Is the late photographer Julius Shulman the newest menswear muse? It’s still too early in the New York Fashion Week cycle to tell if it’s coincidence or confluence (the Mercedes-Benz-sponsored slate of shows at Lincoln Center doesn't even officially get underway until Thursday morning) but thanks to the David Hart menswear collection presented Wednesday, we're one show short of shouting "trend."
The inspiration: Hart's collection, showcased at Industria Superstudio alongside a quartet of other menswear brands as part of a burgeoning "men's day" at New York Fashion Week, cited Palm Springs at large as inspiration for spring and summer 2015, "everything from the natural landscape to the Modernist architecture by Alexander, Neutra, Frey, Wexler, and Lautner," read the show notes, with Shulman's color photography inspiring the color palette and some of the bold textile prints and patterns.
The look: An aerial-tram ride back in time to mid-century Palm Springs -- in all the right ways. Bold patterns such as all-over palm prints (on a pair of Irish linen trousers) inspired by the wallpaper at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and a busy "atomic print" (reminiscent of a Paul László textile design we fell in love with at LACMA’s 2012 exhibition on California design) graced silk camp shirts, bowties and a smart-looking short suit. There was an equally diverse range of texture: mohair suits, linen trousers, knit polos, a tuxedo jacket in a silk jacquard. A color range of muted slates, creams and rusts paired with dusty pinks, shimmering purples and lush greens helped complete the vibe that what Hart was serving up was the wardrobe equivalent of a menswear oasis.
Key pieces: In addition to the aforementioned atomic prints, standouts included a dress shirt with an all-over cactus print, a knit merino wool button-front polo in dusty pink gradient stripes and a silk textured tuxedo in purple with a black shawl collar.
The verdict: Next spring, if the choices are go bold or go home, you'll find us with those behind the wheel of a vintage convertible headed to Palm Springs.
If not by roadway, at least by cash register.
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