N.Y. Fashion Week: Timo Weiland mines Modernism, music for spring menswear

N.Y. Fashion Week: Timo Weiland mines Modernism, music for spring menswear
The scene at Timo Weiland's show at the Highline Hotel during New York Fashion Week. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

A flurry of men's brands fired the opening salvo of New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, a day before the first kitten heel is scheduled to hit the catwalk at the Lincoln Center tents. First out of the gate was Timo Weiland, which presented its men's collection (it offers both men's and women's) in the Refectory of the Highline Hotel here.

The inspiration: The label is a veteran of the CFDA Incubator program for up-and-coming brands and designers Weiland and Alan Eckstein said that some of the inspiration for the current collection actually came from a program-sponsored visit to Los Angeles.

"We went on this CFDA Incubator trip," Weiland said, "and we were just kind of engulfed by the ease and the feel of the Midcentury architecture and inspired by Julius Shulman's photography of the architecture — it's so clean, it's a modern classic, it never really feels outdated — it always feel fresh. Our friend Zelda Williams has this beautiful Midcentury house in the [Hollywood] Hills and one morning we cooked breakfast together and it was just out of this world."

The look: While there were some Modernist touches in evidence – primarily in a range of crisp black-and-white stripes – those could just as easily have been plucked from sports (a referee's shirt) or music (think English rockers of a certain stripe). Given the fact that Team Timo has a side gig doing DJ work around the city ("at museums and galleries and things like that," says Weiland), it's most likely the latter. The collection had an easygoing, laid-back luxe vibe to it, grounded in a palette of blacks, whites and navy blues with subtle pops of tiny floral patterns here and there. The sweatpant trouser silhouette that sprinted onto the fall and winter 2014 menswear scene everywhere and all at once is still very much in evidence, with iterations here including green linen and black and navy blue striped jersey.

Key pieces: The word "sweatshorts" is hardly (if ever) preceded by the word "must-have" but creative director Weiland, design director Eckstein and head designer Donna Kang have created a covetable contender: a roomy, drapey short-legged version of their sweatpant silhouette in a horizontal black and navy blue stripe that comes off like a lower-torso version of the Baja hoodie.

The verdict: With a collection of low-key luxe that needed to be viewed nearly as leisurely as it's worn, the Timo Weiland spring and summer 2015 menswear offering is precisely the kind of collection that might get lost in the shuffle if the men's and women's collections were showcased together.

Twitter: @ARTschorn