Parke & Ronen S/S18

Share

Images By: JP Yim

Getting excited about Parke & Ronen’s show was the easiest thing I’ve done all week. They’re one of the few full-on, dedicated beachwear lines native to NYC which, as someone who loves the sun and the surf and always feels low-key frustrated that the best city in the world has a coast but no real beach culture, I can definitely appreciate. That appreciation is doubly amped because I know they’ll be turning up for their twentieth-anniversary launch. On top of that, the men’s Spring/Summer lines are in play, and I know I’m going in to see a full runway show of trendsetting pieces that I 100%, unreservedly would wear every day of my life. So without further ado, let’s see what that looks like.

Continuing to move in the direction set by their current line, Parke & Ronen are making their men’s trunks smaller, more form-fitting, and smoother. That’s not to say anything comes out looking like a Speedo. The front profile, accentuated by thick lifeguard stripes, pastel mint, and polka dot graphics, feels more stylish than purely functional, although given how much thought the designers put into the material I’m sure it does feel great in the water.

Aesthetically, there was definitely a strong Maldives theme, and I was loving it. The sunglasses, loose button-ups, and, especially, the graphic tees had cobalt-blue on chalk-sand tones that you only see in Planet Earth documentaries. I totally imagined myself island hopping or bumming around on a boat or on vacation or something because the super-waterproof leather rucksacks and crisp white linen cargo shorts felt durable enough to weather anything nature could throw at them.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or the money to go island hopping on a whim, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you probably don’t either. That’s OK because the Parke & Ronen line has a lot of great pieces, and definitely some I could see myself wearing around New York, like, today. The footwear is like Birkenstock 2.0, with cork and molded-foam soles that grip the shore just as well as they stand up to the asphalt onslaught. Going back to the cargo shorts for a second, I was happy to see that they had more than a few selections, from standard, cylindrical white ones with two pockets on each side to patterned ones with more of a board short sort of feel. I mean, I know there are a good number of people in the fashion world who feel like they’re too lazy or bulky to be stylish, even just as seasonal attire, but, well, I grew up during a time when Abercrombie was the coolest guys brand in the world, so I think I’ll always be stuck loving them. And, at least when the cargo shorts in question are as expressive as Parke & Ronen’s, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

The last thing which caught my eye was the strong themes of nature which pervaded all the pieces. The designers actually talked about this, how it’s a throwback to the 60s when flower children were sprouting up everywhere and people like Rachel Carson and Woody Guthrie and John Denver were ushering in a pop awareness of ecology and the environment. I think it’s a great message, and it also makes for some great clothing themes, especially if you’re looking for an accent piece which you can wear multiple times in a season and still look fresh. For that, Parke & Ronen’s pastel-print flower shirts and sunset-striped button downs are some of the best I’ve seen all year.