Men’s accessories definitely get the short end of the stick. They’re usually purchased because they’re fine, functional, good enough. They bring to mind that weathered, overstuffed thing your dad always shoved into his back pocket or that impulse item you bought once and placed in a day bag only for it to eventually tumble to the bottom forgotten. In short, they often lack the allure of their female counterparts and have difficulty instilling the same kind of desire. Jonathan Meizler and his exquisite brand Title of Work are trying to change that.
During New York Fashion Week: Men’s, Meizler had a beautiful installation with goods from his most recent collection dubbed Entomology. Despite presiding in a space surrounded by other designers holding fall presentations, Meizler’s collection was technically Spring/Summer 2017 as he prefers to show as his offerings hit shelves to prevent (the all too frequent) consumer fatigue that sets in once new pieces have been paraded ad nauseam.
Each season, Meizler finds a new point of inspiration off which he can riff and Entomology (the scientific study of insects) was his starting point for the sumptuous ties, jewelry and small leather goods in this case. He said he was fascinated by “how these creatures evoke such angst and awe within us,” while we marvel at the immense beauty created on such a minuscule canvas. Some ties had neutral backgrounds but were outfitted with incredible insect facsimiles made from sterling silver that Meizler’s team constructs in his well-outfitted studio. One mesmerizing style was completely covered in iridescent scarab wings that swayed back and forth catching the light like the rainbow of cool tones in an oil slick.
There’s an undeniable sensuality to Meizler’s work with the richness of textures, partially obscured details and playful use of transparency all working in concert. None of his pieces seem to reveal themselves fully when seen straight on. They beg to be held, turned over and contemplated with the same kind of rigorous thought that surely went into their conception. It’s a rare sensibility that is largely missing not only from most men’s accessories but fashion in general.
And one cannot discuss Title of Work without the incredible make so vital to the designs themselves. Meizler works closely with mills both in England and Italy to customize fabrics for his ties and printed silk pocket squares, which are all finished by hand. He spent years producing women’s couture and the level of craft expected in a professional atelier has stayed with him in his current venture. No detail is overlooked or considered too trivial. His supple leather gloves are lined in superb cashmere and small wallets with Title of Work’s signature pop of red wouldn’t be complete without sterling silver cards to go in them. There is a glorious dichotomy between the perfectly imperfect handmade wares and supremely well-edited nature of the whole endeavor that feels like nothing else. Desire indeed.
written by martin lerma