Belgian designer Tim Coppens showed his fourth menswear collection this evening in his first full-on runway show to date. And while he may be a newbie by NYFW standards, the guy's got some serious skills. His Fall '13 inspirations were simple and pulled from boyhood—the skateboarding gear he wore as a child, a tailored jacket his father gave him, juvenile experiments in graffiti—but the result was clean, technically complex, and sophisticated. Coppens focused on two silhouettes: The first was long, layered, and linear (think zip-front tunics under thin, quilted cropped vests with sharp nylon twill overcoats or blazers on top). The second was slim on the bottom with structured volume at the top—a concept that, the designer explained, came from an "MA-1 coat I had when I was 13 that was way too big for me." Take, for instance, his black leather sweatshirts and bomber jackets (a garment he seems to have mastered since launching two years ago). They were crafted from bonded lambskin and foam, a fabrication that allowed them to seemingly hover about the models' bodies. Bonded virgin wool and nylon jackets were shown in the same slick, techno shapes.
Details were subtle and clever: High-contrast copper zippers lined shrunken vests, crept up sleeves, and swirled around the neck of a wool peacoat. Patches of red or white patent leather went swoosh down the arms of a few jackets and tops; this, along with padded elbow patches, lent a streetwear edge to the highbrow looks.
Coppens' fabric innovation continued in black wool dress pants woven with white silk so that, as he explained backstage, they looked like a fuzzy "static screen." And the graffiti influence appeared as an abstract black and white print that covered parkas and crisp shirts, the latter of which peeked out from beneath puckered cashmere sweaters. The designer tried his hand at accessories, too: A lambskin backpack was luxe, but a shrunken tote worn across the back felt fresh.