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New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: J. Crew's dress blues

February 16, 2012 |  9:29 am

J. Crew AW 2012 1
It wasn't just the luxury menswear brands that were headed in a dressier direction for fall and winter 2012, with labels like Brooks Brothers and J. Crew taking the guy's wardrobe up a couple of notches.

“The collection is more polished and more precise this season -- the look, the hair, everything," said Frank Muytjens, head of the men's design team for J. Crew, "with deep, inky blues and blacks -- like the colors in an oil slick.”

Muytjens said  he took the season's inspiration from the poet Edward James. "I found his picture on the cover of a vintage book I found at the Brooklyn Flea Market," he explained. "I was also inspired by the explorer Ernest Shackleton."

"That was a long time ago -- 1910,” he acknowledged, “but I feel the time is right.”

He came to that conclusion last year as he was traveling around the U.S. visiting J. Crew stores. “Of the people I was meeting, I noticed it was the men that were more dressed up than the women," he said.

J Crew AW12 2
The result is a sharp-looking collection that's heavy on the blue hues; tailored and trim-fitting suits in Glen plaid, Harris tweed jackets in a dark Blackwatch tartan, herringbone military shirts and shawl collar or double-breasted cardigans. Dressy denim could be found in dark five-pocket work pants, jean jackets, denim shirts and even neckties cut from vintage Japanese indigo. Outwear pieces included corduroy peacoats, wool hunting jackets and down parkas.

Also of note for Los Angeles fans of the brand's menswear: J. Crew plans to open its first L.A. standalone store dedicated to menswear and accessories (the label has opened a handful of such stores to date, the first one opened its doors in New York City in 2008) at the Grove shopping center sometime this summer.


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New  York Fashion Week Fall 2012: J. Crew, Manolo Blahnik to collaborate

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Michael Bastian's wardrobe for the most-wanted list

-- Adam Tschorn in New York

Photos: Looks from the J. Crew men's fall and winter 2012 collection, which was presented Tuesday at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. Credit: J. Crew