COOL & CHIC!
NEW YORK FASHION WEEK FALL/ WINTER 2015
THE STREETWEAR REVOLUTIONBy Wesley Sin
This winter cold has been extremely harsh on New York City. When I was preparing for the recent New York Fashion Week, I wondered how all the fashion insiders would dress up in this freezing weather. Stylish down jacket, fuzzy parka, oversized coats, and other cool and chic streetwear should all be in the trend to beat the cold!
Other exciting news for me this season is to see more different fashion brands coming to the Big Apple. Besides the usual well-known New York based designers and couture brands, the vibrant street fashion atmosphere in New York City attracts more and more international streetwear designers to choose New York Fashion Week as their platform to showcase their new collection.
Classic French brand “Lacoste” and rising street brand “General Idea” from South Korea have been presenting their collections in New York for years. There are brands that are lately gaining traction: U.S.-Japan mixed brand “Joyrich,” H.K.-Korea mixed brand “IIJIN,” and from Japan—“Fig & Viper” and “Mastermind.” These brands are all first timers this season to join the New York Fashion Week. Their unique and creative styles will certainly bring different inspirations to the New York Fashion Week.
“This winter is all about tennis!” said Felipe Oliveira Baptista, the creative director of Lacoste. The starting points of Lacoste’s FW 2015 collection were the vision of Rene Lacoste—and—tennis, which made Lacoste famous both as a champion and as an inventor. Inspired by the brand heritage, the designer created a new contemporary look that mixes the supple lightness of sportswear with tailored elegance of long protective coats for both men and women. The colors of winter collections are typically darker; on Lacoste’s runway however, I can still see the bright grass green, ruby red, royal blue, and colorful art-deco prints revisited from the 70’s. The accessories on the models such as striped sporty headbands, cut-out caps, and sport bags also caught my eyes for their retro but urban styles.
“I like those long coats a lot, especially the unique design of the sleeves! You can wear the coat like a cap without putting your hands into the sleeves,” said Chinese actor Cheney Chen from the film “Tiny Times.” “I find it interesting to see the mix-and-match of sporty and tailored pieces this season. The texture is so comfortable but stylish,” commented Taiwanese model Hannah Quinlivan who recently married Jay Chou, a legendary Mandopop singer.
GENERAL IDEA (S. KOREA)Bumsuk Choi, the creative director of General Idea has become a new fashion icon in Asia through his impressive streetwear design and participation in various TV shows in South Korea and China. For his 13th collection in New York Fashion Week, he decided to realize some of his dreams by creating the “G.I. League.” Choi commented, “I never really attended college during my early 20’s, so I always wondered what kind of outfit I would have worn on campus if I had the chance to be a college student.” In his imagination, walking in a historic campus of the top-ranking university and wearing some simple and elegant tops with a stylish long coat can be really smart and chic. Accordingly, the Ivy League-inspired collection was created with preppy style sweaters, cardigans, striped trousers, and oversized peacoats produced in upgraded wool blends, denim, and cotton fabrics. Some may know that the Korean drama “Fashion King” was adapted from parts of Choi’s real life story.
I personally really like the coats with double-layer overlapping contrasting collared lapels because this design can easily make the same outfit look different and stand out. “This is the rebellious preppy style that I created! So you can wear simple navy, black, and gray colors on campus and put on the overlapping piece when you want more attention,” Choi told me. Another men’s fashion icon Nick Wooster also came to support Choi’s new collection. Wooster mentioned, “I will say the oversized long coat with subtle design and fabric weights is the must-have item for this winter. You will never go wrong with a stylish coat from General Idea’s new collection.”
LA based label Joyrich was founded by Japanese-American Tom Hirota, and the label has been taking the fashion industry by storm with their charismatic graphics, novelty prints, and uninhibited fresh takes on contemporary streetwear. Joyrich’s debut in New York Fashion Week has been highly anticipated by all streetwear lovers. “We are exhausted from preparing for our first presentation in New York City, but we are so excited to collaborate for this new ‘Youthquake’ collection with many talented artists to the likes of Richie Rich and Patrick Nagel. The Youthquake movement is the coming of age of the youth generation and a driving force of directional fashion trends. Joyrich revives this exuberant revolutionary spirit through its own interpretation of visionary youth, lifestyle and aesthetic,” said David Melgar, the designer of Joyrich. Japanese fashion blogger Misha Janette pointed out, “The collaboration with Patrick Nagel is awesome! His illustration inspired by the 70’s hair salon brings me back to the good old times. When I was a little girl, I always imagined that I could have those crazy hair styles after growing up!” Pop idol Becky Gomez also attended the party and stated “I Love the fuzzy Coca-Cola collection! I would actually wear the super cute sweatshirt in this freezing weather!” Other sections in the party-like presentation were also notable, such as the plaid-on-plaid combination, Ketchup+Mustard set, and composition-notebook-style prints jumpsuits.
Tokyo Runway, Japan’s leading business-to-consumer fashion event, debuted at New York Fashion Week with the new concept “Tokyo Runway meets New York.” Famous Tokyo-based streetwear designer Masaaki Homma collaborated with venerable Japanese material production company A-Girl’s and presented a new limited edition of the Mastermind collection. The combination of plaid shirts, skirts, and double-breasted suit mixes street style with some classic preppy looks. “I think Tokyo Runway successfully brings the fashion culture of Tokyo to New York, especially the collaboration between Mastermind and A-Girl’s. I also worked with A-Girl’s before. Their fabrics are really fantastic to match Mr. Homma’s design!” commented Japanese model Marie Pascal.
FIG & VIPER (JAPAN)Launched in 2011, Fig & Viper is the brand that unequivocally represents current Tokyo Street style. The designer Alisa Ueno, who is also a model and a fashion icon, has collaborated with an array of brands and personalities while incorporating a sense of timeless fashion that people of all ages can enjoy. The creative mix-and-match concept made a distinction from the Tokyo style fashion from New York’s. Alisa indicated, “New Yorkers’ style is usually urban and elegant, but my style is very casual and fun. I hope to bring some fresh perspectives of Tokyo street culture here.” Popular Japanese model Alisa Urahama also joined the runway for Fig & Viper, and stated “The runway show in Tokyo is more like a festival or a concert, but here—the models usually do the catwalk with a cool attitude. It’s exciting for me to try something new and different in New York.”
IIJIN (HONG KONG X KOREA)
Fine artist Cassian Lau from Hong Kong, partners in life and business with Korean designer June Lee. They created their own brand IIJIN, which means “precious” in Korean. Lee pointed out, “Each piece of the IIJIN collection is a precious value of art to us.” Cassian’s creativity transfers his “thinking man’s” artistic flair to menswear. His use of cartoon characters, bright colors, and patterns bring playfulness and style to the FW 2015 men’s collection. The women’s collection is directed by designer Christina Minasian. The badge-decorated bomber jacket, red plaid skirt, and oversized stripped top are all good examples of the combination of U.S. street style and cute twists of Asian culture. “I actually paid a lot of attention to their shoes, the black and white sneakers with silver studs and gold trims can match my favorite street hip-hop look,” said Korean-American rapper EXP.
About the writer
Wesley Sin is a writer for travel and fashion guides from Taiwan. His personal publications include What’s New in Tokyo, Tokyo Fashion Guide, Travel in New York by Subway and more. He is currently working in New York as a PR professional all the while writing and contributing from the Big Apple. Follow him on Facebook @ facebook.com/Sin.Wesley