New York Fashion Week: For men, athleisure gains ground on workwear 

New York Fashion Week
Models pose backstage at the Feb. 11 Garciavelez presentation at Industria Studios during New York Fashion Week.
(Mireya Acierto / Getty Images)

Based on the brands presenting their fall and winter 2015 collections as part of New York Men’s Day on Wednesday, the workwear aesthetic is on its way out and athleisure is on its way in, with the trend that started with luxe sweatpants a year ago gaining serious ground in the upper torso region as evidenced by dressy/sporty versions of men’s blazers, varsity jackets, pea coats and sweaters. But there was still plenty of both to go around.

One of the best examples of the continued focus on the athleisure silhouette actually came from a menswear brand showing its debut collection.

The fall and winter 2015 Garciavelez collection, designed by architect-turned-designer Carlos Garciavelez had some of the straight-line details you might expect from someone who designs buildings -- various bands, blocks and strips of color breaking up blazers, suit coats and outerwear pieces -- but there were also a handful of hybrid pieces that were part navy blue blazer and part hoodie, some with a diamond quilting pattern, all with notch dress jacket lapels that morphed effortlessly (and dare I say, stylishly?) into a sweatshirt-like hood past the shoulders.

Gilded Age, which presented its collection at the Refinery Hotel in the Fashion District, was, technically speaking, workwear-inspired -- because creative director Stefan Miljanic began to take notice of the dockworkers near the label’s store, which opened in the South Street Seaport a year ago. But his “Waterfront” collection (which, as you might suspect, also pays homage to Marlon Brando) has plenty of luxe layered outerwear offerings, mixed fabrication leather and twill jackets (kind of a dockworkers version of a varsity jacket), reversible leather bomber jackets and leather parkas, many shown with hooded sweatshirts (some in boiled wool, others in nubby knits or terrycloth). 


David Hart’s fall and winter 2015 collection was inspired by a tried-and-true workwear icon -- the cowboy -- he took the added step of filtering his designs through the lens of Hollywood’s spaghetti westerns. That made the resulting collection less about denim and snap-button shirts and more bold, bucking bronco prints, covetable blanket coats and blazers bearing Southwestern-inspired geometric prints.

For his Fingers Crossed label, designer Ryu Hayama melded the old-school mariner with the New Age Bohemian and the resulting collection (which he’s dubbed “Abssyopelagic”) includes relaxed riffs on the navy pea coat, the varsity jacket and the bomber jacket in a range of navy blues, slate grays and the occasional rain-slicker yellow, with super-slouchy trousers to match. Other sea-worthy details included an oceanic print that bubbled and roiled across button-front shirts and roomy pants with pajama-style piping, and a gray sweatshirt with horizontal stripes that called to mind the iconic Breton striped sweaters worn by French seamen. Several of the looks were accessorized with luxe versions of the distinctively shaped sou’wester fisherman’s cap -- in what appeared to be leather no less --  including one in that shade of rain-slicker yellow.

The Gorton’s Fisherman never had it so good.