Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The Tunnel- La Venue


Words/Images Judith Ecochard


We recently walked a rather long stretch of westside Manhattan for a way too short cruise around the menswear and accessories trade show in the warm brick walled, former train depot... The Train event space.

Looking briefly at the attire for Fall 2011...we noticed similarities and differences with what we saw for 2010.

The same---the trends of vintage, utilitarian with clean styling, sport chic, and pops of colors on accessories like belts, ties and footwear...or sweaters and waistcoats...are continued for Fall 2011. We also saw the forever popularity of denim as a wardrobe staple, and leather jackets with motor cross/military bomber influences---now classics.

What we found a tad different and we def. attribute this to European influences in particular, an attempt to redefine men's silhouettes...dressier pants with wider hips, more tapered at the ankle ("carrot"), dropped crotch jeans for guys, playing around with belt loops---maybe an inch lower than where the waistband is...etc.

Will the American guys we know wear the more fashion forward profiles...nope. But they will take  a stab at fashion fabulousness.... via longer scarves, terrific totes and messenger bags in canvas/leather (the ones by Ben Minkoff will be bought by women, IMHO)...great sweaters in traditional Fair Isles prints and Irish knits...tartans and Harris tweeds...

...and new techy fabrics as well as different weaves/blends of textiles like cotton and wool with advanced treatment traditional cuts with British Savile Row polish.

All the aforementioned will be warmly received by customers. Particular the guys who are moving into their late 20's and up. And that is why this trade show was buzzing....with retailers.

WALK-OVER shoes have been around since George Washington was in pre-K, if about a heritage brand---and still made in Pennsylvania. We wrote  up their fabulous Spring 2010 collection--- that saw fresh takes on the classic saddle and buck shoes in eye catching bright colors... suede too. Smart retailers like Neimans and Saks carry the line----($225-$245)

For Fall 2011 ---wow---the leather lace-ups were so well done. We particularly love the all, buttery leather work boot styles with Vibram® lug and leather soles...the latter sample was so sleek in design---and therefore office appropriate ---in black, of course---a style the retailers loved too.

Matching belts with shoes for Fall 2011---

A great app on iPad too!

Spring 2010

ANDREW BUCKLER FALL 2011...some looks we will see during NY FASHION WEEK were at the ENKNYC show...

Best Leather Jacket ever---Ladies hope it comes in XS

The wool/leather jacket has a bit of Breton swagger---so handsome

The ultimate in men's shoes comes courtesy of a fab collaboration with Vintage shoes (owned by the same corp. parent as Walk-Over, fyi) and Andrew Buckler---who is the original "Sexy Bastard" ---and now designs some of the best menswear out there that every guy will want. This label has seriously emerged as a go to apparel line.

Even the soles are well done---

Another winner was the menswear brand SCOTT JAMES---we would call it upscale contemporary traditional...whatever...just really well done. Brooks Brothers -ish but with a bit more swagger to appeal to the skinny tie guys as well as prepsters, younger and older men who want to look pulled together, not like they are trying too hard.

Named after Scott James ---pictured, the designer leading life has the earthiness of  Minnesota dweller fused with the sophisticated but approachable polish of the Italian man...via an estate betweeen Pisa and Florence. (LOVE---has an olive oil making thing going on).

"Scott James brings a sensibility---the essence of the collection is a "3rd" wardrobe for the American man..."

(AS in Black Tie (1)formal, tech sports apparel(2)...then all the rest which is what most guys wear year round, everyday, anyway (3))

As in a terrific jackets with rounded shoulders, shirts with hints of colors, great sweaters---as  layering pieces or on their own...esp. the chunky Nordics.

"A total looks experience" the designer noted------with the Fall/Winter 2011 merch we saw laid out by color waves...beginning with grays, blues....then into olives and autumnal oranges/rusts for later Fall 2011 deliveries.

"Like Colette...the collection is edited down as men need that," Jams observed.

For apparel, the materials and vibe are sourced in Europe but the style is translated for the American men who  buys high end Italian brands like Prada and Armani..."but still gets this."

And we note...high/low way of dressing but with better fabrics and production. And accessibly priced not not cheapo junk.

BOTTON LINE: A broad demographic of guys will love this updated traditional collection---available at boutiques, E-commerce and an eponymous store in Boston.