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The Capsule Men's Trade Show is over in New York, but with its move to a larger venue, it took us a few days to process the barrage of stuff we saw. There were definitely some growing pains for the new location including a sprawling setup and truly awful lighting in certain sections that had The Shophound and man other showgoers seeing spots. One of the reason we have featured a lot of shoes in this post is because, A. We love shoes, and B. they were often easier to see than pushing through poorly lit racks of garments. There were lots of familiar booths like Naked and Famous whose innovative jeans we still love, Wolverine 1000 Mile who has new collaboration with Filson (pictured above) and with Samantha Pleet for women's shoes and Tanner Goods, whose artisan leathergoods are all over the place these days, but here are the things that stood out and caught what by they time we finished were pretty crossed eyes.
THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING FUN AT YUKETEN
This Japanese designed and North American made shoe brand is a major destination for most Capsule visitors. It has hugely influenced the trend of brightly decorated and patterned men's shoes. This season, we saw fewer hand-sewn styles from them, and more structured models including an expansion of dress styles. Of course, for Yuketen, that means wingtip boots in at least three different materials mixed together.. Many of these more structured styles were made in Mexico to mitigate costs, but they still don't come cheap We loved the new, lower lacing monkey boot styles at right as well as the brogued ankle boots. As usual, they shared their booth with the Japanese line MONITALY, which offered lots of the remixed classic they are loved for and a slippery rug made of woolen camouflage material which represented one of most popular patterns throughout the show.
OVADIA & SONS ARE THE NEW DARLINGS
This pair of Brooklyn twins made big splash last season with their expertly tailored handmade suitings, and this time around they appear to have expanded their line with more sportswear and casual looks. They are unabashedly luxury minded, and avowed fans of Ralph Lauren, but they may want to tread lightly on ground that America's favorite designer has covered exhaustively (The mannequin display at left looked particularly Madison Avenue Mansion-y). Though they are still finding a more individual point of view, it's hard to resist their incredibly well-executed collection, which may turn out to give Ralph a run for his money at the high end.
FLORSHEIM BY DUCKIE BROWN STILL OFFERS SURPRISES
In case you were wondering if the folks at Duckie Brown had any crazy ideas left for Florsheim's classic dress shoes, we present the longwing brogue covered in multicolored caviar beads. In less elaborate designs, they offered the same shape in brightly colored suede with ring lacing on the ubiquitous white Vibram wedge sole. Get on board, guys, the days of plain old dirty bucks are over forever.
EVERYONE GETS SCREWED BY CUSTOMS AT SOME POINT
Ovadia's and Duckie's booths were placed in an area that clustered them with hot, young, attention-getting labels like Riviera Club, Billy Reid, Garbstore, Burkman Bros. and our favorite new designer IAN VELARDI who apologized for the fact that most of his Italian-made collection was stuck in U.S. Customs and probably wouldn't make it out before the two-day show ended. Velardi's debut collection has been selling well exclusively at Barneys and Park & Bond, and for Fall, he is sure to add more retailers. He was at the top of our list of designers we were excited to see at Capsule, so we fully plan to take him up on his offer to show us the collection when he gets it to the showroom. Expect a follow up post soon. In the meantime, you might still be able to pick up some great pieces on sale at Barneys and Park & Bond —we did!
WHERE WERE THE SHOES AT MARK McNAIRY NEW AMSTERDAM?
Because the New York trade shows overlapped with Pitti and the Milan runway shows, some booths looked a little thin, but this is the first time that we have found men's shoe deity Mark McNairy's booth without shoes! A slightly spacy rep told us that, aside form some basic, in-stock styles, the new shoe samples were with the designer in Italy, which didn't help us or anyone else at the show. It's certainly not his fault that he and his samples can only be in one place at a time, but perhaps the shows should be scheduled a little more carefully next season. At any rate, his expanded clothing line was there, including your definitive camouflage business suit, and a denim motorcycle jacket with crisp yellow zipper detail.
EASTLAND PROVES THAT SOMETIMES LESS IS MORE
While everyone else has been trying to find how many disparate materials they could pile on a shoe, the folks at Eastland have been doing very nicely by offering subtle tweaks to the classic, impeccably made hand-sewn styles in their premium Made in Maine collection. The newest styles had a new leather and rubber lug sole that gave a dressier edge to more casual styles in premium Horween leathers. Eastland also brought its 1955 Edition line which offers more fashion colors and details at a gentler price, like these classic boots in offbeat colors and that omnipresent white Vibram sole.
IT'S TIME FOR NORMAL SIZED WATCHES FROM UNIFORM WARES
Most of the watch vendors at both Capsule and Project were showing off how elaborate and generally bulky their new styles were, so it was totally refreshing to stumble over (literally, they were in the middle of the walkway) Uniform Wares' sleek, streamlined and thankfully scaled down watches. We hesitate to classify them as "minimalist" because they are full of clever details like bands that fasten cleanly to the back of the watch, but they are a welcome change from the current rage for dinner plate-sized watches.
THERE IS LIFE AFTER PLAID AND CAMOUFLAGE
Of course, plaid will never go away, but it took a back seat to camouflage this season. By next fall, you may be looking for something different, and you may find VANISHING ELEPHANT's oxford shirt dotted with tiny rosebuds. While nobody thinks of florals as especially butch, somehow this shirt looks remarkably masculine for something decorated with, well, tiny rosebuds.
GRENSON LOOKS FORWARD
The popular British shoemaker also had a booth that looked a little thin, and we suspected that a lot of their samples were also still in Europe, but we couldn't help loving new versions of the label's signature classic balmoral shoe and derby boot in black with a shiny silver patent leather cap toe. For a moment, we thought of early 1990's club-kid boots decorated with metal panels put through an ingenious filter of taste and refinement. Maybe we just love them because they are shiny, and isn't that reason enough?