An Intimate Look at Linder Mens SS20

An Intimate Look at Linder Mens SS20

EXCLUSIVE: Kirk Millar's sultry NYFWM presentation doubled as class-conscious commentary.

EXCLUSIVE: Kirk Millar's sultry NYFWM presentation doubled as class-conscious commentary.

Photography: Fujio Emura

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

Like a beautiful yet devastatingly indifferent couch-surfer, this year’s New York Fashion Week: Men’s came and slinked away in all of 72 hours. Despite an abridged lineup, largely due to a creative exodus affecting NYFW at large, the men’s labels who stayed local elicited lingering feelings of discovery and spontaneity. These notes were thick in the air at the Linder headquarters on Wednesday night, adding to the humidity and preppy nonchalance, when menswear creative director Kirk Millar showed his SS20 collection.

With the class-conscious family portraiture of Thomas Struth and Tina Barney as the collection's springboard, the brand’s tony East Village townhouse provided an apt backdrop for Millar’s gang of models, densely assembled in a parlor fashioned as a bedroom-like domain of privileged adolescence. “The Playstation and TV belong to my friend Dane, one of the models in the show; he plays a lot,” says Millar of the tableau. “I think the video games, for me, are more about escapism and entering into a different world. And fashion has been that [to me] since I was a teenager.”

Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)

With “trophy husband”-emblazoned polos and “boyfriend” socks unassumingly slipped into loafers, Millar seemed to use fashion as a subversion tactic, whether against country-club dress codes or sexual normativity. “Ideas of love and connection have [existed] throughout [my collections],” he says. “My first collection was about coming out, [whereas] this collection is more eclectic; people ask, ‘Do you want to be a trophy husband or have one? And I’m like... [shrugs].”

Millar describes Spring/Summer as an appeal to the private desires of the proverbial black sheep, one inspired by his own dueling attractions. “The character I wanted to push into the collection was this sensitive, dorky [guy] who doesn’t quite fit the mold of what [he was] born into,” says Millar. “Which is very much the opposite of how I grew up, in a small town in Arizona, but is a character [I’ve] run into a lot in New York; friends, or whoever, that were all years ahead of me in terms of the culture they’d consumed.”

On the cusp of his 10-years-in-the-city milestone, Millar expresses disappointment at the tide of designers decamping to European fashion weeks. “I think the industry is trying to chase things down instead of hanging in there... Is that mean of me to say? [laughs]” wagers Millar. “The creativity that New York fosters is unlike any other, so it’s kind of a shame that New York is treated like a stepchild of other fashion weeks, when it used to be the best. And will be the best again, in my opinion."

In this exclusive, VMAN takes an intimate portrait of Linder’s latest offspring.

Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)
Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)
Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)
Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)
Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)
Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)
Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)
Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)
Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)
Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)
Menswear Creative Director Kirk Millar at Linder SS20 (photo: Fujio Emura)

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