Kenneth Cole New York Collection.
Kenneth Cole has been in business for 30+ Years. As a Cobbler, for all of that time and for at least the last almost 20 a designer of contemporary modern Sportswear! He some years ago in the early 2000's presented a runway collection for a few seasons and the suddenly disappeared. How Odd it is to Youtube those older collections and see what an incredibly different world the Fashion Game was. Kenneth has, Much as the world has, Changed since those early days of the New Millennium. His shoes are still Highly Successful for his business and I particularly am Addicted his Men's Shoes And Love his Cool, Urban Luxe approach to Sportswear.
This collection, His Second Runway presentation for the relaunch of his Luxed-Up Urban Sportswear hearkened back to the somewhat less than auspicious moment of Hip-Hop Luxe that Tommy Hilfiger so Skillfully Manipulated into a Billion-Dollar success story, but has now Abandoned in his efforts to become the New Ralph Lauren (He may well succeed in such endeavours!) But this was a kind Racy, Tongue-Firmly-In-Cheek Variant on that idea. The old codes of the Hip-Hop street luxe in the hands and on the bodies of the New Hip-Hop Elite has turned into the most Garish and Outlandish form of Label Whore-ism this side of Nouveau Riche of that same era who Bandied about Interlocking C's, G's and Medusa Heads on everything from Handbags to Shoes to Panties! Now that the Nouveau Riche of that era have become the Regime Ancien of this era... it is up to the new guard to take the elements of the past and enlarge them for a more Disjointed future! The Riche have moved on to be even MORE Riche and now the halls of Luxury are so Gilded that one could suffocate under the Excess!
So, it was Divinely refreshing to see this take on the heady fun of that era and make it the utmost in Modernity. Cole called it Harlem Chic, and is reworking the icons of a primarily Black/Afro-American Style. The collection did a masterful job of Being truly Of-The-Minute in it's Luxe Approach to Sportswear that has reached something of a Zenith in these Modern Fashion times, but remained Cheeky and Delightfully Subverse in it's throwback to another time appeal!
Witness Exit No.2... A Mash-up of old and new... Track jacket in buttery luxe leather with Snakeskin insets! over Shimmery Track Pants. Also in Snake! GENIUS! Exit No. 8 was A Killer mix of the truly sporty in the sense of looking like an activewear dress with a glistening Anorak on top. It gave Awfully good Sportif/Chic! Exit No. 10 was a Hybrid of the most successful order, A Green and Black tribal print crunchy Nylon zip-front Utility coat slimmed into Jacket made sportier still with it's Elastic waist and matching skirt could easily go to the office as to the middle of Soho on a Friday Evening! It was one of my Favorite pieces of the entire Spring 2014 season yet!
Some of the best pieces were in what APPEARED to be Snakeskin, Shimmering with it's Glistening Leathery shine, but was actually Intricately worked Paillettes in a Snakeskin pattern. Simply BRILLIANT! The Look and Luxe of Snakeskin without the Snake!
It was Fresh, It had a P-O-V all it's own and was Surprisingly easy to wear once the clothes are disassembled and taken as individual pieces! The last thing to note... How GOOD the cut were on these clothes. They hadn't one Sloppy, Shabbily constructed item in the mix. Which proves to me at least, that Kenneth is definitely looking for these pieces to be of Quality and to LAST.
So, Chillrens... Maybe Mr. Cole is here to Stay on the NY fashion stage and become one of the New/Old Power Players in Ready-To-Wear. I am all for the Kenneth Cole reign to begin!