If Todd Snyder’s 2014 SS collection wasn’t mind-boggling, it’s not because it wasn’t beautiful, well composed, smart and immaculately styled (by the one and only Bruce Pask, fashion director of men’s at T: The New York Times Style magazine). Snyder is a master of American prep, which like its designer isn’t necessarily intending to flip our lids (unlike many of the shows we’ve seen this year, there was no headwear at all). Instead, he’s giving us what we want, without always giving us what we expect.
Like Michael Bastian, Snyder went French this year, channeling Alain Delon in Purple Noon (“The Talented Mr. Ripley” as it’s known in the US). This meant a more chill tailoring to his chambray button-downs and oxfords, sultry-in-St.Tropez two-button suit (in white) and naughty-just-outside-of-Nice striped tees. “It’s all about the mix,” he told me during his crowded presentation on Friday, before heading off to find some water for his “parched” models. “The casual and elegant with the tailored with the rebellion.”
Also like Bastian, Snyder hasn’t strayed too far from what he knows, and what we know him for. And to his credit. There’s a dignity to that holding back, as there is to the maroon (I would have called it “rouge”) suede varsity jacket and his navy hemp linen trouser, as casual as those looks sound. Both men are dipping their toes in international waters. Their East Coast collegiate boys are taking a semester on the continent, each representing their specific brand of prep: Bastian’s boy is popping out--peacocking--with his oxfords and loosened ties poking out of their sweaters. For Snyder’s guy, less is more. His cooler stripes and checks barely press against the boundaries neatly cut restraints. Bastian’s guy is trying to score with his fellow students on the trip; Snyder’s fellow is dressed to ingress with the locals. Both of them will gain life experience, and both will probably fail algebra.
This hypothetical boy’s focus on les filles, instead of Fermat’s Theorum shouldn’t distract from the fact that Snyder’s second spring collection is an astute one. The 2013 CFDA’s Fashion Fund and Swarovski award for menswear nominee continues, with this collection, to make his confident, firm and intelligent statements. And perhaps le mot juste, as well.