I love fashion but I hate you.

Capsule 2011 or My Trip to a Really Expensive REI

Went to Capsule NYC today, on a fantastic winter day, complete with rain, snow, freezing rain, and hail. Was it worth it? Read on, Dear Reader.

The funny thing about menswear shows is that as you close in proximity to the show, you start to wonder if the people you see on the street are going to/coming from the show as well. Suddenly, that group of guys at the corner might not just be a collection of construction workers, they may be hip buyers from Europe or editors from some esoteric Japanese fashion magazine!

Or they could be construction workers

Or they could be construction workers.

I wandered the show like a…uh…blogger wandering a menswear show. It was funny walking around and having to tell people that I was the press and that I was there to cover the event, things I usually only say when I’m trying to sneak into a club without having to pay cover. Apparently, in this day and age you don’t need one of those hats that say “press” nor is it required (or even tolerated) to say “Gee whiz, what a scoop!” after each interaction.

The actual event attendees are also interesting. Generally, they fall into categories: douchebags, and Japanese people. There were also women there, but we can safely assume they were there just for business reasons. So then you were left with guys who looked like they had just come in from Maine, but had somehow avoided any and all types of physical labor and weather elements in getting here, and Japanese guys who took the whole fakerjack aesthetic to it’s terrible, confusing, slightly arousing end.

So what did I find? Well, short of a few kayaks and freeze-dried provisions, Capsule 2011 was not unlike a trip to an REI. Here are the general reflections:

Colors are not your friends

Look at the above photo. True, I had used my hipster filter on my phone as a shoddy way to hide my poor photography skills, but I can tell you, the palette for this year will be drab, literally. The whole showroom looked like supply closet for an Eastern European paramilitary group. I even saw camouflage starting to creep in at the edges. Actually I take it back that it was a trip to an REI, because camping gear is usually super brightly colored, so as to draw attention to yourself from rescuers. Capsule was more like a trip to Bass Pro Shop, where the goal is attract attention from dudes having severe midlife crises.

I hope you like being outdoors

No surprises here either. Lots and lots of boots, flannels, wooly sweaters, and things made of wood.

Pictured clockwise from top left: Big John, Diemme, Some Brand I Forgot, Yuketen.

The desperate attempt by America to reclaim the good ol’ days is still in full swing. At this point it’s not even like we’re going back to our “heritage”. Now it’s more like the 45-year-old mom doning her cheerleading outfit and chasing after the local high school team’s van. The only thing missing from this deciduous fantasy were chainsaws and deranged right-wing pundits.

Bottom Line

So what’s the final word: like the groundhog ducking back into the hole**, be prepared for more of the same crap. There were a few interesting spots though:

Jansport Rightpack Signature and Reyn Spooner

It’s not even like I liked the Jansport packs and the Hawaiian shirts, so much as my eyes were just looking for any type of color in their sensory depraved state. Actually, I kind of dug the Reyn Spooner stuff, since they’re the Hawaiian “heritage” brand. Maybe the idea of “heritage” will slowly migrate across the country, starting as it has in Maine, launching a million Western shirts and Indian blankets in a few years as it moves westward, before settling on the laid back cool of the Pacific. Hipsters won’t have to shave their moustaches either, since they can always say they’re emulating Magnum P.I.

Next year in Jersusalem!

**or is it when the groundhog comes out, that means there’s going to be more winter? That doesn’t make sense, but neither does it going back inside? How much pot do you have to smoke to think this stuff up?

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