This week, a creaky wooden building in the Lower East Side hosts the Capsule trade show where emerging menswear labels get sized up by New York's hippest retailers. Capsule, like any tradeshow, is charged with the energy of the unknown and the anticipation for what could be. One thing is for sure, the era of the urban gentlemen is in full-effect, where even the downtown hipsters will be dressing like dandies, as soon as Odin, Opening Ceremony, and Oak get their hands on these lines. (As an aside, we don't think we've ever seen so many handsome men occupy the same space at the same time. It was like a fourth dimension.) This year's show was sponsored by We Are The Market, a long-time Coutorture partner.
After the jump, our top five favorites at the show and a gallery of the event for your viewing pleasure.
Our favorites from the 2008 Capsule tradeshow:
1. Josh Podoll: A husband and wife team based in San Francisco, the Josh Podoll collection is currently found only at Fred Segal (West Coast) and Barney's (East Coast). The line's t-shirts (what we saw at Capsule, and the basis of their line) are super-thin and screen printed with geometric shapes in interesting patterns. What's best is that all of the shirts are organic and the thinest among them (a grey v-neck that says 'NAT-URE' in pop print) is made from bamboo.
2. Creative Recreation: This L.A. based company makes the kind of sneakers that you swear you've seen around (which means people will be comfortable buying them) but, when you check out the color combinations and details, realize you haven't (which what makes it fresh at the same time). Our favorites were the velcro high tops in burgundy faux-crocodile leather, or the the red plaid low tops with black snakeskin detail.
3. Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair: With a full menswear and womenswear line that's deconstructed and urban appropriate, this Swedish company had us at hello. Leather jackets were a minimal take on the bomber in super soft leathers, where wool coats and blouses had strong shoulders and top-notch tailoring. We weren't surprised when we found Opening Ceremony is one of the first retailers to have carried the line in New York.
4. Panuu: This Danish street wear line reminds us that we still love wonky prints, bright colors, and 'Yo! MTV Raps'-inspired clothes. Sure it's not for everyone, nor for everyday, but we like their attitude and their sense of humor. Panuu, who in 2007 collaborated with Topshop for an exclusive line, is now looking for stronger representation in New York. We predict they'll have no trouble at all.
5. Corpus: Corpus has that rustic log-cabin aesthetic for the consumer who only really inhabits the wilderness once a year (like, Earnest Sewn and Freeman's Sporting Club). This A/W 08 the collection (both men's and women's) includes Southwestern prints on t-shirts and knits, tailored basics, and one awesome jean jacket thrown in the mix.