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The Directionals
Four tweaked takes on menswear from New York Fashion Week
by CH Contributor
on 24 September 2010

by Camille Hunt

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Steadily emerging from the shadows of their flashier female counterparts, some of our favorite menswear collections that hit runways last week in New York were an array of impeccably-tailored ensembles, each continuing to probe different spins on mens dress codes—what fashion editors call "directional." From Siki Im's modern Arabian look to a literally criminal interpretation of Americana by N.Hoolywood, the collections profiled below stand out for conceptual and innovative designs, while remaining wearable (depending on just how futuristic you dress). Pictured above (from left to right): Bespoken, General Idea, N.Hoolywood, Siki Im.

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Bespoken

While you wouldn't be wrong for bristling at the name, the latest collection from brothers James, Liam and Sam Fayed successfully blends their sartorial experience (their father Ali Al-Fayed owns the British suit company Turnbull & Asser) with modern elements for Bespoken. Suits, trench coats and double-breasted cardigans come expertly tailored, yet have a slightly disheveled look they describe as "Saville Row meets rock 'n' roll"—i.e. it's a wardrobe for aspiring lil' moguls, befitting of the founders themselves. A series of shirts, ties and pocket squares were also made in collaboration with their family's iconic brand.

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General Idea

General Idea designer Bemsuk Choi's fourth New York Fashion Week collection was all about "the journey back to the familiar," which in his hands looks like a vision of future '80s nostalgia. Crisp basics preceded modern silhouettes in a color palate that progressed from all-white to pops of bright red, brushstroke graffiti print and multicolored paint splashes on jackets, pants and shorts, with materials ranging from cotton and tencel to linen and even polyester.

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N. Hoolywood

"Police Picture," Japan-born Daisuke Obana's appropriately-named spring collection for N.Hoolywood, took cues from the American convicts of the 1930s with shirts, jackets and hats in thin and thick stripes, gingham and printed denim. The buzzed-about presentation had attendees peer through glass windows where street-casted models appeared in a jailhouse-style lineup.

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Siki Im

Siki Im was an architect before shifting to fashion and working under both Karl Lagerfeld and Helmut Lang. His latest xenophopia-inspired collection channels an urban sheik vibe, with knee-length linen tunics, pants with dropped crotches and caps made with washed and dyed silks to resemble desert headdresses.

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