Last Friday, I attended one of the fashion presentations of the annual Fashion Week Brooklyn. The line-up consisted of ready-to-wear (prêt-à-porter) menswear with designs by Kit Woo, Ienday Snipes, Zam Barett, and Tru Fiction by Mark Cordell.
Admittedly I have not looked up the exact definition of Ready-to-Wear as it relates to fashion shows, but to me it would probably represent fashion that is ready to wear as opposed to more conceptual and experimental fashion designs. In this sense the work shown, was not all ready-to-wear in my opinion.
Kit Woo had included a coat with sleeves so long, that they reached the model’s knees and therefore not very convenient to open doors, shake hands, swipe a credit card, etc. But if we put aside the idea of ready-to-wear, I would like to applaud her for the creative elements she added.
For example, one of her jackets had an additional sleeve on the back and another one on the side, which took the model’s physique out of context in a surprising way. I also loved her cabled sweater which looked very comfortable – I would consider that ready-to-wear.
I liked Zam Barrett’s work a lot. Cute short leather jackets and long hem shirts that I could see many people wear. In fact I have already seen these types of outfits frequently in the streets and now I am wondering to what extent his design is novel or is he more following an existing trend? Regardless it is something I could see myself wear.
Ienday Snipes’ long topcoats seemed a play on the classic smoking jackets, but with a twist. Was not sure whether these were supposed for outdoors or indoors. Combined with shorts they looked very fitting for a late summer evening stroll on the beach or a neighbor’s pool party.
I have mixed feelings about Tru Fiction by Mark Cordell. Loved the long sleeve red and black shirt with frayed hem. At first sight conventional, but if you take a closer look, some very innovative leather additions were added to the sleeves. I was not so sure about the wrap shirt with wide shoulders though – it seemed unflattering to the body, which is more and more relevant for menswear as it has always been for womenswear.
A particularly surprising element of this particular fashion show was how the actual presentation unfolded. Before the show started it was a bit of a mess to get everyone seated. Not enough seats and additional seats were placed where they should not go and for about an hour people had to reshuffle and relocate.
The show itself lasted for about 7 minutes. In my experience with the few fashion shows I attended, it is usual that the presentation does not last that long. But in this case we had to deal with some inexperienced models who walked a bit too fast (seemingly because they were somewhat nervous) and not posing and pausing enough to give the audience an opportunity to get a good look at the designs.
Also once finished with their cat-walk, the models took position on pedestals in front of half of the audience, taking away the view of the men following. But all was forgiven when the host announced that we had an opportunity to get up from our seats and mingle to get a closer look and even touch the designs (not the models themselves).
That was a well-chosen deviation from the traditional fashion show where design and audience are kept at a distance.