Sometime in 2017 , Todd Snyder gave up big seasonal inspirations and started mining his own personal history. The strategy has worked swimmingly, leading Snyder to one of his best collections ever for Fall 2019. Boiled down, the lineup was a ’90s-does-’70s rendition of Midwestern Americana, with lemon and sky striped grungy sweaters, wood-paneling-color grandpa cardigans, rock star shearlings, Western shirts in dusty azure and pale rose, and an Iowa State sweatshirt (his alma mater).Snyder’s own life story is so richly intertwined with that of America’s sportswear obsessions; since he started by producing smart menswear at Polo Ralph Lauren and then The Gap many years ago, each piece here felt like a walk down memory lane. Only rather than sepia-toned, this bit of nostalgia was in Technicolor: On the runway it was a rainbow of fluorescent lights to evoke a suburban basement, in the clothes it was a rich palette of jewel box colors.
In addition to these clever twists on menswear staples, Snyder also offered some more challenging ideas. Will dudes come around on superwide-wale corduroy trousers or an amazing technicolor puffer? On the runway, the collection was optimized for Insta-appeal
But for the consumer not familiar with the fact that underneath that street style coat is a pair of plaid trousers that evokes an Iowan fall made with tender love and care? Well, maybe they’ll never know. The high gloss of a fashion show has a purpose, but Snyder could benefit from being a little scruffier, a little more soulful around the edge.