I’m just going to say it: Patrik Ervell should have won the CFDA/GQ New Menswear Designer of the Year. Quite simply, and I use the word “simply” intentionally here, no one is making menswear like Patrik Ervell. The refinement of his suits are unmatched, and his apparel retains an absolutely effortless sexiness and masculinity without losing even a touch of its elegance. And yet his materials are forward-thinking, without needing to get all up in your face with their avant-gardness. For my money, in terms of young, or “new” designers, he is the one to beat.
Ervell’s F/W 2011 collection began against a backdrop of white billowing parachutes, flowing with gusts of wind provided by fans. The minimal, dramatic set was a precursor for what was to come: the stage outline of the film Dogville, or those first, sparse piano notes that introduce Kanye’s Runaway.
While these are fitting, the most apt metaphor for the collection that followed might be the steady beat of a military drum. Here were the neatest of black bombers, made from black rubberized cotton; the sleekest of tweed suits, settled with an influx of cashmere. His field coat, in army cotton moleskin was both substantial and softening over a blue gabardine two-button beneath. Ervell’s twill jeans, rolled ever so slightly at the cuff, are exemplary.
His oxfords, with their contrast and barrel collars, are telling in their restraint, and certain in their subtlety.
His wool cadet jacket is a study in simplicity. Especially when paired with the matching grey, wool-coated, formal pants, which made a look that was almost intimidating in its minimalist achievement.
Finally, I didn’t need the jumpsuits. I never do. But there was something just awesome, scary and daring about his flight suit in black pleather, which closed the show. It was an evening assassin. It was Philip K. Dick and The Matrix and a Tie Fighter pilot all at once.
This was an army I would welcome into my town or city. And just more evidence that Ervell is a force to be reckoned with.
**All photos: IMAXTREE