Sunday, February 14, 2010

NYFW: Patrik Ervell AW10

Patrik Ervell's AW10 ethereal presentation at Milk Studios saw an unlikely union of fabrics in outerwear.

After falling head over heels for Patrik Ervell's fabric experimentation with the effects of rusting and oxidisation on his shirts and jackets for SS10, I was desperate to see what he had in store for AW10. With Ervell there is always a sense of clean cut minimalism showcased in his simple lines and impeccably sharp tailoring but here he fused his signature with an unexpected mix of fabrics. We expect a slim-fitting suit aesthetic and a club-collar shirt from Ervell but commentators often overlook his fascination with experimentation and fabric development. There is an unlikely but ultimately happy union of traditional tailoring fabrics of tweed, wool and twill blending harmoniously with the fetish, wipe clean fabrics of latex rubber and transparent vinyl.

The raincoats are a great example of a reimagined classic, as are the duffel coats in transparent vinyl. Backstage shot by Shawn Brackbill for Dazed Digital.

"For me, the most interesting place in menswear, the place where you can really start to experiment and make it more dramatic, maybe a little romantic is in outerwear. Menswear can be tricky in that way but there is room within outerwear to explore a kind of strangeness but ultimately men can still actually wear it. For example, With the latex rubber raincoats, they are entirely functional as a rain coat, they don't have seams and instead are bonded rubber, they completely waterproof. At the same time as being functional they are really quite a bizarre garment because the material is so strange." Patrik Ervell in my interview with the designer for Dazed Digital.

Ervell believes that it is in within the realm of outerwear where designers can really push menswear forward and here, the modified Duffel coats in transparent vinyl and the handmade latex rubber raincoats undoubtedly shoved the discipline forward. The raincoats are a great example of a reimagined classic, as are the duffel coats in transparent vinyl. Ervell's choice of fabrics ultimately transforms something which is usually so familiar in to something quite alien.

Despite pushing menswear to its limits with much of the outerwear, the collection was much more than just a showcase of wipe clean jackets. Set to the frantic, looped music of American minimalist composer Terry Riley, Ervell served a beautiful collection which fused his signature of combining minimalism and exquisite tailoring with his penchant for sportswear.

Ervell may have decided to present his AW10 collection but this was anything but a cocktail party. The looped Terry Riley score combined with a set design full of came together to create a moody yet strangely ethereal and intense viewing experience. I was fortunate enough to grab a few words with Ervell after the show (for an interview piece for Dazed Digital) and the designer confessed that his choice of presentation format was much more stressful than he imagined and that the Riley score left a few of the models a little grated...

Minimal prep wear in movement. Presentation shot by by Shawn Brackbill for Dazed Digital.

I have to confess that I too found the viewing experience to be a little too much after watching the presentation for the full hour but in spite of my racing heart and foggy head, I still can't stop thinking about the below look and it offers a fitting conclusion to this best because it represents the collection as a whole perfectly. I love how Ervell has teamed the all too familiar well cut blazer in black wool twill, with his staple ivory button down club collar Oxford shirt and transformed them both with the simple addition of the scarf in latex rubber. The familiar can become alien with a simple yet unusual addition.

Standard blazer in black wool twill, ivory button down Oxford and scarf in latex rubber.

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