Up Close And Personal
WORDS BY COREY KELLY
Imagine yourself in a minimalist gallery-like setting packed with a boisterous crowd of gays and straight women. As you inhale the scene your body reverberates to the music thumping in the background. You down a couple of cocktails and then make your way downstairs to have a seat. The lights dim and then BOOM! Bright lights highlight the most beautiful, scantily clad men you've ever seen. They parade by like a fresh batch of Ken dolls on a conveyor belt in a Mattel factory. A few weeks ago, I witnessed this MAN-tastic spectacle at none other than 2(X)IST's highly anticipated Spring 2015 runway show
Skylight Modern, a show space in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, was the setting for this year's event. A male-heavy crowd of press and buyers anxiously awaited the debut of 2(X)IST's latest collection of colorful underwear, swimwear, sportswear and accessories. I managed to see everything up close and personal once the next-to-nothing looks finally made their way down the runway. Although I was easily distracted by a cast of chiseled male models, including notables like Andre Ziehe, Thor Bulow and Oraine Barrett, I was still able to maintain my focus on the merchandise.
(Left to right): Andre Ziehe (Ford) walking for 2(X)IST; Thor Bulow (Soul Artist Managment) walking for 2(X)IST; the show's finale.
My personal favorites from the collection begin with Look #11: a sporty head-to-toe ensemble worn by Krit McClean (see below). This outfit screams urban gym rat. But, not in that tacky meat head sort of way. This guy just left the gym, but wants to look cool enough to meet with friends for lunch. The combination of a white T-shirt, cropped sweats and tennis shoes exudes a sense of comfort. But, the blue wind breaker tied around his waist and paired with a matching tote elevates the entire getup. The same can be said for Looks #14 and #18: two outfits with a similar feel. The pieces being worn have a sense of ease, yet are meant to be layered and mixed with other items. This is a prime example of how 2(X)IST is moving into new territory as an active lifestyle brand. The clothes and accessories are meant for a guy who is off to the gym, working out and feeling confident about himself. This customer obviously wants something to support his lifestyle and Jason Scarlatti, Creative Director of 2(X)IST, understands that.
As the show came to a close, a never-ending trail of male models made their way down the runway. After lusting for these Adonises, I started thinking to myself "Damn, I should really work out!" Typical thoughts, right? Especially after seeing enough flawlessness to give Beyonce a run for her millions. But, after exiting the show's venue, I could only think about having a cheeseburger. Is that bad? Do male models think about burgers too? The real reason 2(X)IST in life is to be happy, right?
MY PERSONAL FAVORITES (Left to right): Krit McClean (One Management) in Look #11, Matthew Nozska (Wilhelmina) in Look #14 and Eme Chang Vergara (Wilhelmina) in Look #18.