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Men’s Designers Feel Sentimental About the Big Apple for F/W 21-22

Nostalgia, sustainability and designers’ enduring love for New York City permeated across Fall/Winter 21-22 collections presented during the virtual New York Men’s Day on Monday.

In a collection called “Doldrums,” Carter Young designer Carter Altman presented moody yet wearable pieces such as flannel shirts, a velvet blazer, a yoked jacket and minimal-meets-Western denim shirts with matching jeans.

In the accompanying video for the collection, Interpol frontman Paul Banks modeled the collection and spoke of going to Zabar’s for bagels and spending time in Central Park as child during family trips, and how as an adult, the city represents a place to build dreams and never “second guess the things that make you smile.”

Designer Teddy Vonranson echoed that love for New York in his collection called “Manhattan Island.” Vonranson described the collection as an “optimistic love letter” to the city that he cherishes, told through a combination of East Coast and West Coast references that have become his signature.

“And though it may feel as if we lost the vibrant energy that is the signature of NYC, the colors are still there for those who have the eyes to see and make the effort to use their imagination,” he stated.

The designer opted for a warm celebratory feeling that he usually reserves for a vacation wardrobe by playfully combining traditional English tweeds and checks with rayon Hawaiian prints. Key looks include an emerald green suede jacket over a yellow wool sweater and palm leaf shirt; a pink wool suit over a mauve sweater; a red wool suit over a tan nubuck shirt; and a jade wool jacket juxtaposed with a black Hawaiian print—a nod to city lights at night.

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Timo Weiland established an effortlessly cool dress code for pandemic fashion rooted in relaxed-fit jeans and tees dressed up with blazers. The blazers, however, smacked of personality with powder pink and two-tone toppers leading the way.

Aaron Potts, a Brooklynite and founder of A.Potts, sourced inspiration close to home, too. For the F/W 21-22 collection called “Shadowlight,” the designer explored ’80s-era New York City, the Soho nabe specifically, through an artistic lens “taking inspiration from the soulful New Romantic spirit of Jody Watley and the evolved Classicism of American Modern dance.”

The collection aimed “to create presence within the juxtaposition of light and dark; claiming space within the darkness through lightness and positivity,” according to the brand.

A.Potts’ signature voluminous and sculptural silhouettes, spanning unisex one-piece rompers, tunic dresses, wide-leg trousers and outerwear—are enhanced by crisp and airy fabrics to inspire movement. Shades of black, charcoal and silver are electrified with punches of sunburst yellow and sulfur orange. Ethereal nylons and jerseys paired with more structured wools and foundational knits.

The Stolen Garment’s collection, called “Lost in Translation,” was inspired by the designer Woo Parks’ trip with friends to a used bookstore in Seoul. “Browsing the dusty adult book section of the store, the designer was inspired by the tragic poignancy of each word that made up the titles of these books, most of which were published in the ’90s,” according to the show notes.

Stan designer Tristan Detwiler’s collection “Treasuring the Quilters of History” captures the comforting spirit of home with his season-less and gender-neutral collection of garments made from upcycled vintage fabrics. As part of the brand’s storytelling mission, details about the fabric’s origin are provided for most of the unique garments.

The new collection continues to emphasize Detwiler’s approach to construction, which centers on handcraft, mending and quilting. Pieces include a crochet tank/vest, a patchwork corduroy zip-front jacket, shorts and jackets made with wool blanket materials, and an array of quilted jackets and trousers.

Federico Cina demonstrated the brand’s focus on tailoring with wool shirting and puddled trousers, as well as more contemporary statement pieces such as coats with exaggerated lapels and oversized vests. The video presentation underscored the gender duality of the collection, with images of men and women wearing similar pieces, spliced side-by-side.

The brand interpreted its signature Romagnola print—a symbol of passion, family, devotion and trust—as an oversized knit sweater and cardigan. The print also appears on button-down shirts and pandemic-friendly sweatshirts and tees.

For her eponymous label, political designer Chelsea Grays combined autumnal checks and plaids with deconstructed and destroyed knit tunics, military green jackets, and trousers with ruched seams. Plaids added warmth to Onyrmrk’s relaxed collection as well. The Los Angeles-based brand focused on loose layering pieces with strong nods to workwear.

And don’t underestimate the influence of streaming services, particularly during a year of social distancing. For their F/W 21-22 collection, Ka Wa Key designers Key Chow and Jarno Leppanen reflected on the imaginative worlds they’ve visited and characters, like Willy Wonka, Moira Rose and Peter Pan, they’ve met through screens. “TV and music have been a huge inspiration and has offered an escape from reality, opportunity to meet different personalities who have given us hope and a variety of amazing places to visit,” the designers stated in a press release.

Soft and fluffy knits mainly using Responsibly Mohair Standard mohair make up the majority of the colorful gender-fluid collection. It also includes seven pieces designed in collaboration with Japanese fabric manufacturer Toray using sustainable stretch fabrics from its Primeflex product line.