I think I have just stumbled upon the best fashion show I've seen (virtually) at NYFW yet. And it's not even womenswear! I'm no expert on menswear but I just happened to come across N. Hoolywood's runway pictures at COACD, which I used to check religiously but not so much anymore. You cannot believe how nicely put together the clothes are. I have yet to see Michael Bastian's show so I shouldn't call any final judgements nevertheless I have nothing but praise for this collection.
This is what The Cut had to say about this collection that pretty much sums up the entire look of the collection for the F/W '11 season:
All of the intricate elements worked together to narrate Obana’s [designer Daisuke Obana] theme — a Yosemite mountaineering expedition in the 1800s. The procession of models walked out to an eerie soundtrack of wind and piano — at times plaintive and then pounding — and were made-up to look like wind-burned climbers, all bearded and a few even carrying pickaxes. The clothes were a dark take on the mountain man — wool houndstooth trousers stuffed into cable-knit kneesocks were contrasted with loose pajama-like pants and long johns worn as outerwear. Interesting flourishes like a geometric crew-neck sweater vest and hooded cardigans were thrown in.
The Yosemite mountaineering vibe is definitely there which explains why the collections feels so quirkily rural and rustic unlike the East-Coast sophistication of Ivy and Trad looks. Don't get me wrong and I think those are still fine and dandy, but it's refreshing to see hulking frontier men who are at peace in the wilderness that is so much more exhilarating than men sailing or playing polo. I think this still shares much of the same kinds of aesthetics but just worked into a wholly different dimension. There's a slight touch in sensibility taken from "True Grit" which I see is becoming more common across runway shows and editorials (post about it coming up very soon). I wished there were HQ versions to the photos so I could really really see the details of the different fabrics. I envy those lucky fellows who get to see up close! I just found out from their website that they actually have their own store back at Hong Kong that I would surely follow up when I'm back home for the summer. I've never been so excited at the prospect of going back home before now that I know N. Hoolywood and Gant (and others) are waiting for me there!
Moreover, instead of being inspired by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald or J.D. Salinger, one would read instead the works of Mark Twain or the poems by Robert Frost (one of my favourites along with Emily Dickinson). Which makes me think I should go and finish his hefty autobiography - and I hear there's more installments to come. I think I would end this with an amazing Yosemite nature video that I coincidentally found on Vimeo. Until then, bonne nuit.