Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2012.

Steven Alan.

For some reason, I’ve always been glad to start the men’s portion of New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with the Steven Alan presentation. His work seems to be a study in unfussiness, a virtue that so often gets lost in hems and threads of other designers. But such is perhaps a testament to Alan’s fashion background, which began in 1994 with the opening of the Steven Alan Showroom. Soon, he came to be seen as a curator of casual American fashion, and when he started his own collections several years later, it was through this curatorial prowess — and presence — that he carved his niche in the menswear market, by revisiting the vocabulary of American casual in an eminently easy-to-wear way. And this morning’s presentation proved no exception. Read more at Paper magazine.

NUMBER:Lab.

With the first official day of New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week well underway, we now turn to the sporting set, with yesterday’s NUMBER:Lab show at the Standard Hotel’s Highline Ballroom. The line was launched in 2007 by Luis Fernandez, a former architect, and business partner Greg Lawrance, and Fernandez was recently announced as having been selected to participate in the next class of the CFDA Fashion Incubator. Read more at Paper magazine.

Tim Coppens.

When it comes to menswear, I usually tend to pass hasty judgment on anything that might be considered high concept, and am generally wary of collections that include either voluminous pants or tunic shirts. And yet, it was the work of high concept Belgian designer Tim Coppens, whose collection included both of the aforementioned garments, that I found to be the most compelling at yesterday’s shows. In fact, even though the week is still young, I’m ready to call his collection a favorite. Read more at Paper magazine.

Duckie Brown.

It’s good to see designers marching to the beat of their own drums. In the case of Messrs Steven Cox and Daniel Silver of Duckie Brown, that drum seemed to herald a post-industrial utilitarianism for the men of spring 2012. Yesterday’s show began on a heavy note — nylon stealth bomber jackets and sleeveless matched with dramatically pleated trousers, presented in monochromatic waves of black. Read more at Paper magazine.

Billy Reid.

Yesterday at Milk Studios, Alabama-based, CFDA Award winning-designer Billy Reid presented his Spring/Summer 2012 collection in a setting meant to invoke the inspiring force behind his latest work — the American songwriter. Read more at Paper magazine.

Antonio Azzuolo.

Far too often do we — those who write reviews — get stuck in our heads about what we want to say — we are in a rush, attempting to capture staccato glimpses of any given collection, trying to remain coy and aloof, framing our praise and criticism in trends or themes, in the color of a shirt or the fit of a coat. For various reasons, we often fail to express what’s really on our minds. These were the thoughts I had when I attended yesterday’s presentation of Antonio Azzuolo’s a.a. collection at Milk Studios. Read more at Paper magazine.

Robert Geller.

Robert Geller, who formerly worked with Alexandre Plokhov on the preeminent Cloak label, brought a sense of stark yet crisp moodiness to yesterday’s menswear proceedings, with a collection that in some ways reminded me of Plokhov’s now defunct line, but that was decidedly Geller’s own. Read more at Paper magazine.

Simon Spurr.

For some reason, at Simon Spurr’s S/S ’12 show yesterday, my eyes kept wandering to the backs of the suits, almost as a technical afterthought. Fine tailoring, you see, is as much about the front of a suit as it is the back, about the hang of the shoulder, or the lay of the padding. Read more at Paper magazine.

Carlos Campos.

For spring, it seems that the cool thing to do has been to go heavy, or moody, or dark. Breaking from this sartorial doom and gloom was yesterday’s Carlos Campos presentation, where we were reminded that spring can be about color, and that those colors can sometimes be vibrant. Read more at Paper magazine.

Michael Bastian.

Having taken last season off to design his inaugural line for GANT, yesterday marked Michael Bastian’s return to the runways. While previous collections delved into the worlds of Andalucían cowboys and Latin American jefes, the Gant collaboration seems to have Bastian thinking about sartorial themes of the American male. And, judging from yesterday’s expansive 43 look collection, he’s been thinking — and designing — in overdrive. How lucky we are for it. Read more at Paper magazine.

GANT by Michael Bastian.

Yesterday, The Park was partially transformed into a tropical jungle as Michael Bastian, fresh off the heels of showing his S/S ’12 menswear line, presented his latest collection for GANT. Aptly titled “Sunshine Days,” the collection was inspired by the Hawaiian Islands, an interesting prospect considering Bastian had never been to Hawaii. Instead, the designer relied on his pop-culture knowledge of the island, which largely came from the television show The Brady Bunch. Read more at Paper magazine.

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Filed under A Few Things I have Written Elsewhere//, Paper Magazine.

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