Style At Large
Menswear veteran and Valet's Editor at Large, Michael Macko, presents an insider's take on what's new and noteworthy in the world of style.

Backstage, Building a Collection

With New York Fashion Week in full force, I thought I'd share some of the projects I've been working on for the past few days. Besides working as Valet's editor-at-large, I also work with a lot of brands, consulting as well as styling look books, presentations and runway shows. Here's a look at how the collections come together.


Ascot Chang


At Ascot Chang, everything is custom, so this is truly like designing. What I do is sit down with the owners of the company and we look at what trends we saw in Europe on the runways. We also look at the fabric shows for what is happening trend-wise in the market. We then sit down and place an order for samples of shirts and suits. Every season, I try to challenge Ascot Chang to try something outside of their comfort zone. For spring 2011, it was making custom ties in the same fabric as the shirts. This was something that used to be popular back in the day (customers also used to order matching boxer shorts in their shirting fabrics). It worked really well—so well that customers who saw the press preview set-up in the store started ordering full looks off the mannequin rigs.




12 stores across Asia, New York and Beverly Hills


John Bartlett


I've been friends with JB, as everyone calls him, for years. I feel like we're brothers who have grown up in the men's fashion industry together, but we had never worked together on a project. This season, he asked me to style his look book that would also be used for his in spring presentation. John went to Harvard and Parsons, giving him the perfect blend of left brain/right brain. He also studies buddhism and has recently become vegan, which results in a calm, unflappable demeanor. But his veganism also provides some challenges, so he's working on a line of cruelty-free shoes. The signature print for spring is a camouflage made from a silhouette of his best friend and canine sidekick Tiny Tim.




Rogues Gallery


Number Lab


Number Lab is a label that's been around for about three years. Last month, I helped partners Luis Fernandez and Greg Lawrance style their spring '11 look book shoot. They were so happy with the results that they decided this was the season to take the plunge and do a presentation that started with a mini runway show. Luis and Greg partnered with The New York City Bike Polo Association, who opened the show with a mock scrimmage game. The collection is laid back and sporty, even when it's tailored, with jackets lined in sporty mesh and special wicking fabrics. The colors—grey, khaki and navy with bright primary pops—make it a dream to style.




Engineer clothes that are versatile.


Keep tabs on what's happening during the Spring/Summer collections in New York with "The Feed" module, updated throughout the day on our homepage.








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