Joseph Abboud's new take on menswear

While many designers were going the more minimalist route this season, Joseph Abboud, a master of American menswear, decided to go the completely opposite route and hop on the maximalist train. Abboud's signature style includes strong tailoring, neutral colors, and his colorful scarves, because we all need a pop of color, but this season there was a twist on his usual sartorial aesthetic.

Joseph Abboud's new take on menswear

"I went completely opposite of understated because I love sumptuous fabrics that surround your body, and this collection is a celebration of Ellis Island and those who came here to America with their families," Abboud said to FashionUnited. "I've always been an inclusionary band, and I wanted that feel of richness and coming to America."

To fit his Ellis Island theme, Abboud held is show at Pier 16 in New York City with a boat as the venue so when the models walked down the plank it would have that same spirit of the Ellis Island immigrants who arrived in America. The end goal of fashion is typically to sell clothes, but rather than think of this collection's capability at a retail perspective, Abboud focused on this collection sending a message.

Joseph Abboud inspired by Ellis Island immigrants for NYFW: Men's collection

While many menswear designers, especially those who have had a longstanding core customer, have been afraid to take things to a maximalist level, Abboud has more faith in men's growing tastes for the adventurous. "Guys understand layering, younger guys are learning about the history of menswear and that's an important factor in texture and richness, and they'll see that on runway," Abboud said to FashionUnited. "It's an artisan approach because each piece was custom made for the presentation, and it took months for us to put this together."

Joseph Abboud's new take on menswear

The fall 2019 recalled the clothes that the immigrants to Ellis Island wore when they first arrived here in America. Details featured included washed fabrics, raw edges, and surprising combinations of texture and pattern reflecting homespun wares from around the world. Mismatched buttons, sheared shoulders, and patches crafted from remnants of antique Kilim rugs were an homage to how these immigrants would mend what were often handed down.

Fabrics featured included washed tweeds, vintage velvets, and time worn flannels inspired by a workman-like tone. Trousers were full to allow for movement, capes wrapped around the body like blankets, and layering, a brand signature, was unstudied and eclectic.

The utilitarian theme carries over to the accessories. Leather bags and duffels were made with functionality in mind, and distressed fedoras and caps were designed in collaboration with milliner Albertus Swaenpoel.

Joseph Abboud's new take on menswear

It wasn't just a collection of luxury menswear, but a message that Abboud also produced. Fashion must at once be both an innovator and incubator of inclusivity, two things evidenced by this collection.

photos: courtesy of Purple PR