Disclaimer: menswear is not my forte. Since I started blogging four years ago, I've always been drawn to the more ostentatious womenswear shows during fashion week, with the more nuanced styles of men's fashion totally lost on me. Yet one can't ignore that the line between womenswear and menswear is blurring, and androgyny and gender-bending fashion is becoming very much in vogue. Menswear has become an integral part of womenswear in established fashion brands such as Gucci, which heavily emphasized suiting this season, and Louis Vuitton, which just featured Jaden Smith in a skirt in its most recent ad campaign. Suddenly, raiding clothes from my boyfriend's closet became a much more viable option, and it become imperative to pay attention to men's fashion.
Attending the men's luxe show at Philadelphia Fashion Week was my attempt to do just that. Held at 2300 Arena and featuring six designers from Philadelphia, New York and Washington, the show really broke the mold on conventional menswear with its unexpected designs and the presence of a female model. Here's my take on the highlights of the show:
D Leaks | A PLAYBOY AFFAIR
When Playboy decided to do away with nudity on its pages, it wasn't only the bunnies in Los Angeles that got the memo. The gentlemen of Philadelphia have certainly been dressing up in style, with the help of designer D Leaks. His latest collection, an exploration of the classic suit, incorporated the urban influences of New York and Philadelphia with leather accents and metallic bowties. Of course, one could not forget to mention the bunny masks ubiquitous throughout the show, which added a little sex appeal to the buttoned-up attire. Note to Mr. Hugh Heffner, if he so happens to stumble upon this blog: ditch the bathrobe and suit up instead.
BWC Garments | ASCETIC AESTHETIC
With sharp geometric shapes overlaid onto its oversized bomber jackets, BWC Garments' spring collection was a study in contrast. While the Philadelphia-based designer adhered to a mostly neutral palette of whites, navies and greys, the collection combined textures from chambray to cotton in panels within one garment, highlighting each garment in sharp relief. I often find that Philadelphian designers adore the excessively baggy silhouettes of streetwear, but BWC Garments was able to execute the streetwear aesthetic with impeccable tailoring. Their shirts were a beautiful and well-fitted interplay of color and material. Undeniably the most understated collection among the menswear shows, it was naturally my favorite.
NUTZ AND BOLTZ | Skin Tight
Nutz and Boltz is a provocative name for a men's swimwear and intimate apparel brand, but its spring swimwear collection certainly lived up to it. While the initial plethora of neon micro-Speedos bore a little too much resemblance to Borat's neon green mankini for my taste, the collection redeemed itself later on with looks that moderated provocative silhouettes with more subdued colors. Needless to say, I was extremely taken with black latex leggings with mesh cutouts, which appealed to my dominatrix sensibilities.
MOSES KING | The LuXE Sportsman
With its beautiful marriage of high-shine textures and athletic shapes, it was clear why the menswear collection by Moses King was chosen to be the finale of the show. Even though King is from New York, he is a designer that truly understands the Philadelphians aesthetic of glamorous streetwear. He mixes sport and luxury in unexpected ways, from creating a basketball jersey silhouette in glossy silver fabric to pairing a grey suit with an electric blue mesh tee and sandals. My trips to the gym may be infrequent (or totally non-existent), but I would wear that.