feed

Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left. View full post on Runway Feed

View full post on – This Just In

Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left. View full post on Runway Feed

Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left. View full post on Runway Feed

Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi have got their Preen by Thornton Bregazzi thing down to a science. Sport elements, fractured pattern, an emphasis on the dressy-but-not-too-dressy dress, the color red—these are some of the boxes Thornton and Bregazzi tick off in their collections, season in and season out. Given the emphasis on commerce, Resort isn’t the season to ask for a major update. But one is starting to seem due. In the meantime, however, this collection made for a pleasant visit back to the Preen comfort zone, with a lot of appealingly breezy dresses in a fractured ikat-inspired pattern of silk dévoré, and others in an irregular dot. They also included activewear references, like zips, mesh, and the graphic line down the side of a pair of trousers. There were a couple of dubious looks—a blazer with nylon anorak sleeves, for instance—but in general Thornton and Bregazzi did yeoman’s work on the details of these clothes, and the best pieces here had a sense of surprise as a result of that. Perhaps the single most compelling look, for example, was the trenchcoat, cut long or short, with an interior halter that made it seem to be falling off the shoulders a bit and neon vinyl stripes along the cuff. There’s some kick in the old Preen codes yet, that’s for sure.
—Maya Singer View full post on Runway Feed

While Electric Feathers designer Leana Zuniga made no concessions where her usual billowing shapes were concerned, her Fall offering was notably more lissome than collections past. Perhaps that’s owed in part to a couple of heavyweight influences. When presenting the pieces, Zuniga name-dropped Yohji Yamamoto (circa the eighties) and Isadora Duncan, both of who represent different sorts of lightness. Yamamoto could be spotted in a boxy, utilitarian, funnel-neck jacket and tool-belt-like vest, both in indigo-and-cream-checked raw silk (the latter tricked out with black plastic snap buckles that felt improbably charming). Duncan, meanwhile, came through in diaphanous numbers, like Electric Feathers’ signature Infinite Rope dress, which stunned in a blush double georgette. There was plenty of gossamer silk lamé, too. A gorgeous swingy ivory coat with poet sleeves and a chunky, striped silk belt was a true standout, and bore hints of the Ballets Russes around the edges.

Even at its most dialed-back, the label is going to be a hard sell for some women—for the body-conscious, for those who’d rather their clothing show off weeks’ worth of Pilates rather than double as an ensemble in which to do Pilates. But Zuniga comes by her aesthetic quirks so naturally, it’s hard to escape their pull. Fall boasts some of her most impressive fare yet, and with a boutique on Williamsburg’s South Side just opened? Things look bright for the brand.
—Kristin Anderson View full post on Runway Feed