Formal Affair: Best Suits from New York Fashion Week
New York Fashion Week saw a surge of suits, giving the promise of variety for grooms and butch brides come fall.
By Brittny Drye
After several seasons of laid-back looks, designers plunged into the world of sharp suits for their fall 2012 collections. Not only were their suits tailored to perfection, but each one was infused with personality, so no matter your style, you’re sure to find one that fits. With formality heightened on designers’ racks, grooms and brooms are sure to have an array of attire options for their upcoming nuptials.
Michael Bastian sent his suits down the runway in a Valentine-like ode to New York’s “Extra Man,” from which he drew inspiration for his collection. “To me, it feels like this great New York phenomenon. I just love walking around the Upper East Side and seeing those guys who didn’t just take an extra 10 minutes in the morning to get ready, but an extra 40 minutes,” said Bastian. His luxe collection served up chalk-stripe double-breasted suits, three-piece Glen plaid suits, moleskin topcoats with grosgrain ribbon contrast tipping and shantung tuxedos, accessorized with needlepoint Stubbs & Wootton slippers on their feet and J. Frost floral resin boutonnieres on their lapels.
Billy Reid wooed New Yorkers with a romantic genteel collection filled with soft layers and fabrics that teetered between college boy charm and polished panache. Normally known for his rough-and-tumble looks hinting of his Southern roots, the Alabama-based designer cited his recent travels to Paris and London as his inspiration for his fall 2012 collection. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed mixing that vibe into the collection,” his style notes read. This cocktail of a collection heightened the designer in formality, evident in three-piece suits in heather gray and cashmere tweed, with a mere nod to the Deep South in the form of handmade rich dress shoes made from Louisiana alligator. Needless to say, if this collection were a drink it would be a fine Bourbon, straight up.
But it was the unique combinations he brought to the suits that was the most intriguing aspect of the evening—flannel outfits with wide lapels, groomed mohair jackets—in unlikely color combinations, that blended together in beautiful harmony. The finale, featuring a flock of models in elegant eveningwear attire, drove home the fact that formal is back.
Frank Muytjens the genius behind J. Crew, found inspiration in an era when men rejected the bourgeois and retreated to refinement, noting the season’s inspiration was from poet Edward James. “I found his picture on the cover of a vintage book I saw at the Brooklyn Flea Market,” said Muytjens. “I was also inspired by the explorer Ernest Shackleton.”
“That was a long time ago—1910,” he acknowledged, noting the era when Shackleton was in his prime, “but I feel the time is right.”
Inky shades of blues and blacks in polished form were sent down the runway in tailored and trim-fitted suits, each cuffed at the ankles.
Last fall was seemingly a hint of what Tommy Hilfiger had up his sleeve for fall 2012. Merely dotting pieces of his collection with a military-inspired stripe for fall 2011, this year he designed his entire runway show around the armed forces. Aptly dubbing it “Cadet Academy,” models marched to the tune of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles. In true military precision, the suits were tidy, with pant cuffs perfectly brushing at mid-ankle, and hues barely ranging beyond luxe burgundy and navy.
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