It was a hot one during this season’s Market Week in New York. Amidst the blaze and the viscous humidity that filled the avenues and flooded the underground tunnels, we trudged our way to Liberty Fairs, Capsule, and MAN to see what the menswear industry has to offer for the spring/summer of 2017. Why can’t these trade shows take place in the fall and spring rather than in the winter and summer?
There’s always so much to see at these events. And though we’d like to see it all, there’s just too much product and not enough Heddels to cover it all. At the very least, here’s a taste of what you can expect to see in stores a year from now.
It was the first showing for a handful of storied Japanese denim brands. Apparently, Japanese media doesn’t convey the fact that Americans love Japanese fashion. So, in an effort to bring this to light in the land of the rising sun, Japan’s ministry of culture helped bring some of their brands over to Liberty Fairs. They even interviewed some industry insiders about the subject of Japanese fashion (us included).
Thankfully for us, Studio D’Artisan was one of those brands. The SDA booth had plenty to see, but the main attraction was their introduction of a lower-priced set of jeans. Still made in Okinawa, they’ve made it more affordable by constructing it with details like overlock stitching, plain bar tacks instead of hidden rivets, and a simplified leather patch.
And you can use whatever cash you saved on those jeans toward any of their accessories like their tote bag that uses canvas camo for the body and rivets extra long belt loops for the handles and shoulder strap. It’s a neat concept, but I’m sure the handles aren’t as comfortable (bridle leather or bust).
Also, if you’re reading this in Japan, tell everyone there that we think Japanese fashion is amazing.
Pure Blue Japan
Another one of the Japanese denim heavyweights, Pure Blue Japan made an appearance bringing their entire current collection as well as a few new standout pieces.
They’re also busting out the big guns with some 22oz. selvedge denim. If there’s a time to start a new fade project, summer might not be ideal, but this one is set for the warmer season.
Expect to see these fabrics in both jeans and jackets.
All the new pieces taking up space at the Shockoe Atelier booth were produced in-house in the States. Among the mix were a set of field jackets overdyed in black and indigo. You can expect to see a lot of new denim tops in stores come 2017, including many with corduroy trim and pockets galore.
Lady White Co.
Lady White Co. continues to expand its line of premium knits not only with tank tops (not pictured) and a few new colors, but some knew knit details as well. The long ribbing detail at the sleeves is a custom knit developed in Los Angeles. Expect to see some more knit experimentation.
Old Hands returned for their second showing at market week with growing interest. The collection is wholly military-inspired with an emphasis on the 30s. Herringbone twill shorts, wide-leg pleated chinos, and safari style shirts make up the collection. Their rendition of the Type I jacket is also one of the cleanest out there.
From the Bay Area to the East Coast, Tellason‘s new additions are old classics re-interpreted.
One of their newer jackets is styled like a USMC P-41 jacket but substitutes herringbone twill for a garment dyed sateen, the same that Tellason uses for their Italian fatigue pants. The sheen and neppy texture are reminiscent of raw silk.
For the chore coat lovers who constantly have their hands full, be patient for Tellason’s upcoming version. It’s made with their hearty 14.75oz. Cone Mills denim and is built with enough pockets for two jackets.
If you like long coats, they’ve also got an 12.8oz. indigo dyed car coat. It’ll fend off the chill with it’s quilted lining and has convenient features like a two way zipper with leather pulls, and a single flap chest pocket.
Krammer & Stoudt
Fresh with the Southern California surf vibes mixed with a Texas attitude, Krammer and Stoudt presented a collection with plenty of patterns in styles that reflect the laid back aesthetic. You’ll see relaxed short sleeve shirts mixed in with clam digger trousers as well as chinos that go from slim to wide to extra wide.
Talking About the Abstraction & Matatabi
Normally, at the shows, you can expect a certain Canadian brand to take the cake as far as outlandish denim pieces are concerned. But amongst the Freedom Hall section of Liberty’s floor was a brand called Talking About the Abstraction. Yes, that’s their whole brand name. It reminds me of my high school emo/screamo/hardcore days when my favorite bands would have long-winded and superfluous song titles like, “Box Full of Sharp Objects,” “There’s No ‘I’ in Team,” and “Wires and the Concept of Breathing”.
But their pieces weren’t full of despair, self-loathing, nor post-pubescent themes of unrequited love and a nebulous identity. No, TATA’s pieces are fun, hilarious, and wacky. Maybe that’s the same thing? Anyway, check out the Type II jacket. Okay, now look at it closer. It’s not denim. It’s actually terry cloth that uses a special computerized technique that weaves a pattern into the terry cloth.
So, the ‘print’ isn’t even a print. It’s sort of like a jacquard or a terry tapestry. They come with matching ‘cutoff’ shorts too if you’re so inclined.
Also, see that newspaper? Psyche! It’s actually a bag. TATA’s designer also produces bags under another label called Matatabi. These zany pieces use real newspaper clippings that are treated and bonded to canvas which they then sew into clutches, portfolios, and a lunch bag. They even open up and read like a real newspaper! And they say print is dead. It’s not dead. It’s just been reincarnated.
Their whole collection is illusionary and paradoxical. I’m sure M.C. Escher would have enjoyed it.