NYFWM A/W 2017 Day 4

Saturday, February 04, 2017

The last day of New York Fashion Week: Men's started off relatively rough for me but ended up to be an outstanding finale to a week filled with wonders. 

I will start with Palomo Spain. That morning I was running late and caught an Uber around 11:30 to go see the long-awaited Palomo Spain "OBJETO SEXUAL" Autumn/Winter 2017 runway show. At approximately 12:20 PM, I arrived at the wrong venue (Skylight Clarkson Square) and filled with emotions that clouded my judgment, I missed the show. Later on, I realized that the show was to be held at Cadillac House, and I could have probably been able to attend if (1.) I woke up and got dressed earlier and (2.) if I simply read the fine print of the invitation. I chose to share this info with my readers because I want to be honest and establish a relationship based on trust with the designers I come in contact with. 

In a state of self-induced depression and an overwhelming sense of failure, I proceeded to go to a nearby magazine shop Jamal told me about and my favorite vintage consignment shop in Manhattan, Beacon's Closet in Greenwich Village. Here I treated myself to some vintage Prada, Burberry, and Valentino, as well as some accessories that spoke to me - from a few of their vendors. Determined to have a good finale to my week, I headed back to my Airbnb in Brooklyn and rushed to get dressed to attend my last show that I was scheduled to attend later. In the Uber ride back to Manhattan, Biggie Smalls' legendary "Juicy" played as I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and in that moment, everything was alright. The planets must have been aligned - at age 21, I was heading to see a show I was invited to for NYFW: Men's, dressed in vintage Burberry & Valentino, and Juicy by Biggie Smalls was playing as I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge.

As for Palomo Spain, all was not entirely lost. Although I missed this genius presentation - a press contact had sent me the official press images and press release through my email. I was blown away. A new menswear legend in my eyes, Mr. Alejandro Gomez Palomo sent confident, secure, and seemingly angelic male models down the runway in bold, elegant, sophisticated and striking ensembles, putting a stamp on gender-fluidity in the fashion of today. Many of the male models wore high heeled shoes, floor-length and cocktail dresses, evening jackets, blouses, and two-piece suits all in a variety of feminine patterns and colors. Later on that month, another press contact sent me the press materials for Mr. Palomo's showing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid. I have had the pleasure to write a review for that show and if you would like to see it, click here. You can also see the entire collection that happened on NYFWM Day 4 here… The next time I am able to view menswear collections in NYC, come hell or high water... I will be at the Palomo Spain show. That is a promise.

When I finally arrived at Skylight Clarkson, I showed up just in time to take my seat at the General Idea A/W 2017 runway show. Sitting in the second row, all of my happiness returned as I saw these magnificent pieces go down the runway. With a history of presenting garments with dramatic proportions, shapes, and outlandish colors and patterns, designer Bumsuk Choi showed His take on some classic outerwear pieces that were refined, clean, and polished. I personally loved the dark neutral colored bombers, sweaters, and topcoats - pieces that are classic for now but still retained some of Choi's signature design elements: broad shoulders, straps connecting through holes, fur scarves, and shoes, as well as belts and zippers in non-traditional places. I thought he did a wonderful job showing off his new wave of classics while staying true to his aesthetic, offering wardrobe staples in a variety of colors, sure to satisfy a wide range of customers. See my video coverage below.

The Matthew Adams Dolan presentation was another great example of using proportions in soft pastels and neutrals to make a statement. I could see someone like Rihanna - who isn't afraid to wear things other people are afraid of - wearing some of these pieces on her nights out. The proportions of the clothes paired with the rich, soft, and neutral shades is something I've never seen before. I remember the music being uplifting, and being utterly amazed by how the models were arranged in the middle of the floor, really appearing to be enjoying themselves. I will definitely be requesting to attend the next presentation. 

I showed my friend who is a stylist, some of these pictures from the collection and almost immediately she told me she needed a few pieces for an upcoming shoot! Speaks volumes.

I got into the Thaddeus O’Neil presentation by simply asking to get in at the door. I thought that was so great. You never know what can happen when you open up your mouth and speak. I'm so glad I did because I thought the clothes were an example of true creativity and craftsmanship. I first saw Thaddeus O'Neil on the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund a couple of years back and thought his brand was interesting even then, seeing the way he inserted his love for western culture and surfing into every stitch of his clothes. In this collection, I could see that O'Neil was shining a bright light onto the disco era and the happy-go-lucky nature of how people dressed back then. Models were skating around on roller-skates in relaxed outerwear in comfortable fabrics, with details like sparkly neck chokers, sequined Thaddeus O’Neil  logos, metallic ear and head fixtures, and gold spray-painted looking high top vans. I thought it was really fun, and a healthy nod to 70's disco culture on the west coast. I will surely be requesting to see the next presentation! 

Love this ear-cuff! Details like this definitely stood out.

Upon leaving Skylight for the last time until next season, a few of my peers and I gravitated to one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate the end of the successful season. We ate at Cafeteria NYC, where I caught up with some fairly new A&T Alumni turned NYC residents to catch up. I adore their macaroni and cheese (pictured below). 

After that, we headed to Times Square to attend the John Varvatos afterparty. As we were leaving, we spotted Mr. Varvatos himself hop into a yellow taxi with his wife. The next stop was the Robert Geller NYFWM after-party at the Boom Boom Room in the Meatpacking District. This was hands down the best party I have ever attended. Not because it was my favorite menswear designer who organized it, or that it was a fashion week afterparty, but because of the entire ambiance of being in that moment. The view, the atmosphere, the music, and all the people made it unforgettable. People were DRESSED...in Thom Browne, Gucci, Proenza Schouler, and all sorts of noted, high-end labels. There were editors, models I had seen in magazines everywhere, designers, and all of my newly found friends. Being in that moment - looking at the perfect view of the Manhattan skyline, with familiar disco beats I had danced maniacally to alone in my apartment blaring in my ears, all while being surrounded by impeccably dressed people who love fashion - felt like being on top of the world. It brought everything full circle for me. I wouldn't exchange that moment or this entire experience for anything in the world.

It was here that God showed me that sometimes we may fail, but he has something more magnificent for us if we simply keep the faith. I am so glad that I was able to experience this season of NYFW: Men's. I know this series of posts are extensive - but I felt the need to explain every detail of this life-changing experience with all of my readers because they all had such an enormous impact. It was simply unbelievable experiencing all of this and seeing a total of 30 menswear collections at the mere age of 21. Since I was young, I have always been artistic. The concepts of being "well-dressed" are organic to me - my grandparents and parents instilling and showing me the meaning of true style at a very young age. The underlying principle of fashion and style to me is evolution, something I am always striving to achieve in life. Both (during and after) this experience I have learned so much. The next time I attend NYFW: Men's I hope to still attend the same volume of collections I did but change my way of doing a few things. I recently bought a Canon DSLR so photos will be more clear and visually pleasing. I also plan to post my review in a more timely fashion, even if that means sitting down in the midst of the NYFWM madness and writing my review right after the show. I also plan to shorten the lengths of posts to get my point across in fewer words, as well as to continuously upgrade the pieces in my closet to keep up with the hierarchy of New York City fashion.

All photography courtesy of Lewis & Bull

Thank you so much for reading my reviews. Please stay tuned for this will not be my last time attending and covering New York Fashion Week: Men's. I hope to one day be booked at all the major fashion weeks, sitting front row, establishing strong, long-term relationships with iconic men's and womenswear brands across the world. This is the only the beginning. 

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