Daiki Suzuki’s Engineered Garments may very well be the best, most consistently incredible brand in New York. There, we said it. But is that even that even that surprising a statement? The cultish brand (who has recently decamped from the city’s historic Garment District to a burgeoning space out in Long Island City) is damn near a staple among the Big Apple’s menswear aficionados, with practically every guy in that lane owning at least
something from EG—be it a pair of olive drab cargo pants, a hoodie from the offshoot “Workaday” line or one of Engineered Garments’ collaboration Dr. Martens. If you stop and think on the label’s stalwart status, it’s fitting that Suzuki and his team took a look back into the brand’s heritage for Fall/Winter 2018.
One of the brand’s longest running partners and fabricators—Woolrich Woolen Mills—has been working with Engineered Garments for the last 15 years, not to mention being the oldest outdoor apparel producer in the United States. Woolrich’s buffalo plaid—blown up and cut-and-pasted across a variety of garments (as
noted, à la Barbra Kruger and Mark Rothko)—is a key component of the overall collection, taking up the first half of the brand’s lookbook (Engineered Garments largely avoids doing runway shows and releases a lookbook during New York Fashion Week instead). But it’s not just plaid that Woolrich helped out with; much of the flannel, canvas, corduroy and wool were sourced from the historic mill as well. Vogue
At first glance, the collection is as much a mash-up as it is a classic Engineered Garments collection; mixed prints—not to mention aesthetic and sartorial influences—intersect on a single look (note Looks
19, 20 and 22) in a way that can be dizzying or flat-out unappealing to the unfamiliar viewer. But upon closer inspection, it’s about dissecting a single look into the individual pieces that create it (not unlike scoping a lookbook from sister Nepenthes brand Needles)—that’s where you’ll find the true treasures. Pieces like a Native American-influenced jacket (Look 16), a faux fur vest (Look 24, a corduroy suit (Look 23) and buffalo plaid tearaway trousers (Look 7) are all standout garments in their own right; its pieces like these that present a blended aesthetic that’s equal parts quirky originality, historical sensibility and nostalgic charm. It’s that vibe that’s gone on to define a brand like Engineered Garments into what it is today. Suzuki’s tailoring abilities are also on full display here, with pointing out that several items are constructed from a single piece of fabric, swapping seam construction for darts. Vogue
But if the brand’s more eccentric items aren’t your speed, you can always rely on Engineered Garments collaborations, which this season include a cape and anorak from Barbour and shoes—adorned with red thread—from regular partner Dr Martens.
As equally beloved brands like Abasi Rosborough enter the New York Fashion Week fray, we’re wondering if, and when, Suzuki and company will bring Engineered Garments to the runway. But...if we’re honest, that off-the-calendar charm is one of the many reasons why we continue to come back to Engineered Garments season, after season.