Joseph Abboud Fall/Winter 2013

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The name Joseph Abboud used to mean a few things, and well-dressed wasn’t one of them. The brand is best known for its low-to-medium-end tailored clothing produced to the specifications of retailers like Macy’s, where you can find their suits by the bakers dozen for less than $350 a pop.

The same cannot be said for the company’s newest venture, Joseph Abboud Red Label. It’s not what you’d expect, and if an overheard conversation among GQ’s senior editorial staff is to be believed, the show was not what anyone expected.

Joseph Abboud has gone upscale, and in a big way. Designer Bernardo Rojo credits the Apollo Missions as his inspiration. The space theme is evident in his new collection, for Fall/Winter 2013, from sleek, high-design moon boots to stark white down coats.

The collection relies on deep tones like hunter green, rich navies, and merlots, with black and white thrown in for good measure. Most pieces, even the suits, have an artificial metallic sheen perfectly suited for the lights of the runway.

Among the 6×3 metallic double-breasted suits and ribbed sweatpants with kneepads, the single standout was the bottom of a space suit. A heavy knit navy double-breasted blazer should have been paired with Abboud’s black suit pants featuring a large wool track-stripe down the side and the ribbed cuffs of a pair of sweatpants.

Among the rest, many pieces were unbearable. With outerwear prices running the gamut from $1,500 to $5,000, it is doubtful that many of Joseph Abboud’s usual customers would be intrigued.

Alexander Tsebelis is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]