NYFW Reviews: Opening Ceremony Made Us Bust a Nut

By VICE Staff

Fashion Week has hit New York City again and big, fancy designers are showing their latest collections for spring/summer 2014. So, we went to a few shows to figure out what all the Tumblr goofballs, twinks, and trust-funders will be wearing when it's nice outside again. Enjoy!

At this point, everybody on the internet has already slobbed on Humberto Leon and Carol Lim's knobs for the amazing presentation they put together for Opening Ceremony's first ever runway show. So, I'm not going to bore you talking about the dope-ass clothes or the killer cars or Rihanna. The reason the OC show was the highlight of my NYFW experience was because it's the only one that got my rocks off. 

You get all kinds of free stuff at fashion shows, and most of it is useless. This year I got some nail polish, a pair of sunglasses that I regrettably lost, and a nifty key chain. But none of that swag even came close to the self-pleasuring device gifted to me by OC. The vacuum cup designed by Tenga with the sweet psychedelic packaging inspired by OC's latest collection was exactly what the doctor ordered after a long week of fashion-model-induced blue balls. I'm a creature of habit, so I've been spanking my monkey the same way for the past 20-odd years. But now that I've had the pleasure of ejaculating into an oblong plastic tube with squishy cold stuff inside and a fancy designer label on the outside, I must say I am never going back. I'll be copping handfuls of OC-branded Tengas every time my girl goes on family vacation or I just need some "me time." Thank you, OC, for being amazing and giving me something that I'll remember long after all of the other brand's collections fade in my memory—a toe-curling nut buster. 

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

JUNK FOOD VINTAGE NFL CURATED BY KRISTIN CAVALLARI

“Confusing” doesn’t even begin to describe a collection of “NFL vintage” by a brand called Junk Food, curated by the (recently arrested) Kristin Cavallari. But here’s everything I witnessed within five minutes of walking into this carnival show: three break-dancing teenagers, a bitchy cat in a photo booth licking “gourmet cat food” from a silver spoon, an obscenely large disco ball, and a veritable tsunami of leopard-print skirts. And that’s just what was happening on the sidelines. The crowd was a teeming mass of bottle-blond The Hills rejects and potbellied creeps waiting anxiously for the kickoff. And when the clothes actually came streaming down the runway… Well, let’s just say that the only person who could work cropped jersey sweaters with glittery sleeves and golden-chain belts is Peyton Manning in drag. 

—By Michelle Lhooq

PUBLIC SCHOOL

What a strange crowd. Over half the attendees who showed up didn’t look like they belonged there. Did they even know what Public School was? I sure do, and think it's how a fashionable man should dress every day. Neutral colors and simple silhouettes are the way to go if you are a guy. The two-toned, black-and-white sneakers were the jam, too. Oh, and the model selection was impeccable. The group of models at this show was the best I’ve seen all fashion week. The women who came were just gawking at all the hot guys the whole time, but so was I, so I can’t hate.

—By Miyako Bellizzi

ROBERT GELLER

When I grow up I want to be like Robert Geller—he’s got a gorgeous wife, he’s super talented, and he’s always the smartest dude in the room. Every time I go to one of his shows, I have to go home and do extensive googling to learn about the high-art and subversive allusions he instills in his garments. Weird shit about Russian cubists and constructivists just rolls off his tongue and leaves me puzzled and grappling for a textbook. This time around Geller broke me and a crowd full of eager men’s fashion nerds off with a taste of New Wave and punk style via Moscow’s youth during the 80s. I’m still trying to track down the music he played throughout the show, which sounded like Suicide, DNA, and Television had an orgy and gave birth to a noisy, snotty, sonic bastard. With the clothes, Geller somehow managed to make neoprene look tough, using it on collars, shorts, and vests. And I am definitely planning on getting my hand on the brimless Laszlo hats, which were sported in most of the looks, because it’s kind of like a cross between a bad-ass military beret and a baseball cap—two things I love dearly. 

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

HOOD BY AIR

Hood By Air is the Odd Future of the clothing game. HBA, like OF, came from a very authentic time and place, birthed out of genuine affection for their respective craft. Yet, neither should be held accountable for the prepubescent keyboard gangsters who tarnish their reputation. Hood By Air's appeal might not be clear to old-heads, and I can get that, but there's definitely not enough grounds for all the arrogant dismissal the brand gets. For spring/summer 2014,  Marilyn Manson replaced Sinéad O'Connor on it's portrait shirt and was paired with beaded necklaces and snowboard boots. The show had the amount of ridiculousness that you come to expect from the brand. Shayne Oliver didn't need to send 20-plus looks down the runway this season, he didn't need Yeezus to grace us with his presence, and he definitely didn't need to score it with a very goth Sade mix. But I'm glad he did. 

—By Bobby Viteri

ALEXANDER WANG

Chicks love Alexander Wang because he knows what he’s doing. Before the show started, he got all the girls primed and ready playing lady-bait like Mary J. Blige, Aaliyah, and TLC. Then the models took to the runway, which was a convoluted path that snaked around the audience inside of the cavernous pier where the show was held. The looks were really hot, and proved that Wang is going headfirst into the overt-branding trend that is being picked up by quite a few high-end designers right now. Most of the standout looks were plastered with Wang’s name in repeating, delirious patterns. I definitely dug it, if only because I am a child of gaudy, ostentatious, 90s-era hip-hop and R&B—the kind of music Wang played at the show’s outset. Sure it’s a little tacky having someone else’s name all over your body like you’re a fucking billboard. But if you do it with the right designer, and Alexander Wang is definitely a good one, no one will ever know how broke you are because they’ll see you wearing expensive shit. Fake it until you make it!

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

TELFAR

Taking a minimal approach in any medium can be polarizing. People will either revere your genius or shit on you for being lazy. I guess I'm in the latter camp, because when I saw the look above, all I could think was Where is this dude's pants? Like, this is a fashion show, where are the clothes? Some dudes were bare foot, some were only wearing aprons, and one guy was even sporting a halter-top Darth Maul look. I get that Telfar's exploring pansexuality, but compared to the gender-bending of Hood By Air, this shit was straight boring. Telfar, next time you have a fashion show, actually make something fashionable.

—By Bobby Viteri

PATRIK ERVELL

We’ve been dick-riding Patrik Ervell for years now. So you already know what we’re about to say. This collection was amazing and he is the best and you should go out and sell drugs or rob old people or invest in stock so you can afford his shit. This time around, like Robert Geller, he incorporated neoprene into his collection. Patrik doesn’t really do themes, because real men don’t play dress up. But this collection did have a nautical, sailing vibe. I don’t really fuck with the water all like that—I almost drowned once when I was a little kid because I got cramps from eating ice cream before I went in the pool—but I would totally sit on a boat or on the shore wearing these new digs. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 —By Wilbert L. Cooper

HARLEM'S FASHION ROW

When I first got to this function, I was hyped on seeing some gritty-but-fashion-forward stuff. Instead it felt like I went to church. First off, the show started an hour late, which made it very apparent that the few in attendance had nowhere else to be. The first clear sign that this was an amateur event. Strike one.

When they finally got around to dimming the lights of the Jazz Center, which usually seats about 500, it was still at about 50 percent capacity. Runway shows are generally jam-packed with press, friends of the designer, and friend's of friends. It's generally taboo to have an empty seat in the house, but somehow these four designers couldn't manage to scrape together a couple hundred people who were willing to come see their latest offering. That's pretty sad because I've been to some punk shows that have more people in attendance. Strike two.

None of the four designers were from Harlem so that doesn’t really make it Harlem’s Fashion Row, does it? The program pamphlet, that tells you all the necessaries, had low-res advertisements and poor editing. The "models" were probably picked off the street, and were dying inside when they had to awkwardly make applause cues way after the audience stopped clapping. One designer made it very clear that his collection's main inspiration was Bushwick, Brooklyn, even though I’ve never, in my life, seen anyone wearing a see-through muscle shirt and snapback-fez anywhere near there. It was very clear that everyone involved dropped the ball that night. Which, all things considered, is a collective strike three.

—By Bobby Viteri

MARK McNAIRY

I’m from Cleveland, which is in northern Ohio. But in my early 20s, I went to college in Appalachia, Ohio—in a town called Athens. Athens wasn’t so bad ’cause it was propped up by the money and liberal ideologies of the students and the teachers, but the surrounding areas were straight hillbilly territory. Leaving the campus felt like entering into that banjo scene in Deliverance. But after a few years of drinking hooch with the locals, kicking it at country night in the townie bars, and sleeping with a few old hags Deke Dickerson might call “goodtime gals,” I began to admire and cherish those meth-mouthed crackers. I actually prefer hanging with crazy redneck white folks to the ones I meet at fashion week, because at least those hilljacks know how to party and they’re not trying to be anyone but themselves.

This is all to say that Mark McNairy’s latest collection was hillbilly chic and I loved every minute of it—from the guy models chugging beer at the end of the runway, to the girl models flashing switchblades. When every NYFW show is an exercise in abstraction, it’s awesome to see someone getting their inspiration from a class of fiercely independent yokels and nut jobs. 

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

NAUTICA

I missed this show. But I’m glad I did, because there was way more interesting things happening outside of it. When I arrived at Lincoln Center, I spotted hordes of cops with huge machine guns. I ran over to take a few photos and realized why they were there. There was a demonstration going on against Nautica protesting their horrid sweatshop factories. Nautica’s parent company is responsible for a series of factory fires and the awful factory collapse that happened back in April and killed 1,129 people in Bangladesh. Hearing the protesters talk about what happened brought tears to my eyes. The Nautica brand is worse than the yuppies who wear their shit. For some reason they aren’t willing to sign an agreement to improve the worker conditions even after all of those horrible incidents. Until something is done about this, all I can say is fuck off, Nautica, you disgust me.

—By Miyako Bellizzi

TIM COPPENS

Some people call old-ass luxury brands aspirational. I guess if you want to be an overweight, taco-meat sporting, slime ball with Cuban link gold chains and RLS, then sure, they’re totally aspirational. Personally, my aspiration is to do some crazy youthful shit, like race cars in Monte Carlo with a bad bitch in the passenger seat and a plume of exhaust and dust in my wake. I’m pretty sure I could do this in any brand or type of clothes—but I would look best in Tim Coppens’s latest collection, which is inspired by car culture, just like OC’s. Great minds think alike, but in terms of dude’s clothes, Tim Coppens had shit on lock. His looks were just too ill: one-piece driving suits, shiny racing leather, and zippers in dope places.  

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

ALEXANDRE HERCHCOVITCH

I own a shirt by Alexander Herchovitch—it’s my favorite summer shirt. I bought it at a consignment shop. It’s got a zebra-type pattern on it, but instead of black-and-white, it is a vibrant green and white. I wear it almost once a week, and I was contemplating wearing it to the show. But I’m glad I didn’t because I tend to think that’s kind of tacky. When you wear a designer’s clothes in front of that designer, you’re putting them under a lot of pressure and it’s like a cry out for approval. What happens if the designer doesn’t like the way you are wearing his garment? Or what if that garment is like the one thing the designer made that they wishes they hadn’t. I wouldn’t want someone to come to VICE on the day I got a promotion waving an article I wrote for the college newspaper back in 2008 about the “best band in southern Ohio.” That would bum me out.  

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

N. HOOLYWOOD

Isn't it kind of fucked up that the Japanese can do American style better than Americans? While most swaggot American designers are making stupid shit like assless leather chaps and asymmetrical codpieces, Daisuke Obana dug deep into this country's history of the Wild West and came up with a collection that is gonna have me looking Django next summer. If white folks think a brother in a hoodie with some Skittles and an iced tea is threatening, wait until I come down the block with big red bandana around my neck and a tough-ass leather cowboy hat. Shit will get real.

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

TESS GIBERSON

Everyone looked so happy at this show, I think I was the only one there who didn’t pop a molly. Tess Giberson channeled a white-mesh-on-leather-mesh aesthetic that was amazing. And I fell in love with her mint-jumpsuit look—it sealed the deal for me. This was a great show. I even made a new friend who was the cutest Japanese girl I saw all day. It was good vibes all around.

—By Miyako Bellizzi

DUCKIE BROWN

My experience at this show started out as a complete a mess. Waiting in line, I felt like a black sheep in a herd of ugly cows. Not to mention, people were having the dumbest conversations. I was tempted to punch the screeching fashionista behind me in the face just to get them to shut the fuck up. Then I saw Jay from American’s Next Top Model walk by and I had to hold back the vomit retching itself from the bowels of my stomach. The vibe was so shitty, I almost had an anxiety attack. 

But once I was inside I was able to take a breather. I found the chillest spot on top of a giant speaker. The show started and my frown turned upside down when the first look hit the runway. It was a beautiful white, tailored, work-wear-inspired blazer. Pieces of the ceiling kept falling on my head but I didn’t give a shit. I was too preoccupied trying to figure out the burlap-sack-type skorts the model boys were wearing. It was weird and super feminine, but it actually turned me on.

—By Miyako Bellizzi

CUSHNIE ET OCHS

I was really excited to see this show because I usually love this designer. Unfortunately, it was hella wack. There was one leather pencil skirt that was nice, but that was it. The cut-out, body-con dresses that came out over and over looked like something straight out of the Slauson Swap Meet in East LA. I used to steal clothes at Clothestime in the 90s that looked better than this shit. Ugh, and those buckles... Every look made me ask myself, Why? Cusnie Et Ochs, I don’t mean to hate, but damn girls, get your shit together! 

—By Miyako Bellizzi

GENERAL IDEA

I love General Idea and have for a long time—however, this was not his best show. That's not to say it was bad, it was just awkward—like having sex with someone who is way taller than you. At the end of the day, you're still getting some, but all the extra elbows and strategic maneuvering you have to do take you out of the moment. So basically, I liked the clothes, but the overall presentation just wasn't as dope as his last two seasons. The music sounded like a dude was scrolling through tracks on his iPod and the show started like a half-hour late. But at the end of the day, just like I'd take oversized sex over no sex, I'll take an off-game General Idea over almost anything out there for men—especially when he's doing stark black-and-white color-blocking. That shit looks ill. 

—By Wilbert L. Cooper

KYE

This show was bourgeois, but only by my standards. The venue had a pitch-perfect amount of class for a miscreant like me and the same can be said about their newest collection, which had some edgy-but-practical shit you can get away with wearing on the street. There were some awkward nuances, like the brand's gang-sign logo being plastered onto snapbacks, but we’ll chalk that up to a cultural-ignorance thing. Plus, we spiked our Moët with Xanax as soon as we got there, so who really knows what happened during this show.

—By Bobby Viteri

SHADES OF GREY

Micah Owen’s displayed his new collection at this French restaurant, and if this was a Yelp review, I’d tell you all about how it gave me colon cancer. Half the outfits consisted of sweatpants, bucket hats, and the classic sandal-and-socks combo. Hey Micah, I’m already depressed and wearing this same getup to work. Can you put me onto some new fashion shit that I don’t know about, cause you know, you do this stuff for a living? I did, however, see a model eating a brownie, which was a very good look. I hope he toughed it out and followed through with proper digestion.

—By Bobby Viteri

THIRD FLOOR

Rocking beach motifs in an urban setting is pretty played out. It’s never a good look to be a poser, you know? I did manage to overlook this eternal truth and enjoy Third Floor's presentation, if only because I want a reason to wear neoprene when I’m at the bar and I think more men should oil-slick their loins. One model had a fresh basketball tattoo and although there was a plethora of bucket hats (like everyone else) at least they had the balls to make them bottomless, along with the booze.

—By Bobby Viteri

ØDD

If the name wasn’t convincing enough, let me tell you why this was the most pretentious show: it took place in what seemed like a castle, someone took a selfie with an iPad, they were playing rapey “music” that sounded like some dude was sucking on a hookah with a vibrator for a handle, and a bunch of other crap that equated to smoke and mirrors. When the dust settled it felt as vacuous as the venue, a void that even the clothing couldn’t fill. Between the androgynous neogothic-avant-garde thing and all the snobby little cunts that attended, the mood was high brow, yet there wasn’t anything to justify all the bullshit.

—By Bobby Viteri

VFILES (SAM MCLONDON, STEVEN TAI, GYPSY SPORT, AMMERMAN SCHLOSBERG)

With e-commerce intermediaries, the idea is to stock your store in the same manner that you would curate an art show. And if that’s the case, VFiles' latest offering would be titled Self-Awareness, and the Pains of Living in the Matrix. Let’s face it, no one really wants to wear assless tweed boxer shorts or pull a ghetto Ghandi and wear a curtain cloth sash with a du-rag to top it off, but all this exists because we’re being so ass-fucked in the “real” world, that this internet shit is all we got. And it’s in this cognitive dissonance that Vfiles’ aesthetic works. They just don’t give a shit, and hey man, I totally get it. I don’t give a shit either.

—By Bobby Viteri

All photos by Conor Lamb. Want to see more pics from these shows? Check out his photoblog

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