In Men's Clothing Men's Fashion Mens Spring/Summer 2019 Review Menswear New York Fashion Week New York Mens Day NYFWM

All For One And One For All: New York Men's Day Spring/Summer 2019 Collections Recap

Do designers ask who their customer is anymore?  I ask this since a popular American brand can appeal to both disposable-incomed teens in Japan and new-money middle-agers in New England just as how a highbrow European brand can have clients ranging from affluent day traders to downtown fashion 'night-people', but sell-out to trend-seeking 'hype-beasters'.  Yesteryear's worries of stocking more bathing suits and cabana shirts in Palm Beach than in New York have taken a backseat to the more attuned reality that it's kind of getting dicier to decipher just where and how a designer's clothing will reach its final home.  For a designer to consider that their customer could be anyone and anywhere, how does one market to a target customer that could be several men rolled into one?

Maybe they don't have to and that's probably the beauty if it too.  That you may live in a small town in Northern Europe and connect with the aesthetic that a brand is selling with their inky metropolitan club-going verve is the infectious beauty of culture, be it something you connect with or oddly enough find yourself wanting to.  Then perhaps the broadening of menswear in this global age of accessible information, e-commerce & social media has created broader opportunities for designers to fiscally reach their bottom-lines while simultaneously driving home their brand's lifestyle & aesthetic.  I thought of this as I attended Agentry PR's 'Men's Day' presentations during the recent New York Mens Spring/Summer 2019 Collections that debuted here this week.  Yes, mood-boards came into 3-D existence and fabric & trim magically formed jackets and trousers, but with all the different kinds of men finding their voices worldwide, do designers really have to convince anymore or do they just have to get it out there with enough exposure to just watch the men come?
                                                                 70s in swing at David Hart

                   David Hart                                                     Vanessa Zhang

            Vanessa Zhang                                         Krammer & Stoudt

It has to be a clever bit of both.  Some men know what they connect with and some men will always need some help figuring that out.  How fitting that modern menswear has become a motley cruë of tailoring in several silhouettes, sportswear that can look like the day but be priced like an expensive night and ensembles that fit the body of a man but caress his inner (and sometimes outer) feminine-mystique.  The case for tailoring was true at David Hart, where the wide-lapeled, saucy jacquard-wearing swanky 70s party host came to life and at Vanessa Zhang who loosened up the idea of a suit and merged it with almost caricature-esque sportswear shapes.  The appeal of sportswear just makes sense on a worldwide scale as the suit today is not all that's worn when closing deals and throwing around ideas.  The wabi-sabi Japanese vibe from Krammer & Stoudt was comforting to a level that gave the collection an artistic and informed zen quality while Sundae School offered up a collection of more Eastern references with remixed quilting and soft 'east meets west' tailoring.  The vibrant heavily printed collection with nods of Mexican motifs and cheeky floral pair-ups was retail-friendly and handsomely executed at Descendant of Thieves.  There was more slick sportswear from Agent with darker artisanal pieces that made the soft sheers, cozy bombers, inky plaids and fresh pleating moody yet very laid back and inviting.  
                                                                         Sundae School

                                              Descendant of Thieves


There was some fabulous usages of color, explosive prints and watercolor-esque shredded/printed surface treatments worked onto sportswear staples at Taakk and a toned down 80's color swinging on  summery and clean-silhouetted separates from HBNS.  The athletic edge at Bristol was on par with the current trend in mens sportswear updated with special added touches like reverse surfaces and slouchy layering.  The band on chill mode was the scene at Limitato with their artsy introspective printed tees and trim cuts in a dark & brooding and highly wearable collection.  Rounding out the collective for Men's Day was This Is Sweden, whose conceptual and slightly avant collection of reworked denim styles and tailoring themes were for the one who thinks a bit outside the box.



In this day and age, there's room for many kinds of aesthetics to be received into the menswear arena.  I could say that the collections at Men's Day set the tone for the creations displayed this week, but it was more that they just added to the narrative that speaks on subscribing to the unique voice of a collection instead of subscribing to a collective voice that gets lost in a crowd.

 This Is Sweden

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Drinks Entertaining Finlandia Vodka Food and Drink Recipes Summer Drinks Wines and Spirits

A Clean Not Complicated Finnish: Finlandia Vodka Review And Tasting

I think we've all been in that scenario where we ask someone to make us a cocktail only to be disappointed.  Heavy-handedness is a thing just as is light-handedness.  Too much alcohol kills the other flavors of a cocktails and too little alcohol doesn't necessarily get your imbibing fix together.  What you want is balance!  For it's balance that creates a wonderful in-synced collective dance of spirit to ingredients to garnishes to ice that creates a splendid cocktail experience rather than a drink that sits untouched on the table all evening. 

As I deepen my trek into the world of vodka, I'm discovering its versatility.  One recent evening, I had the pleasure of experiencing one that makes it easy to achieve that aforementioned balance due to its crispness and clean taste.  Finlandia Vodka is that vodka and its created with glacial Spring well-water that gives it a very refreshing taste as opposed to the often heavy medicinal taste that other vodkas can have.  See, it's the purity of the water that creates a great tasting vodka and Finlandia achieves a very smooth-tasting vodka with a fresh fluidity that served to boost whatever it's mixed in with a matured organic kick.

On that particular evening, I sat down to a special tasting from Finlandia Vodka Master Mixologist Pekka Pellinen who created five distinct cocktails that celebrated the pure essence of Finlandia Vodka while highlighting how its purity enhances the key flavors of a chosen cocktail's ingredients.  

First up was the Finlandia Arboreum, a herbal verdant cocktail with Classic Finlandia, dill, basil, egg whites, club soda, agave, salt (to open up the herbs) with a final spritz of Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka. The result was a fresh and summery cocktail with nice depth and the slight blending of the ingredients with a bartender's coil opened up and balanced the fresh flavors of the basil & dill with the sweetness of the agave.  

The second round brought a breakfast staple remixed as the Finlandia Gazpacho.  Here both Classic Finlandia and Finlandia Grapefruit are used along with dijon, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, sea salt, Sriracha, lemon juice and tomato juice.  The special element Pellinen used to create a smoky depth in the cocktail was actual smoke.  Garnishing off the remixed classic was lime, cucumber, celery and black pepper that with that blast of smoke created a nice array of spice, garden freshness, saltiness and a lingering pleasant heat from the horseradish that was just so satisfying. 

Next came a pair of sour cocktail cousins.  The Popcorn Sour was Pellinen's ode to getting naughty with  a snack staple.  Using Classic Finlandia, and that trusty bartender's coil again, he blended lemon juice, kettle popcorn, agave, egg whites and raspberry garnishing for color.  This was a delightfully fun and interesting cocktail that was a nice take on sweet and salty flavors and, since naturally present in the kettle popcorn, the two tastes were nicely enhanced with the familiar & comforting note from the popcorn.  The Vegetarian Sour didn't slack on the flavor either and Pellinen used a surprising substitute to compensate for the slight frothiness that an egg yolk delivers.  To the combination of Finlandia Grapefruit, lemon juice and agave was added chickpea brine.  Yes, actual chickpea brine has properties that almost exactly duplicate that of egg whites and in this cocktail it brought a depth to it that was nicely balanced with the freshness of the Finlandia Grapefruit and citrus tartness of the lemon created a kicking lemonade-esque pleasantness.

Finally, we closed out the evening with a great Helsinki Mule.  What do you say to a cocktail that brings you the warm soothing heat of ginger with the tart coolness of lime juice and is not overly sweet?  I say give me another!  The shot of Finlandia Grapefruit, Belvoir Ginger Beer, lime juice and garnishes of cucumber, ginger root and lime all came together to once again showcase how the cleanness of the Finlandia makes the notes in the drink shine all while maintaining a grown seasoned crispness.

My first experience with Finlandia Vodka was a defining one that won't be my last.  It truly is a definitive vodka that is everything you wish a vodka to be as it's pureness livens up your palette and awakens the flavors that you choose to pair with it in a cocktail.  So I bid a fair kiitos (thank you) to Mix Master Pellinen and Finlandia Vodka and implore you to make Finlandia your vodka go-to.  Finlandia Vodkas are available now at your better wine and spirit retailers and as always please remember to enjoy responsibly.  Kippis (Cheers)! 

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