Michael Moore groupies are to cheesy political tee shirts as worshippers of David Beckham as the metrosexual ideal are to:
a. lumber jack flannel from Eddie Bauer. b. Linkin Park concert hoodies. c. pink leather, zippered ties from Buckler. d. a hyper-large sweater by Fubu.Mmm, C? Paired with ribbed sweater vests set to show off midriffs? And near fluorescent limely pants? Possibly a black hole-shaded rabbit fur scarf? Perhaps a white leather shopping bag thinly stamped with an old English coat of arms?
Or maybe Buckler’s entire stock of fall 2004?
Still, the Britophile line’s current collection spans far from some metrosexual cliché: marking Buckler’s second New York fashion week, the clothing continues to prance as ready to wear to watch. And then wear.
As with most men’s gear, the shows are more street wear reality than Sex and the City fantasy. “I think men’s shows should have a sense of practical as most guys wish to express that in their look,” says designer Andrew Buckler. Still, “I think a show is a show: it has to bring something interesting and new to its audience so your audience remembers and understands the collection.”
And the collection flows as an easy extension of last season’s athletic aristo-luxe pieces. Naturally, fall falls in dimmer colors: old grays, burnt oranges, and midnight blues, highlighted with orangey golds and Chanel pinks and sherbet greens, versus spring/summer 2004, which marked brighter and simpler times with less complicated jackets, shades of primary colors, and sleek and zippery bondage-meets-track pants.
The autumn palette runs more city-sophisticate, from subtly bold—think Easter egg pastel polos and a lush, black-on-black rabbit fur jacket—to tastefully loud—thickly “pin”striped track pants and the aforementioned pink leather, front-zip tie.
Despite what the average American bloke may have to say about satin-covered buttons and manly pinks, the collection is self-proclaimedly “overtly masculine.”
“Buckler has always played on the masculine aspects in a mod Bond, understated but confident way,” says the Brit-born designer. It’s “his roguishness and his mismatches with some humor that make him sexy.”
Springtime captured that same classic Bond, James Bond vibe with pencil legged suits and graphic prints of coy bouffant lady-faces on tees.
It’s tee shirt and denim basics that staple spring and fall together: tees of Buckler’s trademark crest and mod prints link spring to fall, along with truly designer denim.
“After [working as head menswear designer for] Daryl K, I worked on developing slim low-rise jeans for guys. At that time there weren’t any around,” says Buckler. “I think it’s interesting how in the past jeans came as a second thought to a designer’s collections, they were and still are in some cases [just] a commodity. You can’t just take a generic jean and slap your name on it anymore, it’s become a science, the yarn, how it’s spun, where’s it from, the chemicals in the washes, it’s an incredible process. In twenty-first century designer collections your denim has to be exactly right and a focus of the collection, in the same way they spent hours stitching tailoring you need to spend hours on your jeans.”
Maybe that sort of loyalty runs from:
a. Buckler’s passion for combining denim culture with a design attitude. “At the moment there’s a bit of a gulf,” says Buckler. “One the one end you got a bit down and dirty, which is a bit street-like, and on the other end you have this suit, very clean look. Buckler is about separates: you can take a suit jacket and try it on with a pair of jeans and it’s great.” b. the original “Sexy Bastard”-dubbed denim’s spawning of a line of “Sexy Bastard” underwear. It’s “a low-rise boxer brief that will sit below the waistline on low-rise jeans,” says Buckler. “There are parts of the design which are unique and being patented–it will bring a whole new aspect to men’s underwear.”Or is it
c. Buckler’s trademark coat of arms, stamping tee’s and bags and catalogues. “We wanted to use something real,” explains Buckler, likely descendant of the said Buckler, Sir Buckler. “There have been many ‘coats of arms’ used in fashion and this happened to be an actual coat of arms awarded to Sir Walter Buckler in 1544 by Henry Vlll King of England, with a great Latin slogan [“Loyal unto Death”]; it genuinely gave it some depth out side of just a fashion logo.” How about all of the above? Plus Buckler’s easy understanding of fashion as more than mere merchandise?
That sounds right, considering Buckler’s Masters of Art from the Royal College of Art. “I’m always intrigued by the way garments are made,” says Buckler, “and I design to find ways that create details that come from the construction and technology that can make them, from fabrication or mixing old ideas with new ones.”
Yeah, let’s check “all of the above.”