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Video: Serving up a softer side of Duckie Brown for spring/summer 2010

September 11, 2009 | 12:10 pm

Rage_duckie2 NEW YORK -- Over the last few seasons, Duckie Brown seems to have been dressing its men for battle -- heavy, workwear-like pieces and padded elbow jackets that could do double duty in a skate park.

But for their spring/summer 2010 runway collection, which was shown on the first day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week here, designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver sent a simple, straightforward collection of lightweight shorts and gauzy shirts down the catwalk.

The show invite proclaimed "Duckie Days Are Here Again," and it was hard not to see a message of optimism -- the sun peeking out from behind the clouds -- in the gray-based color palette rendered in nubby looking tweeds, windowpane checks and draped jersey, punctuated with pops of vivid blue, yellow and orange. Much of the color came from the eye-catching suede lace-up shoes that are part of the ongoing Florsheim by Duckie Brown footwear collaboration, and the rest from the diaphanous short-sleeve shirts -- some in bold solids; others in explodRage_duckie3ed checks in sun-faded shades.

There was nary a long trouser in the lot, and many of the shorts sent down the runway had curious details, most noticeably pooched-out fabric at the hip that at first glance looked like pants pockets turned  inside out (an apt metaphor for the current state of the economy, whether intentional or not) and the kind of large floppy bow that's become a Lanvin signature flourish.

After the show, I caught up with the boys in the lobby after the unveiling of the Ronald McDonald House/Duckie Brown glove collaboration (turns out it's not as much of an odd Duckie pairing as you might Rage_duckie1 think -- Silver noted that his first foray into fashion was as a glove designer in the '80s), and asked Silver about the inspiration for the season.

"It's the life we want to lead," he said. "After seasons of covering it up, we really wanted to just show the body." As for the optimistic sounding title for the show? "We're just doing our part," he said with a smile.

Ah, that explains the hats. Several models took their catwalk turn sporting a style of straw hat that does the prevailing stingy brim trend one better by jettisoning the brim altogether. The result was a kind of  woven fez, which plays nicely into the collection's secondary and very subtle desert vibe (the show notes describe some shades of gray as "sandstorm," and there were several safari jackets in the mix as well) --- which was a huge takeaway trend from the men's runways in Milan and Paris earlier this summer.

The only thing that seemed out of sync were the high-waisted swimsuits in cream and pale gray; the cut, color and fabric combined to make them look a bit too much like granny panties. But otherwise, it's the kind of collection that would be right at home on the boutique shelves and buff bodies of Southern California -- and next spring, that'll be just Duckie for us.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos from the spring/summer 2010 Duckie Brown runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Sept. 10, 2009. Credits: (top) Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for IMG, (middle and bottom) Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images. Below video by Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times.

Duckie Brown fall 2009 runway picture gallery

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