Ask what the Kennedys can do for your designer!
The 35th president of the United States and his family played a major influence in “Forever,” the AW14 menswear collection of Mexican-born designer Ricardo Seco, who showed yesterday evening at the always-impressive Angel Orensanz Foundation space.
As the show started down the runway with JFK’s voice intoning over the sound system, you realized that this model was wearing a sweatshirt printed with Jackie’s face, that one was swaggering by with a young JFK, Jr. saluting on his cashmere sweater, another one was wearing what could only be described as the original Jackie Kennedy Oleg Cassini A-line coat, replete with the oversized cloth-covered buttons and 3/4 sleeves.
Then there were the scarves. Silk scarves printed Warhol-like with Jackie-O and John John were tied low around the chests of Seco’s models, almost like a bondage style shawl. Ricardo told me after the show that he was inspired by the ’60s Kennedy era for his urban man, taking Jackie Kennedy’s penchant for pastels, A-line silhouettes and classic Americana styles and working them into a masculine, tailored collection.
He definitely got that right. Some of the covered-button coats may have looked a little like a guy playing dress up in styles from the thrift store, but stranger things have happened within the rock ‘n roll set, who, at least with dressing à la Jackie Kennedy, can place the style bar high. And as the coat kept coming down the runway in various renditions, it started to grow on me. The mohair charcoal Jackie coat was super cool. And there were other elements that I liked. The pink pants rocked. A black and grey pieced car coat worn over a “Pillboxes & Peacoats” printed T, leather shorts over coordinating pieced leggings was a little bit urban, a little bit punk. And while the scarves were surely a runway scarf trick, the sweaters printed with Jackie-O and little John John saluting will be great novelty sellers.
Seco closed the show with the Simon and Garfunkel classic “The Sound of Silence,” a song written in the aftermath of JFK’s assassination, as his models took to a tableaux on the stage behind him, the better to look at and photograph the clothes.