Apparently, it’s been about 15 years since Joseph Abboud showed a collection on the runway. His name hasn’t really come up on my radar in a long time, except when I’ve seen his name in collaboration with Men’s Wearhouse in ads on the sides of city buses.
In the second season of the resuscitated New York Men’s Fashion Week that took place in the first week of February, Abboud not only popped back up on the grid, he won. His brutally elegant Fall/Winter 2016 collection was filthy with rich fabrics and textures cut into classically British tailored silhouettes with an American flair. Wools, tweeds, velvets. And he really punched up the accessories with a decidedly masculine flourish. “Rugged dandyism,” he called it. And the healthy-looking, well-fed, full-grown models were part of the statement: no hairless, prepubescent waifs, and yet no overly-bearded hipsters, either. This was no bro collection. This was a fantastic collection of clothes for real men.
As an outsider of the fashion world, I don’t see a lot of collections that really make me stop and stare. Thom Browne has done it before. So has Michael Bastian. (Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford consistently do it.) Now Joseph Abboud has done it. This was a really beautiful show of a really beautiful collection of clothes.
To round out the story, he accessorized the collection with shoes from Allen Edmonds, hats from Albertus Swanepoel, and bags from Rawlings… all made in America. Bravo, Mr. Abboud.
An honorable mention…
I’m a quiet fan of Michael Bastian. There are always brilliant sparks of inspiration in his collections to me. He didn’t do a runway show for this past New York Men’s Fashion Week, opting for a handsomely photographed lookbook instead. I loved a lot of the colors, textures, layers and combinations that he showed, although I do wish we could let go of the super-skinny legging fit with pants. (And I’m no fan of sweatpants, no matter how they’re cut. They look like easy-on/easy-off clothes for sex addicts and hustlers.)