It’s a Mod Mod World for Ricardo Seco
Ricardo Seco is a self-taught Mexican fashion designer who’s also a best-kept-secret menswear favorite of a lot of stylish and sexy men you might know. Before pursuing clothing design, Seco was a businessman for more than 12 years in his native country. He left Mexico and studied design in the renowned Marangoni Institute in Milan and Paris before setting off for his successful new career in fashion.
His Fall 2014 runway show and presentation this week was housed at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on the Lower East Side (one of many fashion favorites to avoid Lincoln Center and show off-site, including Michael Kors, CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg and major upset Alexander Wang who showed in - of all places - Brooklyn!)
The setting was backlit in a vivid douse of pink and blues. Juxtaposed against the Foundation’s historical synagogue interior, the tone felt eerily like a mid-century giallo from Mario Bava or Dario Argento. I was fully expecting the clothing to come out gothic or influenced by the Brothers Grimm.
Seco’s Fall 2014 lineup, titled "Forever," embraced the mid-century directly with a heavy dose of swinging 1960s mod influence: side parted, slick haircuts, soft mohair sweaters, pale pastel colors of robin’s egg blue, salmon, baby pink and wisteria purple, skinny silhouettes and fabric rounded buttons on cocoon Persian lamb or wool felt coats complete with bracelet sleeves.
One could argue this all sounds a tad bit feminine, but with Seco’s elegant and edgy eye, it came off as both boldly, boyishly modern and a nice tip of the hat to the dandies (and later androgynous types) of the inspiration era. These fellas definitely looked like they came from the moneyed set of New England, but they were trying their hand at the more rebellious styles invading from across the pond.
For anybody who owned a TV or received a Life Magazine subscription back in the 60s, Seco’s collection paid distinct homage to the fabled Camelot of the era. "I took the A?line silhouette that Jackie liked so much and turned it into a masculine, urban chic style that her son John?John would have worn," the designer explained. "The Kennedy style is an American style. A lifestyle trend that is relevant today and timeless."
Graphic T’s and Pony Hair
In addition, Jackie O.-style pop art and Andy Warhol imagery was repeated on scarves tied across the models’ torsos (Will this quirky trend take off? Hipsters in Brooklyn, here’s looking at you...)
The stylish first lady was also hinted at with "Pillboxes & Pearls" message T-shirts, two signature pieces of her iconic look. There were also silhouette portraits of the famous photograph of John F. Kennedy, Jr. saluting his father’s funeral procession on sweatshirts and shirts layered under leather coats.
To ramp up the masculinity, Seco incorporated some of his signature leather details. Stove pipe pants, contrast point collar shirts and exaggerated paneled cuffs on coats all appeared in slick leather and added a rough and rugged balance to this pastel world. The pony hair motorcycle jacket might have been the star of the show. A favorite design of Seco’s, the oversized backpack, also appeared in dark and strong leather.
This year was Seco’s fifth time showing in New York and third time within the official Fashion Week calendar.