Down with traditional notions of masculinity! Oh, and also remember to love yourself. Such was the crux of the idea at Linder’s spring/summer 2019 NYFW: Men’s presentation. New York is fresh off of pride month, and while fashion choices symbolizing the strife of gay men are often commercialized with rainbow flags, Linder took on what it meant to be a gay man in today’s society minus the rainbow flags and with a high fashion approach.
This season’s collection continued the previous story of last season’s collection, which dealt with the acceptance of self, coming out, and revealing the inner life of a gay man after shedding the shell of imposed masculinity. “This collection is about what gay men are wishful and hopeful for after coming out,” Linder co-founder and designer Kirk Millar said to FashionUnited. “It’s about how to move forward after that very specific defining moment in your life.”
For some gay men, coming out can also mean a turning point in their fashion choices. They have set themselves free, so now comes for a moment for them to have the option (if they are lucky to have acceptance) to push pretty hard, explore their identity, and be more expressive.
“For me the whole expression is pretty sentimental or romantic in a certain sense,” Millar said to FashionUnited. “So I think that’s the phase the whole message or the collection is within. There’s a whole theme in looking for companionship and marriage.”
On themes of companionship, a sweater was featured with a Bernese Mountain Dog printed on it. A white T-shirt had the word “Boyfriend” etched across it. Ideas of home, love and relationships showed how we can also use dress to attract other people. It is through fashion that many people are able to connect.
All of the details in the collection were very intentional. Orange transferware China pattern (a symbolic choice partners make when they marry) was splashed on jeans, jackets and tees. Track and field jerseys represented the hurdles we all overcome in life to reach our potential.
This season Linder also collaborated with Parisian luxury brand Chappal, with bags, shoes, gloves and leather jackets that helped bring the classic to a new age brand.
“I think of Linder as designer,” Millar said to FashionUnited. “I certainly wouldn’t say we are in the luxury realm. We are a brand about ideas. There are pieces that are more in the luxury realm, there are pieces that are more streetwear. Each piece is lovingly designed, and it should hit a wide variety of people.”
The brand is coming out, and they want the world to know.
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