The Future Looks Bright on the Men's Runways

Getty Images
From left: Looks from runways of Carlos Campos, Todd Snyder and Nick Graham during New York Fashion Week: Men's

Brilliant hues, crisp tailoring and nautical details are meant to put you in a good mood for spring 2018, as seen at New York Fashion Week: Men's.

Fashion shows either reflect the times in which we live or seek to provide an antidote — Raf Simons’ Tuesday-night show adopted a rather bleak, Blade Runner-esque worldview, while other New York labels are channeling a more upbeat sensibility this week. If you’re stressed out, anxious or angry about tweets or a certain scion’s emails, designers are offering up a panacea in the form of tailored, brightly hued clothes that strive to put a smile on your face.

Todd Snyder’s showing at Cadillac House on Monday evening nicely kicked off this idea, balancing a preppy vibe with just enough hipster flavor to make these pieces feel fresh and thoroughly modern. Matt Bomer sat front row, and with The Last Tycoon about to roll out on Amazon Prime later this month, it was also easy to appreciate the classic, buttoned-up ease of this collection. Snyder had On the Road, Jack Kerouac’s seminal 1957 novel, in mind while working on these clothes, hence the mood of that decade in the varsity jackets in awning stripes and the denim pants — make that dungarees — with wide, turned-up cuffs. Kerouac’s romantic Beat poet, meanwhile, could be seen in the gray turtleneck (part of Snyder’s collab with British knitwear firm John Smedley) worn with a flyweight trench coat in smoky teal and pleated linen shorts.

Ultimately this was a show of beautiful details, and also highly wearable. “I really like his tailoring, and he cuts for real guys — I know I’m not 6-foot-5, but this is all basically off the rack,” said Nate Berkus, referring to his nautical-stripe sweater and linen shorts. (Berkus was on the front row with husband Jeremiah Brent; the pair are serving as CFDA ambassadors for New York Fashion Week: Men’s.)

For his second New York collection, Boss chief brand officer Ingo Wilts chose an event space at the Fulton Fish Market for his spring 2018 show Tuesday afternoon, ideal for a collection strongly — though not overtly — influenced by a nautical theme. Matt Bomer and Alexander Skarsgard were both wearing double-breasted suits, a key element of this collection, while Chris Hemsworth and Andrew Rannells opted for single-breasted looks in the muted blues and grays of the Boss spring palette. The outerwear likewise felt loose and breezy, including a beautiful topcoat in pale mint and a paper-light khaki trench, a favorite of Skarsgard’s (“Though I might not wear it today — it’s boiling outside,” he added).

Tailored pieces were crafted in a boxier cut at Carlos Campos, who paired bold tones of cherry red and cobalt blue with neutrals of khaki, black, white and navy. Campos was inspired by Mexican architect Luis Barragan, whose graphic, modernist designs continue to be bright spots (quite literally) on the Mexico City skyline. The son of a master tailor, the Honduras-born Campos sent out suiting and separates — as well as a handful of roomy sheaths; like several shows this week, both men and women walked this runway — in colorblocking and zig-zag prints. Fold in the color palette and a few details that skirted the edge of nautical in feeling, and the effect called to mind the graphics of maritime flags.

Nick Graham approached nautical in a decidedly more whimsical fashion, with the backdrop of his show emblazoned with his name and three cities: New York, London and Atlantis. Graham’s Lost City inspiration primarily found its way into the collection via the occasional pirate reference and crested yachting jackets in brilliant hues of red, orange, lilac and mint, each paired with pleated pants in clam-digger lengths. Parrot prints, seersucker and a primary trend for spring 2018 — stripes — were sprinkled throughout. Also spied: the debut of Nick Graham underwear, seen as the hint of a waistband with a madras-plaid suit, and in fanciful prints, like clouds or tropical fish. But from the man who founded Joe Boxer, would you expect anything less?