NUMBER:Lab's Dapper Sportswear

Martin Marks

With the first official day of New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week well underway, we now turn to the sporting set, with yesterday's NUMBER:Lab show at the Standard Hotel's Highline Ballroom. The line was launched in 2007 by Luis Fernandez, a former architect, and business partner Greg Lawrance, and Fernandez was recently announced as having been selected to participate in the next class of the CFDA Fashion Incubator.

It's a fascinating design challenge, to adapt sportswear for off-the-field uses, and yet Fernandez, NUMBER:Lab's designer, does so with great skill. Several of the models entered the runway on skateboards, and, indeed, one could see a certain homage to street-gear in the asymmetrically blocked black and white zigzag patterns swim shorts, a graphic collaboration with artist Joseph La Piana, or the caution-cone orange found on the cotton canvas hooded cadet jackets and cargo pants. Though heavy on polyurethanes and nylons, perhaps the most wearable items were the more naturalistic -- the unconstructed cotton blazers, or the oiled-linen shorts. With its hints of 1930s elegance, the collection as a whole was quite dapper, and calling anything that's athletically-inspired as being "dapper" is something I don't all too often do.

PAPERMAG's Complete Spring 2012 Fashion Coverage

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