The First Ever Men’s NYFW Recap

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They came, they saw, they conquered. New York’s first ever Men’s Fashion Week has come and gone, but not without a duffle bag’s worth of noteworthy designs and revamped menswear staples. Several designers took it upon themselves to lighten up and break out of the expected black suit norm and expand what ready-to-wear menswear means for men’s casual, urban and beach bound looks. Spring/Summer 2016 is all about the everyday man who may need a suit in his repertoire, but also an oversized cardigan for the office or baggy, khaki shorts on the weekend.

David Hart wowed with his collection of colorblocked hues and delicate linens while Public School went for a more conceptual route and brought their runway to the heart of a squad room. Opening Ceremony introduced playful skater style to a tougher, militant British Punk, and the tailored yet comfy beachwear uniform Michael Kors unveiled was quite possibly the star of the week—a luxurious take on the day-to-day man.

Either way, men’s designers and their creations proved menswear is more dynamic than just a blazer and vest, suit and tie. No, New York’s first ever Men’s Fashion Week ran the stage solo and the SS16 collection’s rose to the occasion, no accompaniment necessary.

1. Opening Ceremony’s Classical Skater Boys

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We all cherish that first concert tee… #OpeningCeremony #SS16 pays homage to #ClassicalMusic & boyhood

A photo posted by openingceremony (@openingceremony) on

Without fail, time and again, Opening Ceremony mixes various styles, influences and accents to create a vivid and youthful mélange of, well, something special. The big takeaways from this season are Jinco-inspired pants, or man-lottes as we're calling them, Ska and Punk based silhouettes, along with the boyish charm of graphic t-shirts typically reserved for the current bands du jour, but, in OC's case, the late greats of the Baroque and Romantic eras—Bach, Beethoven or Tchaikovsky anyone? While all of these elements collide and find their own space among the oversized fabrics, khaki and olive green tones, the nostalgia of this collection is rife with an aching for '90s teen sensibilities and we see no harm in that.

2. Get on Island Time with Michael Kors

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A photo posted by Michael Kors (@michaelkors) on

It would appear the beach has crept into the urban landscape once more. Though with Michael Kors's impeccable tailoring and eye for luxurious fabrics, his beach story feels more like a day at the cape, eating oysters seaside and drinking a bottle of lightly oaked chardonnay than the usual crab and Red Stripe island vibes. Seersucker, languid pinstripes and oversized cardis let Kors's SS16 man relax in style even if the only seaside he will be viewing is the one on his office screensaver. This collection is thoughtful, impressive and better yet versatile no matter the season.

3. Vibrant Whimsy Shone Throughout David Hart NYC

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A photo posted by @davidhartnyc on

With only a handful of ready-to-wear seasons under his belt, David Hart's aesthetic and point of view glow brighter with each collection. SS16 utilized colorblocking, vibrant hues and merino wool with linen suits to keep the entire vision light and season ready. Hart's men are dressed to the nines, ready for a night on the town and just the right side of dapper to avoid any fussy overtones. A thin resemblance to Gatsby rang throughout the collection, but with white sneakers and two-toned sunnies, Hart's take had the whimsy of a more refined Willy Wonka, sans Gene Wilder's tangled mane.

4. Public School's Bad Boys Gone Good

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Public School's head maestros, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, are determined to go their own way and stay true to American roots and soil. Their brand, though cloth and fabric are sourced from mills in Japan and Italy, is 100% American crafted in New York City, so it is no wonder, with the recent political climate, their menswear show found itself dabbling with concept through presentation. Rather than a customary runway, the myriad of diverse models and New York “It” men posed before a black and white police lineup, allowing for the paired down garments to stand in unison, presenting the collection as one singular entity: a story connected. The garments ranged from black to white to navy, slightly oversized but every bit as chic as we have come to expect from Public School. This understated, cool-guy scofflaw may have been pulled in for questioning, but there is no doubt Public School had all the right answers.

5. Separatist Notions via CADET

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A photo posted by CADET (@cadetusa) on

CADET, a Brooklyn staple, has risen to the top of not only military style but also menswear in general since created in 2011. Raul Arevelo and Brad Schmidt arrived at this pinnacle with a focused eye and aware sense of place. Their story is post-war military academy staples but with a twist. This season, separates ruled the roost, and tank vests with airy shorts, breathable fabrics and cinched waists gave a more sugar versus spice appeal when it came to the collection's strong, masculine overtones. While the pieces are decidedly military-inspired, CADET never appears distressed or overtly rugged. Instead, the apparel's appeal lies within the line's consistently executed class and durability. These pieces appear timeless, sturdy and ready for action.

6. Tommy Hilfiger's Slim Fit Suits and 1950s Shine

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Similar but different to Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger's SS16 man went the way of the beach but with a sophisticated suited edge. He was in Maui on business or was the type to live and die in a suit, buried too. With a consistently slim fit, the color palette ranged from neutral cream to bright pops of yellow and brick red updating the 1950s influence to modern day. The collection was pure Tommy Hilfiger—red, white and blue as the base, but classic and fitted in all the right ways. While the image of a suit and tie may not evoke breezy and carefree, Hilfiger mastered the balance between class and cool this season.

7. Rag & Bone Soars & Flips

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A photo posted by rag & bone (@rag_bone) on

Versatile and crafted with movement in mind, Rag & Bone's collection was monochromatic in tone and let the garments speak and soar for themselves. Though the presentation was hung artfully on mannequins, designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright did have the foresight to create a video with real Parkour enthusiasts wearing the duds and sailing through space. Shorts over pants, loose parkas and nylon mesh hoodies with pocket chains and cropped jackets gave their techie theme a touch of sci-fi edge but also a relatable urban feel. Though the shapes and design truly shined when the pieces were in motion, the comfort of these looks was hard to deny, but tread carefully. This collection was light years beyond Athleisure leggings and track suits.

8. True Blue with Todd Snyder

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A photo posted by Todd Snyder (@toddsnyderny) on

Neckerchiefs, indigo blue and a sensual sheen encompassed the holiday feel of Todd Snyder’s latest offering. Although this collection was not quite on island time, Snyder brought forth a sense of inner peace and inner calm throughout each garment. Whether his man was on vacation or donning a suit to dinner at Eleven Madison Park, this guy was all zen. A cool blue tone tied the collection together but as an admitted sucker for the monochromatic, cream and beige sweaters with light linen pants truly added an exclamation point to the beauty and grace of Snyder’s cool and calm line. A home run for those on the hunt for strength and inner peace, these looks were attractive and reflected a tranquil vibe in contrast to the harried city streets of New York City.