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David Hart to kick off men's fashion week with collection inspired by 1960s jazz

David Hart to kick off men's fashion week with collection inspired by 1960s jazz
Sketch from David Hart of his fall collection, which he'll unveil during the New York Men's Day event Feb. 1. (HANDOUT / Baltimore Sun)

Menswear designer David Hart is putting the finishing touches on his 22-piece collection inspired by jazz of the early 1960s.

But first, he has to deal with the after-effects of last weekend's winter storm.

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"Yesterday I got stuck in a subway for an hour," he said by phone Tuesday afternoon. "But it's been fine. It's really more annoying. When the snow melts, we get all these big pools of water along the street."

As for his collection, it should be ready in plenty of time for New York Men's Day, the event kicking off men's fashion week on Monday.

"I'm pretty much in a good spot," said the Severna Park native who now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. "I have to do fittings. I'm tracking down a few last-minute-straggler samples from Turkey and Italy, but I'm in good shape."

Hart will be among 12 menswear designers showcasing their collections for the coming season at Monday's event. Other designers include Robert James, Lucio Castro, Krammer & Stoudt, Max 'N Chester and Edmund Ooi.

In the second year of "New York Fashion Week: Men's," more than 50 menswear designers — including names such as Nautica, Michael Kors, John Varvatos and Tommy Hilfiger — will showcase their collections during the week.

Hart's collection will evoke a jazz era marked by musicians like Jimmy Smith, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

Sketch from David Hart of his fall collection, which he'll unveil during the New York Men's Day event Feb. 1.
Sketch from David Hart of his fall collection, which he'll unveil during the New York Men's Day event Feb. 1. (HANDOUT / Baltimore Sun)

"My dad is a jazz musician," Hart said. "I grew up listening to that type of music. Any time we took a road trip, my dad would have that great music going on. I'm nostalgic for it."

Hart plans to give the look of that era a contemporary update.

"Those guys had the coolest style. They were always dressed to the nines in the studio. It was unreal," he said.

Expect plenty of blue — moody, dark midnight blues and cobalt — in Hart's collection. He plans to pair the blue hues with copper and oxblood. He'll also include black and white, which are reminiscent of the covers from jazz albums of the time.

Hart said his favorites in the collection are knit double-breasted blazers, formal wear and leather jackets, a new offering for the designer.

Sketch from David Hart of his fall collection, which he'll unveil during the New York Men's Day event Feb. 1.
Sketch from David Hart of his fall collection, which he'll unveil during the New York Men's Day event Feb. 1. (HANDOUT / Baltimore Sun)

Showcasing a collection as part of New York Men's Day, rather than during New York Fashion Week two weeks later, is a huge benefit to menswear designers, Hart said.

"The buying and showing calendar now sync up," he said. "The old schedule didn't make sense. Now we'll go right into market week immediately after. Previously, we were being overshadowed by the women's shows that were happening at the same time."

Hart plans to showcase his collection as a presentation, as opposed to the traditional runway show. During a presentation, models stand in a formation, which allows the audience to get a closer look at the garments worn.

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"Men's editors appreciate the presentation a little more," Hart said. "It's not as much drama as the women's shows. It's more compelling for the editors and buyers. They really get to appreciate the clothing more."

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