F/W 2009 New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Lacoste, Calvin Klein Collection, Y-3 & Z Zegna

Lacoste, Calvin Klein Collection, Y-3 & Z Zegna
Lacoste, Calvin Klein Collection, Y-3 & Z Zegna



Christophe Lemaire’s newly named Black collection for Lacoste offered plenty of comfort utilizing jersey as his material of choice throughout the entire collection.  Having been inspired from James Turrell’s usage of saturated colours, Lemaire joined the ranks of designers that sent their models out in monochromatic outfits.  The assortment of outfits featured a single top-to-toe shade, as in a butter-yellow suit with matching polo, or a closing sequence of suits and shirts in surprisingly springlike pastels: ivory, aqua, blue.  And yet, when the colours didn’t match, the palette alone was so complementary that the overall look was the same: a grey suede blouson with jersey pants, for instance, or an oatmeal ensemble.  The collection evoked a sense of sportism meets ease.  But that is the classic Lacoste man.

Available at Lacoste Boutique, 131 Bloor Street West, (416) 513-1212.

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calvin klein collection

For the first time ever, Calvin Klein was presented at home in New York, but it can hardly be a coincidence that Italo Zucchelli’s first collection to be shown in Calvin Klein’s hometown stayed truer to the brand’s identity than any other of the creative director’s previous 11 collections in Milan.  The show opened with the trade mark Calvin Klein looks: slim grey suits with monochrome detailings and variations on the themes of sharp tailoring and the mixture of fabrics.

Going back to its American roots, the show was set to Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story”.  Calvin Klein’s tie pairings with its suits were prominent in this collection…so much so that it out beat all the other collections presented in the industry.  But the questions in everyone’s minds were: commercial viable? Minimalistic? Athletically toned physicality?  Check, check and check.  But the collection also succeeded in advancing Zucchelli’s unique body of experimentation.  He exercised control over his urge to go all-in with industrial fabrics and narrowed his focus to one technique, normally used to make bicycle-seat padding, of bonding fabric to molded foam.  Despite the padding, the silhouettes remained surprisingly streamlined.  In fact, the foam was most appealing when it was applied most generously, that is, in a puffy coat that resembled reticulated armour thanks to the spacing of the molded surfaces.  Zucchelli added subtle industrial flavour to tailored outerwear by applying angular hardware including hook closures and flat, cylindrical rivets. Powdery leather bombers and shearling half-zip hoodies rounded out the outstanding outerwear offering.

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Guests arriving at the Y-3 show had to circle the perimetre of a soccer field, with a game in full swing, before getting to their seats.  It couldn’t have been a better set up for Yohji Yamamoto’s spotless collection of sportswear and snappy tailoring.  In menswear, Yamamoto took a decidedly commercial route, sticking to athletic and military-inspired shapes.  A completely different approach from last season’s man dresses.  Major volume was pumped into bright cocoon coats and fatigue pants, while Momo’s painted decorations toned down the machismo of the silhouettes.

Available at TNT Man, 392 Eglinton Avenue West.

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z zegna

Transferred to a dark space filled with thumping dance beats, Z Zegna’s show was different in numerous ways.  It featured plenty of the modern tailoring expected from the brand, but with a sense of dandyism and even frivolity. The audience was transported to a city sidewalk just after a downpour.  The textiles and surfaces in the collection ranged from superslick to totally matte, with fabrics that evoked wet asphalt in between.  Instead of relying on the “regular” inspirations (art or a philosophical moment), creative director Alessandro Sartori simply spoke about helping men look elegant, masculine and powerful without taking anything too seriously.  He devised a silhouette with hard-charging broadness in the shoulders and elongated top coats.  He used stiffer fabrics that held their voluminous shapes.  And the spotlighted accessory was an oversize doctor’s bag that verged on luggage.  Yet Z Zegna topped each look off with a domed hat with curled sides, which added a touch of nonchalant and coolness to each look.

Available at Harry Rosen, 218 Yonge Street (Toronto Eaton Centre), (416) 598-8885.

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related links

Fall-Winter 2009/2010: New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Fall-Winter 2009/2010: La Mode Masculine à Paris

Fall-Winter 2009/2010 Trends Guide

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