Featuring four of the Best New Menswear Designers in America, GQ and Gap’s fourth BNMDA capsule collection releases today. I look forward to this collaboration every year, not just because of the quality new menswear that it entails, but also because it offers insight into the present state of men’s fashion design and where it’s headed.
2014 was highlighted by joggers, technical hoodies and leather — though the streetwear-inspired looks didn’t necessarily define the capsule as a whole, their inclusion certainly defined the year that was.
This time around, the likes of David Hart, The Hill-Side, NSF Clothing and Stampd come together to form an especially wide variety of styles, from 50s throwback to Los Angeles casual. To me, this era-agnostic grouping confirms that today’s men are bucking trends, preferring instead to wear well-made pieces that satisfy their personal tastes above all else. They’re also unafraid to take away what they like best from every decade to get the job done — historical accuracy be damned.
I dropped into Gap’s Toronto flagship store on Bloor last night for a preview of the collection and got up close and personal with the pieces before they released.
It was hard to overlook David Hart‘s collection, which was my favourite on display. It consisted of retro silhouettes in pumped-up blues and teals. The windowpane check trousers would make an excellent foundation for a microprint shirt this fall, and the handsome tweed blazer’s classic American tailoring (read: boxy, in a good way) is ideal for layering. Then there’s the reversible raincoat — a statement piece with potential for subtlety — that stole the show for many in attendance.
The other collection that spoke to me was The Hill-Side. Not only did I love the accessories — especially the grey neck tie featuring a blown-up floral pattern — I found the fabrication excellent. The grey donegal-style tweed blazer’s high-contrast flecks give the quintessential fall topper a dose of character.
I had a bit of a soft spot for Stampd‘s minimalism — the line’s black and white technical knit sweater stood out for its luxe, weekend-casual appeal — and NSF Clothing‘s timeless denim shirt almost made it into my burgeoning collection of the things.
The price-point for the collection ranged from $29.95 to $460. However, some in attendance expressed that they were disappointed by the higher-than-expected price tags hanging off the collection’s more covetable pieces.
Though it would be easier to conclude that this year’s collection has something for guys of every school of style, a more accurate description would be that it takes into account the modern man who constantly experiments with new looks to suit his shifting moods and tastes. Check out the clothes available for purchase below.