Left, Richard Chai. Right, Duckie Brown.
All throughout the week, the owners of Bird, Odin, Den, and Pas de Deux will be telling us what they liked at the collections. Today's installment is by the Den/Odin/Pas de Deux boys, Eddy Chai and Paul Birardi. So far, they like Robert Geller's blending of American sportswear with dark edginess, Duckie Browne's fun pom-poms, and Richard Chai's detailing. Find out what else they liked.
While we have a fondness for the American work/sportswear movement that has dominated men's collections, we also have a penchant for things with a little edge. As always, Robert Geller has produced another beautiful collection in this vein. His coats and jackets are always his strength, and there were plenty of parkas (some with faux-fur-trim details) that would frame and complement any outfit underneath it. The black wool blazers with contrasting gray cuffs were sharp and went well with the dark tweed cropped jackets that offered subtle texture. The wool drawstring pants were elegant without being rigid, and all the gradient button-downs offered some romanticism and modernity to Robert’s strong edge.
This duo is known for its quirkiness and humor, which was evident with the oversize pom-pom hats and ski masks the models wore. But if you strip those layers and look at the body of the collection, you will see the work of true artisans designing clothes in a masculine and powerful way. The cement waxed-cotton-canvas peacoat had a comfortable but tailored fit — natural creasing will just add character to it over time. There was also a black cashmere long coat with hidden buttons that couldn’t have been cut any sharper. And we can’t resist mentioning the fluorescent-orange waxed-cotton-canvas anorak that had enough pop to be branded in one’s mind without being too obscene.
There was definitely a utilitarian inspiration to the collection, but it was modernized with boiled wools, overdyed plaids, and a play on proportions. He used his signature subtle-arc details in the clothing, but it was the placement of zippers and trim that might be forging a new look for his menswear. The boiled-wool blazer with contrast-trim lapel and cuff details and zip pockets was a particular favorite of ours, paired with the plaid button-down and front-seam wool pants. It embodied a utilitarian yet fashionable balance. The tuxedo was especially chic, and versatile enough to be worn outside of just a formal event. The long, textured wool cardigans and double-breasted knits with asymmetric zippers offered a fresh approach to knitwear.