It’s nearly impossible to speak of Joseph Abboud without mentioning the word classic. However, when taking more than a cursory view of his collections, one notices the collection is so much more than can be embodied in one such word, which in this case, is beyond overused in fashion speak.
His collection for Fall 2019 certainly was not the exception to this statement. Abboud has long been celebrated for his mix of textures, patterns & fabrications, building the practice into a trademark of sorts, gathering legions of fans in the process. This collection ramped the practice to new heights that left us wondering where he could possibly go from here?
The collection found its inspiration in the myriad of people & cultures passing though Ellis Island at its peak around the turn of the 20th Century. In a given day, literally every culture could be observed interacting with one another in forced proximity. Out of this multi-cultural tableau grew a visual dialog that has come to embody the American aesthetic. A cultural patchwork quilt if you will. Each piece worn by these traveller, seeking a better life in the new world of America, told a story. To quote the line notes: “The men who travelled here to forge a new nation were at once modest, proud, & filled with character. So too were their clothes, perhaps handed down from a father or grandfather. Mismatched buttons, sheared shoulders, & patches crafted from remnants of antique Kilim rugs nod to the care with which one might mend his treasured wardrobe, carried from one life to the next.”
This multi-cultural, multi-generational patchwork was presented to a masterful level on Abboud’s runway for Fall 2019. But this collection was by no mean haphazzard or random in the least. Joseph Abboud is a thinking man, one who deeply cares about the way he presents himself & the way his customers present themselves. This obsessive respect for details manifested itself in a palette rich in Dark Browns & Khakis, which dominated throughout, broken up only by a few strategically placed Olives & a splash of Charcoal Gray to close. The oversized bags proved to drive the theme of travel home, but also proved to be covetable pieces that left more than a few in audience hoping they would be for sale at the Abboud boutique on Madison Avenue come Fall!
Abboud’s collection was shown at the South Street Seaport Museum, within sight lines of the island that proved as inspiration & the Statue of Liberty welcoming those new to our shores. The setting could not have been more perfect & the collection made the trek to the lower regions of Manhattan well worth the time & aggravation of getting there. Abboud has another winner on his hands!
-R. Scott French
Designer Website: www.josephabboud.com
Photos: Elvia Gobbo