New York Fashion Week

Time Travel with Thaddeus O’Neil

Monday, February 6, 2017
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At the recent New York Fashion Week: Men’s, most designers focused on coats and outerwear for their fall/winter collections. But not Thaddeus O’Neil.

This season, the designer had some disco fever inspired collections that were prime for resort season. “For my customer, it’s a matter of infinite seasonality. He loves the beach, and wants to capture that ease and sense of play in his wardrobe whenever possible,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil’s specific inspiration was the Voyager Golden Record; as well as the disco and punk subcultures of the ’70s. In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager I Probe with a gold-plated record that contained an array of images and sounds from Earth, including surf, wind, thunder, whales and birds.

“Sartorially I wanted to experiment mashing up the seemingly disparate sensibilities of the disco and punk subcultures, which emerged contemporaneously in the 1970s right around the time the Golden Record was launched into space. I wanted to play with and aesthetically reconcile disco’s defiant ethereal high glamour with its glitter and ultra-suede and gold lame, and Punk’s edgy unkempt anti-glamour with its frayed, safetypinned attitude of rebellion,” O’Neil said.

In the mix at his disco funky dance party and presentation was model William Hawkins, who was part of O’Neil’s presentation and was ready to bust a move as soon as the music dropped. Fern Mallis, the queen mother of New York Fashion Week, was also there along with Ken Downing, the vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus. Could Downing have his eye on the collection to eventually be carried at Neiman’s? We can only hope.

Visit Thaddeus O’Neil’s website at thaddeusoneil.com.


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