Plus: Le1f stuns all over Lower Manhattan
Twenty-four-year-old Levine is known for his avant eye — he's outfitted some of pop's most outre, including Gaga and Will.i.am — but his menswear line is still excessively wearable, particularly considering this season he seemed to channel the Rebel Alliance's Admiral Ackbar. A crimson pajama suit and flowing kimono jacket were accessorized with exoskeleton skull caps and work boots, while he reinvented batik on blazers and androgynous maxi-dresses into a visual representation of the milky way, rather than something your hippie aunt does to all her art smocks. But the most striking look was that of a tyrannical alien general: a fleshy amphibious headpiece and shoulder-padded cape over an ink-black worksuit and, presumably, a very scary laser gun beneath. It's fantasy at its finest. It also kicked off one of fashion week's busiest days for rapper/producer/DJ/dancer Le1f: he not only opened Asher Levine with a pre-show live concert, but also stopped to DJ the runway for Patrik Ervell before performing "Wut" at Opening Ceremony's big decade-anniversary blow-out at Webster Hall. (He'll be part of the soundtrack at Narciso Rodriguez, as well.)
The menswear world's finally gotten weary of heritage wear — the concept that the perfect urban man is basically Paul Bunyan with an arts degree. Patrik Ervell, with his clean lines and ambitious functionality, never fell for that, but this season he poses an addendum to the country-city question: how does one translate camping and rock climbing gear to the subway on the way to work? More specifically: can you wear Tevas with a pantsuit and still look professional? Usually we'd say ohmigodno and shank our own selves before issuing anything looking remotely like a cosign for Tevas, but damned if Ervell didn't plop us on the fence about it, taking down his streamlined tailoring and penchant for slick fabrics with Teva sandals in python, traffic-cone orange, and blue. That, plus a flap-cap that looks like a mini tent for your head, will get you in the mood... for existentialist questions about open toes in the city. If you're gonna do it, though, may as well go hard or go home. We guess that means yes, do the Ervell Tevas, but don't apologize.
JF & SON
Maybe it's our '90s upbringing (Sassy, blah blah blah), but we're far more comfortable with the idea of an urban Birkenstock, though we prefer them in platform (Sassy, blah blah blah). JF & Son paired eucharist-white versions with sheer socks and a host of iridescent sheer shirtdresses, bandage-colored bodycon, and a box sweater with a peek-a-boo hole for one's left breast that regards Spring as a sacred place, deep Catholicism with an undercurrent of pagan exhibitionism.
Diane Von Furstenburg sending her models down the runway wearing Google Specs (which, with her more-gorgeous-than-usual collection, looked like high-end Italian frames, we need her to make glasses chains that double as USB, thanks).