The Quiet Omnipresence at Men’s Fashion Week

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Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFA.com

Two bottles of Champagne, necks entwined, are sitting in an ice bucket at the Soho Grand table where George Lewis, Jr., better known as the musician Twin Shadow, is hanging out. It’s two o’clock in the afternoon. That’s the closest thing to rock-star affectation he displays, thankfully. Lewis is fresh off a flurry of men’s fashion week appearances — he took in Calvin Klein, Alexandre Plokhov, and Duckie Brown, among others — and his face has just appeared above the fold in the day’s New York Times. He was photographed while modeling in Public School’s jailhouse-lineup-themed presentation, alongside fellow celebrities turned models Nick Wooster and Waris Ahluwalia. “It's pretty cool how desirable the outsiders have become,” he says.

Lewis has worked with the brand’s designers, Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, before, composing and sometimes performing the music for their shows. The recruitment process, to hear him tell it, was extremely straightforward. “They just simply went, like, 'You're going to be in the show."' Other than doing what he calls “little things here and there,” it was his modeling debut. But, he says, “I don't want to make a career out of it.” He also collaborated on a film with Dazed Digital, Michael Bastian, and General Motors; did music for a to-be-launched eyewear brand, and was seen around town with his equally fashionable, calf-chain-sporting girlfriend Zoe Kravitz. In the process, he became just as much of a fixture as official event ambassadors like Joe Jonas and Victor Cruz. Lewis explains that he has done the fashion-week circuit previous seasons, but “this was the first time I really made a point to see a ton of stuff.” He stopped by the Public School party, which was “out of control. I walked in and it was like, hands in the air.”

Throughout, he’s been sporting a not-terribly-noticeable accessory — a brace on his hand, the result of a tour-bus accident back in April that left a dozen people hospitalized and required reconstructive hand surgery on his part. “One of the things the occupational therapy tells you is that the best therapy is doing things you used to do,” he says quietly. “It’s been tough. I used to go and pick up the guitar and play it hours at a time, and now I play it for ten minutes and I’m like, ugh.” During the downtime, he went through old demos, some of which will be included on his upcoming mix tape, Night Rally, which he’s putting out for free on the 26th. And he has an optimistic take on his enforced time away from music: “It’s kind of made things exciting. I already look at playing the guitar in a different way.”

Yes, he’s aware of some of the criticisms that have dogged the week — “Oh man, another thing to go to,” as he puts it. But he speaks enthusiastically about the designers he’s liked, and the new direction he sees men’s fashion going in. “It's a culture shift," he says, "of getting people to be a little bit more accepting of bending what they think good style is. I think the doors are just opening up a little bit.” That said, he shies away from any discussion of following in Osborne and Chow's footsteps and getting into fashion himself. He’d rather design motorcycles: “That’s something I would probably pour my energy into.”