Spring 2014 Menswear
September 06, 2013 New York
It'll be a long time, most likely, before Todd Snyder's name disentangles itself from J.Crew's. He steered that ship for years, and his first collections under his own name pick up where the retailer's weathered take on Americana left off. But he's been slowly distancing himself from his past. He's spent a few successful seasons amping up the luxury while remaining in the American grain. For Spring he made his most decisive break, to fine effect. He called the collection Côte d'Azur, modeled on the evergreen Alain Delon classic Plein Soleil—The Talented Monsieur Ripley, so to speak. The European slant, with its bolder embrace of pattern, slimmer fit, and general derring-do—Snyder was particularly taken with a pair of single-pleat, cuffed shorts in a cashmere blend—loosened up the lot. Some of that, it must be said, was styling. But individual pieces, too, had a more sophisticated, mid-century air. Those decades are exciting menswear designers again, and European collections looked to the fifties and sixties for Spring, too. So more than ever, Snyder's collection felt in step. It is still dogged by a vintage feeling; it's just the time and place that's changed. But then, these are early days yet. Snyder's is a line that may get fresher as it ages.