Last season, designer Joseph Abboud marked his return to the runway (he hadn't shown in fifteen years) with a big, splashy–as–New York Men's–gets type of show. For this season, he softened his thinking -both in terms of staging (guests were invited to a light breakfast at New York's The Park restaurant) and in regard to his clothes, which nodded to American intrepidness and, embodying that, Ernest Hemingway. Chatting backstage before the presentation, he made an ear-catching remark : "The shape is looser in the pants and in the jackets. With a jacket, though, you don't want to get rid of the shoulder into the waistline, because then the guy loses his sexiness". What ensued were raw-edged linen and silk blazers and coats in cream, flax, sand, and floral prints that maintained an airy drift but also held form -one could still see the hard bodies apparent in A-list models like Sean O'Pry, Brad Kroenig, Chad White, Corey Baptiste or Garrett Neff. The tailoring decision makes sense -Joseph Abboud can't venture too far into the unexpected or the off-piste, given his brand's mass appeal and mainstream distribution. So while the entire package was certainly more "fashionable" than what he normally does, he made a smart choice to merchandise it as such that it'll still sell to guys seeking more classic fits. The trousers might be a little more of a challenge in enticing the Abboud client : they came slightly flared, often roll-cuffed, and some with buttons at the ankle. While they appeared smart for editorial purposes, it would have been helpful to see a few more tapered or slim-fit options. In essence, the entire silhouette seemed a bit old-fashioned, which is okay, Ernest Hemingway was indeed Joseph Abboud's wellspring, but a more contemporary consideration might draw a wider audience. An example of a nifty modernization elsewhere : calligraphic prints in faded black, like ink to parchment, on good-looking cross-body bags. Then again, Mr Abboud did admit that the runway is where he gets to play -"if you want a blue suit, we already have you covered".