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New York Fashion Week: Men get the bold shoulder

February 13, 2010 |  1:58 pm

A pair of men's shows on the first day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York put the bold shoulder front and center, with color blocking and harness-like straps.

First up was Duckie Brown, which served up a riot of mad plaids, with punk-flavored super-slim tartan trousers and square-shouldered suit jackets and outerwear pieces. The Duckie duo's signature pops of color were served up in solid, scarlet-hued bomber jackets, three-quarter-length overcoats and trousers, and as accenting pieces like a navy wool jacket with a color-blocked lemon-yellow yoke.

Closing out the first day in the Bryant Park tents was the debut collection of Mik Cire. If the name doesn't sound familiar, try spelling it backward and you'll realize it spells "Eric Kim," a designer who has been showing the Monarchy Collection at the Bryant Park tents for the last few seasons.

Kim, who co-founded the Monarchy premium denim label six years ago (and who sold it to Hartmarx Corp. in 2007) resigned as designer and CEO of  Monarchy just last month, and Mik Cire is his second act. 

Inspired by the Doughboy of World War I, the collection was heavy on the military and equestrian influences with a dash of rock 'n' roll swagger thrown in; motorcycle jackets, suede, double-breasted peacoats, spats and tall boots festooned with straps and buckles. The color palette was heavy on the blacks, olives and taupes.

Many of the outerwear pieces had tone-on-tone harness-like straps that ran across each scapula and framed the shoulders the way a shoulder holster might. Backstage after the show, Kim explained that these "slingshots," as he called them, were actually a way to alter the look of the jacket.

"There are snap buttons inside the side pockets so you can adjust the jacket in to give it a slimmer, more tailored look, or you can adjust it the other way for a looser fit."

He said his new venture was about making the kind of clothes he himself would wear. "I wanted to do something a little adventurous, a little outside the box. I think there's a need for something for guys that pushes the envelope a little bit but doesn't make you look like a clown."

It'll be interesting to see how men respond to Kim's sartorial middle path; will they embrace it or give it the cold shoulder?

Time will tell.

-- Adam Tschorn in New York

More from the Mik Cire fall/winter 2010 collection

More from the Duckie Brown Fall/Winter 2010 collection

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Photos: Two looks from the Fall/Winter 2010 menswear collections of Duckie Brown (left) and the debut collection of Mik Cire (right) by Eric Kim, the former designer and CEO of Monarchy. Both labels presented their runway collections in the Bryant Park tents Feb. 11, 2010. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times.