For our third and final part of our trade show coverage for spring/summer 2017, we made it down to the MAN trade show. The show nearly doubled in size compared to previous seasons and it seems like it might be the next thing many brands move to. Even though it was still only about a third of the size of Liberty Fairs and Capsule, MAN’s batting average for interesting brands might be higher.
Bleu de Paname
French label Bleu de Paname has been around since 2009. And, if you couldn’t tell from their name, dabbles in indigo a little bit. Their various military-inspired pieces are thoughtful and always have a bit of twist to them. This season saw super soft moleskin fabrics dyed in indigo. Moleskin is naturally wind-resistant, so when you’re caught in a windy set, there’s no need to break out your nylon windbreaker (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
The Hill-Side‘s booth was filled to the brim with loads of accessories, a school of shoes that seems to be following in Yuketen‘s footsteps as far as sheer volume, and a ton of graphics. Their Drill Jacket looks pretty much the same from the front, but do a ballerina turn and you’ll find an in-your-face embroidery of one of their new Ventile high-top sneakers. In fact, you’ll see that motif throughout their collection.
Also, their new reversible coach’s jacket features various shades of olive green on one side with a hi-vis orange on the other. Can you please do full on camo mixed with hi-vis next season?
If you didn’t know yet, we’re a fan of Hawaiian shirts. Just check out our coverage of the Liberty Fairs trade show and you’ll see David, our Managing Editor, wearing his vintage one. THS is coming through with their Hawaiian shirts, this time in custom prints that include a graphic illustration of all their favorite Brooklyn burger joints. You like burgers? Prove it.
Corridor NYC has had some great success in such a short amount of time with their formula of classic yet engaging design. For next year you’ll find cotton navy cotton ripstop done up in a military-style field jacket as well as patchwork shirts for those who are perhaps more on the engaging end.
Himel Bros. didn’t have as much to show compared to previous seasons, but what was there gets us all giddy. Natural veg-tan leather jackets in several styles. And of course, they come with all the top shelf details for which Himel is known.
If there was a show stealer, Nine Lives would be it. Nine Lives quite literally made me question whether or not I’d been wearing real clothes my whole life or just sad shortcomings of threads aspiring toward clothes.
Okay, yes, indigo-dyed sashiko fabric has been done before. But not like this. Most sashiko fabric does have a heft to it, but I’m not sure there are any quite as beefy nor substantial as the one Nine Lives has. They’ve turned it into a duster coat (bless them) and have also incorporated it with such taste into their buttery leather jackets. And, while corozo buttons on their duster would have been expected – even indigo dyed ones – they opted for brass buttons instead. Crocking and oxidation make for a lovely combo.
Their pattern maker was the same guy who made patterns for some dude named Yohji Yamamoto or some shit like that. No big deal, I think. But whoever he is, the fits and patterning are incredible. Look at all the shoulder details! They also told us about how they had to refine details like the placement of the inside breast pocket. They took into account its position in relation to a person’s ribcage while allowing for easy access.
When it came to the denim, they told us that they weren’t trying to fix something that’s not broken. Then, they showed us their jeans. Have I been wearing broken jeans this whole time? I didn’t realize it, but the coin pocket is outdated. So, with their clever updates, the coin pocket is set lower and at an angle, making it more comfortable and easier to access when you sit down. When you have a coin pocket sit that low though, the rivet tends to disappear into the hand pocket. To remedy this, they made the angle of the coin pocket not-quite-90 degrees. Look closely. Closer. Closer. Yes. Now you see it?
Their knits are also, needless to say, fantastic. Wakayama loopwheel fabric and all, they’re not afraid to cut it up and get the right fit. Because at the end of the day, who’s body fits like a straight tube?
There was much more to see, but covering it all is like trying to spend an entire day at MoMA using all of your mental acuity to analyze everything. It’s a lot of stimulation to take in and your brain will hurt afterward. For Nine Lives, what began as a drunken joke has turned into something entirely serious. Will all that being said, this is only their first season.