September 2 2014

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“Ageless” Abboud


Pier 57, the venue for Joseph Abboud’s Fall 2012 runway show, is positively enormous: Is this the size of expectations for creative director Bernardo Rojo? It’s the Spaniard’s third collection as creative director, not to mention the first time the hallowed menswear brand has sent a collection down a catwalk since 2005—a punk-inflected show that Rojo has publicly acknowledged as “controversial” but didn’t seem particularly eager to discuss before the new show yesterday.

And who can blame him? The latest collection is about transformation: The middle-aged silhouette one associates with the brand has gotten some needed pruning, with jackets nipped in at the waist and trousers narrowed. Rojo hasn’t strayed too far from the label’s roots, either; those pants are pleated, dammit, and Abboud loyalists will recognize the interplay of traditional patterns (including plenty of checks) and textures, grays, and camel tones. The chunky sweaters, another of what Rojo calls the brand’s “intrinsic elements,” haven’t gone anywhere, either.

If a single accent signals the new direction, it’s the ultra-wide jacket lapels. A reference to the dapper thirties and early-forties style that Rojo took as this season’s inspiration, they arguably stand out even more in the formal looks, which the designer rolled out four models at a time on a triple-wide brick catwalk.

“I wanted to make sure the clothes are worth it, are perfect, and are ready to be shown in the right way,” Rojo said—apparently, that means an environment in which the creative director can swing through the VIP lounge before the show to chat with Kellan Lutz about the Twilight actor’s Hawaiian vacation.

Rojo threw out a word that seems just right for the place Joseph Abboud wants to be right now: “ageless.” Striding down the runway to the sort of music that might play during a climactic scene in a James Bond movie, that’s how he saw the models. “I don’t think most of them look their age. When you see them with their skateboard, yes. But very different when you see them dressed up.”

Photo: Courtesy of Joseph Abboud




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