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I Rant, You Read: Heron Preston Spring/Summer 2018 Menswear Collection Review

Admittedly I've been one of those individuals who's rolled his eyes at the over-exuberance of menswear at times.  Experience and 'remembering when' can oftentimes become those rose-colored glasses through which everything other than the original becomes offensively pink.  It's then that one has to dig deeper into the recesses of the mind and realize that menswear is fashion.  Perhaps it's not as over the top and bacchanal-spirited as womenswear, but it's getting there.  As fashion, menswear serves to be the tell-tale visual and quite personal sign of how modern, not-so-modern, antiquated and counterculture men alike think about the importance, ritual, necessity and function of what kinds of  clothing and accessories will adorn their bodies.  Menswear is part of the dialogue that offers anywhere from a pinhole to an open window as to how we as men may think, what we may do, how much money we may have or what our social statuses may be.  

It's with that on my brain that I set out to delve deeper into an segment of modern menswear, specifically the streetwear movement.  One can't comprehend the magnetic pull of Supreme, the cult following of Gvasalia's Vetements or the midas touch of Off-White's Abloh without understanding that over time, a singular social comfort, if you will, became more attractive than a collective  communal understanding.  Now while over time that singular vision inspired the masses, there arose, from those visions, some creatives that held on to and promoted their personal aesthetics influenced by everything from the electric reach of social media, the borderless global influence of cultures & sub-cultures and creating more plausible anit-systems within established flawed commercial systems.  What you have today as a very telling evidence is the tangible, undeniable and quite solid presence of influence joining the ranks of, and in many cases trumping, artistic talent, creative vision, tenure and ceaseless toiling.  

I was reminded of this when examining the 2018 Spring/Summer Menswear Collection from the newfound heralded designer and influencer Heron Preston.  Preston is among those modern designers who use their intrinsic stethoscopes to listen to the heartbeat of the people to create clothing that inspires, honors and showcases a strong personal belief in style and adornment that doesn't necessarily have obvious fixations in luxury but inevitably attain a luxurious zeitgeist, through power of thought, art, talent and influence.  This is and of itself is modern and whats shaping modern menswear as there are key social culture-defining figures who don bespoke suitings and hooded sweaters alike.  Preston achieves this deliberately, methodically, and unapologetically in ways that are not always apparent and definable.  However, these ways definitely inspire and awaken a gravitational affection in the select fashion masses that they connect with consciously and subconsciously.  

A youthful verve runs through fashion and that speaks a lot to every aspect of a man's life.  Being the best you is a modern reinterpretation of that youthful verve that we examine through grooming products, fitness, diet and clothing.  Streetwear has long been a signifier of youth, resistance, expression and rebellion and what I find interesting about the Heron Preston Menswear S/S 2018 Collection, entitled "Show House" is that he quite coolly and cleverly uses striking color, universal forms, cultural texts, artistic fonts, active detailing and characteristic prints to highlight all of the aforementioned in his attuned voice and inspired histories involving his suburban San Francisco rearing and NYC schooling.  His Spring Collection expands on his narrative seen most recently in his Barney's and Yeezy collaboratives of giving a valued credence to the everyday and often neglected as fresh and cool.  In a way, he finds the value and highlights the often unseen contributions of the everyday heroes most of which don uniforms rather than suits, shape our lives outside of boardrooms and move our everyday along by unconsciously creating and lending to a vibrant and active cityscape.  Whether it's appealing to the blue-collar everyday vibe of civil servant life or calling out the growing gender-fluid sensitivities of the modern male or merging cultist Americana accessories with classic military & sportswear signifiers, Preston aims to tell his story of logo-culture,  high-low fashion from & for the people and streetwear significance and what all that can oddly evoke within us to form his fashion narrative.        

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