NEW YORK -- Marlon Gobel sent his spring and summer 2014 menswear collection down a runway tucked beneath the massive iron girdered ceiling of the Park Avenue Armory here Monday.
The inspiration: The venue was no accident, since Gobel cites as inspiration for his "We Built This City" collection the iron workers who shaped Manhattan's skyline in the earliest years of the 20th century, particularly as captured by photographer Lewis Hine during the construction of the Empire State Building.
The look: Think construction worker couture but not in a costumey one-of-the-guys-from-the-Village-People way. A series of AeroNylon blazers in shades that included "Blue Steel" ("Zoolander" reference duly noted), fluorescent yellow and hazard orange provided structure as well as color.
The less-dressy pieces included dark five-pocket jeans and one-piece coveralls, and a couple of jackets with brass rivet details called to mind the massive iron beams flanking the runway.
Key pieces: Our favorite pieces included a blue cotton suit with white overstitching that was designed to look like an architectural blueprint and a series of wood-grain-printed dress shirts.
The verdict: We love Gobel's enthusiasm -- not to mention the diverse inspirations he draws on each season -- and hopefully "We Built This City" helps the designer continue to build the audience and customer base he needs to take his label -- and his talents -- to the next level.