NEW YORK >> Inspiration for one elegant collection at Men’s Fashion Week in New York came from heaven. Actually, further than that.
Designer Nick Graham sent his models down a runway Jan. 31 in sharkskin suits, metallic rainwear and scarfs adorned with tiny spaceships in a whimsical bid to elegantly dress any gentlemen who manages to get to Mars.
There were suits in houndstooth, tattersall and green plaid, black turtlenecks, paisley scarfs, polka-dot pocket squares, snug tuxedos and metallic neckties. There was a “Martian rubber coat,” but it was unclear how it might handle Mars’ 80-degree F. average temperature. One model carried a silver briefcase. Another had goggles. All had discreet blinking lights as boutonnieres.
Graham, the Joe Boxer founder who launched his first eponymous brand in 2014, called his models “astronauts,” blasted David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” and introduced the crowd to two science stars — former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and the scientist, author and TV personality Bill Nye.
Nye opened the show with an impassioned speech embracing space exploration and technological breakthroughs. “What keeps the United States in the game economically is our ability to innovate,” he said, against massive projections of Mars topography.
Backstage, he made the connection between fashion and science: “They’re both the expressions of human minds. What we love as humans is art and science. We don’t have to pick — we combine them.”
Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, earned cheers from the several hundred who attended the show in a hulking empty warehouse when he appeared to moonwalk down the catwalk in a silver bomber jacket and sneakers. After the show, he embraced the pro-science bent of the fashion show. “I have to tell the president that exploration inspires more than fixing potholes.”
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