Just two years into his new line, Tim Coppens, a recipient of the 2012 Ecco Domani award for Best New Menswear Designer and the 2013 winner of the Fashion Group International Menswear Rising Star Award, may be the most exciting thing in menswear. If his dark, streamlined show on Monday evening was any indication, the skateboard enthusiast—who did stints at RLX, Bogner and Adidas—is in line to follow his fellow Belgians, Kris Van Assche and Dries Van Noten, making an imprint with infinitely wearable and desirable clothing that also pushes the envelope.
Coppens’ boys, Kraftwerk-ish automatons with identical, futurist-pageboy haircuts, walked the runway at Milk Studios enveloped in tight black looks (blacks played with other blacks, and with smidgeons of dark navy, grey and burgundy) that called both to Coppens’ sporty past and our mechanized future. Titled “Acid in my Heart,” Coppens looked to his teenage years for this collection, exploring the padding of skateboard gear and graphics with leather and plastic patches and accents, big coats of hip hop’s Wu Tang days, kept down to present-day earth by princely tailoring.
Meanwhile, thick wools were displayed in simple, chain link patterns in solid white and black. His grey, washed nylon trousers were sublime, and rival Patrik Ervell’s for the menswear designs that best understand where tradition meets cool. The white racing stripe on the sides of his immaculate black wool trousers took the tuxedo pant to the track and field competition. And won. He masterfully mixed nylons, cottons, cashmere and leathers—a minimalist symphony where quilted cottons met foam, sleek leathers and soft wools in well-conceived textural movements.
This was street wear at its smartest, tailoring at its least pretentious, menswear at its most exciting. Coppens is the new dark lord of downtown, with aerials, and not a single wipeout.