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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New York Fashion Week: Patrik Ervell

Franklin Melendez goes skin-deep...

Wistfully, I abandoned my luxurious repose in the newly temperate weather yesterday to arrive early at Patrik Ervell's show and capture the backstage scene. Now, it is a truth universally accepted that when it comes to streamlined menswear, Ervell is unrivaled. He spins outerwear with Protestant precision: austere without being ascetic, designy without being ostentatious. It's a complete ethos that infuses every detail.

As I entered the dressing area, it became evident this extends not only to his collections, but to anything and anyone surrounding it. Everywhere I looked there were obscenely pretty boys in the bloom of youth, with eyes like stars, pouts like petals. It was a model bouquet that would have sent Goethe and young Werther into effusive hysterics. With enough chiseled cheekbones to start a quarry, they reclined pastorally, contemplating their photogenic life tragedies: lost high-school textbooks, broken skateboards, late express buses. Uri, a poignantly lithe Ukranian urchin (via the Bronx), shared his woes riding the M22. I yearned to compose a sonnet in his honor and strum out its melancholy notes on a lute. After mistaking yet another assistant for a moody model, I came to realize even the stage help is picturesque, as are the photographers, dressers, make-up artists and so on. I seem to remember a passage in Plato about this, something in The Symposium about a fabled plane of ideal forms.

I wandered to the front for a breath of fresh air and stumbled into Zachary from Opening Ceremony, who was still basking in the afterglow of the Alexander Wang after-party: "Foxxy brown was there! This was me, and this was her!” (I played the part of Foxxy in the reenactment). I continued to make the rounds and ran into Felix Burrichter from Pin-Up, who was looking poetically hung-over for undisclosed reasons. “I'd rather not discuss it, but you know…” I do indeed. Aya Kanai from Teen Vogue was looking like a pin-up gal herself. She was considering ditching the rest of the shows that day and heading over to Deitch Projects in Long Island City. As the show wrapped up in its dreamy haze of shoegazer music, I crossed paths with designer Mary Ping. How did you like the show, I asked. “It was lovely as usual!” she said. “And it was the strongest casting of the season!” Looking around, I couldn't help but agree.



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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New York Fashion Week: Patrik Ervell

From the very beginning, when he made red and blue windbreakers from a silicone-coated parachute material developed by the military, Patrik Ervell has always used high-tech fabrics in his men's line—but never in an over-the-top futuristic way. For fall, as he says in this video, the California native and UC Berkeley grad reworked gold thermal emergency blankets to convey a sense of protection, by which he means both actual protection from the elements and psychological armor. Either way, it's a new gold standard.

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