It’s that time of year again: New York Men’s Fashion Week (NYMFW). Every year, twice a year, New York dedicates an entire week to showcasing men’s fashion. The opportunity for the fashion industry to showcase what they can do – from styling to designing – is competitive, and only the best of the best make the cut.
This past Monday 11th of July, New York was host again of its wonderful New York Fashion Week: Men’s. For the third year AXE participated as the official grooming sponsor, collaborating with 15 designers at the Skylight Clarkson Square, where some of the events took place.
GARCIAVELEZ, located in Platform 3 of the Skylight Clarkson, was one the of first designers to start us off in this week of style and glamour. Looking around the small backstage space, it came to our surprise that it was a very calm environment for the hectic-ness one would think takes place during these events. At 9:30 AM, models were already on their chairs as make up artists and hairstylists worked their magic on the wet hair look hairdresser John Ruidant along with GARCIAVELEZ had envisioned for this year’s style.
(John Ruidant & model)
We got to speak with AXE’s John Ruidant about this year’s styles and his participation in NYFW.
What is your involvement with NYFW?
This is the third season I have been doing Men’s Fashion Week with AXE. Depending on what each designer has on their collection and look, we collaborate with them. Today’s look is a very wet gooey look, almost like they just stepped out of the ocean. Their hair is very flat to their head, very stuck to the skull, wet-separated definition. We have achieved that with water, gel, diffusing it, then at the end we put a little bit of cream and pomade at the ends to maintain that wet and shiny look.
How do you choose the styles?
It’s a collaboration with the designers, depending on what they want to do with their collection and at the same time what is the direction of what is going on with fashion. This style was Carlos Garciavelez’s idea. When we were talking, he sent me a wood board and said “I’m really thinking wet, tight-to-the-head hair.” I liked that look, we haven’t done that. I think it’s nice because it’s not your typical soft, natural hair. It adds a nice twist, a nice edge, to have it a little something that is not so expected. The hair is a bit on the face and stuck to the cheek and chin a little bit.
How do you direct your styles with your team?
I have enough confidence on my team where I feel that depending on whoever model they have on their chair, that they will be able to execute that look. Depending on if it’s short hair, long hair, they know the overall end result of what it needs to look like, as well as they know that I feel confident on what they can achieve.
How long does this look take to style?
This one is a little easier because there is not much blow drying and hair setting since it’s a wet look. Overall it’s pretty achievable within (depending on the length of your hair) 10-15 mins. It’s not super long extensive timewise.
This year you are doing the wet look, what were some of the past trends you’ve styled?
Last year, we saw a lot of shaved heads on guys, which is very easy. We’ve also been seeing a lot of natural texture, not overly blow dried or overly styled. It’s more groomed but not overly groomed, to where you do put a little bit of product in it or a little bit of diffuser/ blow dry. To where it looks like they’re still put together in their own individual ways accented. If they have natural wavy hair or if it’s straight hair, they enhance their own individuality but nothing to where it is overly styled to where it looks overly done and fuzzy.
What inspired you to become a stylist?
I have been around it my whole life, all of my family are hairdressers so I’ve been around it since I was a kid. To me this feels totally normal because I grew up with it. I don’t know it’s just kind of a natural thing. Just being creative with your hands, not being confined to an office and a cubicle and somebody telling you how to dress everyday. You can move around, listen to music, be creative, work with your hands, that’s the main thing.
At 10:30 AM, Platform 3 opened its doors to the public to see GARCIAVELEZ’s creations. This was not your usual fashion runway, it was a presentation, much like an installation that combined fashion and art. The models, which were intercalated on an L shape the extremeties of the room, were standing on top of thin, rusty looking gold-metal squares and surrounded with grills of rolled metal.
This aesthetic complimented the style of clothing wonderfully. Beige, white and blue with a splash of black were the colors that dominated the room. GARCIAVELEZ styles are a very good mix between formal and casual. Some blazer and pants that are presented to look casual and some sweatpants and bomber jackets that one would wear on a more special occasion. The styles of the hairdos with the articles of clothes created a nice contrast which contributed to ambiguity of occasions the styles could be worn in.
Throughout the duration of the presentation, the public seemed very satisfied with the creations as well as the styles presented. With some background music and videos of bridges with cars driving by projected on both of the empty walls of the room, the crowd walked by taking in this simplistic yet unique aesthetic.
On Monday, New York Men’s Fashion Week was host to the new collections from some designer staples. Sponsored by Cadillac, the show included the Fall/Winter 2016 looks from GARCIAVELEZ and David Hart. Each collection offered something interesting and unique, putting some variety into what can be a very drab and boring season for clothing. Read on to find out my impressions about each.
Winter can typically be a drab and boring time for fashion. After all, how good can you look when you’re actively battling hypothermia? But the GARCIAVELEZ’s winter collection makes the typical blacks and grays more appealing (even visually striking) with his creative use of patters. Like colors at the opposite ends of the wheel, the patterns contrasted while complementing each other. Patterns are easy to gloss over; once the eyes get used to one, it becomes just another part of the phantasmagoria of the senses. However, the mish-mash on display here (say, a zig-zag coat covering a blank shirt) kept the designs visually interesting. One of the major exceptions was a shirt and pant combo that was all the same color and pattern: a sort of grayish plaid, making it look more like a hipster crayon than a sensible outfit. On the whole, however, GARCIAVELEZ had one of the stronger collections at the show.
David Hart had by far my favorite collection of the show. If a major theme of the show was throwback, then David Hart took its most extreme logical conclusion. These clothes were straight jazz — checkered suits, Eisenhower jackets, bowties, and turtlenecks. None of the models here would have looked out of place in a smoky jazz club in the post-War era. The outfits were all fairly classical tailored, and the colors went across a broad spectrum — gray to red to yellow to blue, a presentation of restrained gaudiness. Now, were any of these outfits particularly “winter”? No. But they don’t have to be; they’re timeless in every season.[slideshow]