Men’s – Blow Up. Hed Mayner AW23

Hed Mayner, the designer from Tel Aviv who captivates the Parisian crowd for a couple seasons now, loves a big silhouette. He is known for blowing up conventional clothes to XXXL size, creating garments that are both timeless and absolutely poetic. In his autumn-winter 2023, Mayner has some of the most desirable pieces of the season: denim cargos pants meet gargantuan wind-jackets, an exquisitely tailored jacket that comes with unisex pinstriped skirt, thick cashmere socks worn over cashmere leggings, beige balaclavas… in general, it’s a more utilitarian vision, one that lets in some non-chalance and spontaneity to the designer’s world. The look featuring a faux-fur coat, white tank-top and leather pants is to die for, too. For the first time, Mayner is dipping into the footwear realm, partnering with Reebok on a set of remixed Classic Leather sneakers. The resulting shape epitomizes the Hed Mayner ethos: the shoes are washed and then flattened by hand to create a loose, lived-in shape, some with a deconstructed tongue that wraps the upper. The off-the-radar designer, gatekept by the industry insiders, is about to blow up.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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NET-A-PORTER Limited

Men’s – Harmonious Sublimity. Hed Mayner SS23

Hed Mayner‘s menswear collections are Paris Fashion Weeks’ moments of harmonious sublimity. In his notes, Mayner made it clear that he doesn’t do “overwrought statements of seasonal quirk.” Rather, season after season he revisits scaled-up proportions, honing them as a sculptor might. “I started by trying to build a silhouette that has a strong contact between front and back, and just being this two-dimensional look with a contrast,” the designer offered backstage of his spring-summer 2023 line-up. That translated into parkas, duffle coats, and jackets that looked straightforward enough from the front, until you caught the decadence of an open back. The comforts of home were the throughlines, with spoons repurposed into sculptural drop earrings and antique bed linens sourced from fleas in Paris and Tel Aviv that Mayner stonewashed, starched, and sewed into shirts. Though they were pretty, the designer said that poetry wasn’t his point. “I wanted to have elements that just look collected or found and applied on yourself, like diving into your sheets and staying there,” the designer said of a square-cut shirt in cotton embroidered with openwork garlands. Those tops and a slouchy-shouldered knit with trailing threads offered plenty of crossover appeal, though Mayner said such considerations were secondary to exploring proportions and, notably, stripping away notions of gender and status. Instead, he wanted to propose ideas of “clothes as accessories.” Even so, there were status contenders here. The midnight blue blouson springs to mind. So does a denim bomber. And, espectically, that one aviator jacket in delightful beige.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

NET-A-PORTER Limited

Men’s – Poetic Outerwear. Hed Mayner AW22

Hed Mayner’s autumn-winter 2022 collection exists in the space “between despair and ultimate hope“. The Israeli designer explained further: “But I am thinking about the space between you and the garment, layered and protected…you are in a bubble.” Mayner speaks like a poet and he designs like one too, operating instinctively and emotionally, more interested with how a garment will feel on the skin, move about the body, and imprint on a life than how cool it looks or how hype-y it is. It’s this humanity that has garnered Mayner fans across the world, some in fashion and some far outside it, who plug in to the gentle ideas he pushes each season. For the new season, the sloped shoulder is the big story. “It’s not just about a refined jacket,” he said, “it’s about injecting an energy, a vibe.” The vibe here is one of movement – clothes are moving, dripping down off shoulders, pooling around the ankles, or cinching up at the waist, tucking in under heels and into flat buckled shoes. Quilted faux-leather scarves and squares of Liberty fabric are hung around necks or clipped onto lapels and belt loops. In a season of statement outerwear and bold coats, Mayner’s offering will leave a big mark; double-breasted wool styles and clever Macintoshes promise artful protection against the elements. A first foray into prints, done with Liberty fabrics, is a counter to the almost-businessman spirit of his wide blazers. In sensitive pastels, the quilted pants and filmy button-downs look like something “maybe from your grandmother, or something American, even though it’s a British company.” Mayner’s clothing evades provenance like this: based between Tel Aviv and Paris, thinking in a way that’s not really of a place. But it’s certainly of our time. His clothing offers a gentle reprieve from stress and worry. Wouldn’t it be nice, lovely, refreshing to settle into to a Mayner puff of jacket?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Sculptural Ease. Hed Mayner AW21

Hed Mayner is one of the most underrated menswear labels, which is just the perfect place for unconventional elegance (and tailoring!) fans. The dynamic between inside and outside – the need to isolate on one hand and what he sees on the streets of Paris and Tel Aviv (the city where the designer is based), on the other – led him to paring things down and meandering through the possibility of line or the language of fabric. “Tailoring can take you into a process where you obsess over the perfect jacket. What I’m trying to do is keep something askew,” the designer noted in a Zoom interview with Vogue. Comfort dressing in slouchy, cozy fabrics was already Mayner’s home turf. This season, he’s expanded that sensibility and reframed it with ample yet tailored silhouettes and more traditional materials, like fluid Italian wools and English tweeds. For the first time, he ventured into double-faced fabrics, for example in a military-inspired coat that, thanks to a simple slit in back, can also be worn as a cape (a quilted puffer reprised that idea too). He also went to town on proportion, stripping away lapels, elongating tops, dropping hems, and toying with asymmetry, bell sleeves, major shoulders, and trousers that sit high on the waist. Those might be tucked into a long, slouchy boot or quite simply cropped above the ankle, judo-style, and paired with a big-buckled shoe. The effect was often sculptural, and warm hues of ivory, rust, camel, butter and olive green added to the feeling of gentle ease. Mayner said that his clients tend to pick a total look, then break it down and make it their own. When autumn arrives, they’ll have a lot to play with.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.