J. Crew continued to set the bar for brands classified as contemporary, commercial, approachable, accessibly priced — call them what you will — seeking to strike an aspirational tone during fashion week. Thankfully, J. Crew has not strayed from its open-house presentation format but improved it for fall with a more crowd-friendly, open-curve stage setup. All the better to view the clothes.

Frank Muytjens, men’s design director, showed a collection that had a polished-relaxed sensibility with touches of masculinity. “For inspiration, I looked at the waterfront of New York in the Forties — the dockworkers and longshoremen,” said Muytjens, pointing to a bomber with a shearling collar over a crewneck sweater and selvage-denim jeans. Key pieces included cashmere waffle-weave sweatpants, patchwork argyle sweaters and an unconstructed camel topcoat.

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