Monday, 1 November 2010

Ervell and the balancing act

Having had my love affair with the printed word reignited by the wonderful and inspiring read that was Encens 26, I found myself seduced by the stylish possibilities hiding behind the age defying pose of Pharrell Williams in the latest issue of Man About Town. 'Life’s a beach – the Winter Sun' is the second issue with Paris-based creative consultancy Atelier Franck Durand and editor, Philip Utz at the helm. Despite being distracted by the youthful appearance of the cover star, the two hundred and forty six pages demonstrate that this is a bi-annual to truly covet. The autumn/winter 2010 issue offers a means of escape.

The issue has been mentioned on various blogs over the last couple of weeks but rarely have I read exactly why it was enjoyed. For me, this is a shame and something I'd like to rectify now. The real highlight of the issue is a series of profiles on the current generation of Manhatten based menswear designers who have been slowly but surely laying the groundwork for New York's new school of menswear. Adam Kimmel, Italo Zucchelli, Thom Browne and Patrik Ervell are four of its brightest stars and despite their differing aesthetics all are aware that wearability, durability and commerciability are all integral facets of successful menswear. Each profile prodded and probed the designer quad in terms of their style and business credentials and the twelve page spread was thoroughly insightful read. Having enjoyed each, there was only one that really left me stroking my imaginary beard whilst pondering their thoughts. The following extract from Ervell was of particular interest...

Menswear is tricky. There is a fine balancing act between creating something both exciting and wearable and designing clothes that are covetable on both the catwalk and the street. Menswear could be terrifically dull. Who would be a menswear designer, eh? Well, thankfully Patrik Ervell took up the mantle in 2005 and has since confidently and assuredly made his marl on the industry. For Ervell, the job is one of nuances. Menswear is about details. Not just the details of one garment, but the accumulative effect when you throw them together. He is a designer who creates classic yet forward thinking menswear. In each collection there is always a sense of clean cut minimalism showcased in his simple lines and impeccably sharp tailoring. This signature tends to be fused with an unexpected mix of fabrics. Each season the designer opts to focus on one fabric. Ervell believes that it is in within the realm of outerwear where designers can really push menswear forward and for AW10, the modified Duffel coats in transparent vinyl and the handmade latex rubber raincoats undoubtedly shoved the discipline forward. For SS11 it was horse hair braid. It was used in shoelaces, belting and backpacks. It’s extremely tough, masculine and durable...

SS11 backstage photography by Morgan O'Donovan for Dazed Digital.

The truth is, most men tend to hone in a style for themselves that they stick to for life. Ervell is one of the few designers who recognises this, which is why he makes captivating clothes that are built to last.


Mike H said...

When I think about menswear and its universe the person that makes me think far beyond what is possible and what can be made possible is Raf Simons of whom you left out in your post. His training and his discipline alone has really carried out this lucid path for younger designers such as Ervell to make their own niche and success. There is so much strength in menswear uprooting itself from New York right now and it is so healthy. Quality, constructions and materials come second nature to them and they don't second count those precious considerations.

I think of relevance to Ervell and why he might appeal to a large customer base is perhaps his interest in the youth of men, America and novelists who have in the past, written about its chaotic nature of industry, machine and society together as a whole.

Style Salvage Steve said...

Mike H: Very good point and I couldn't agree with you more on the impact of Raf Simons on the menswear of today. Actually, Man About Town has a great little feature on Raf and the next scheduled post will see me discuss another quote that inspired me.

Anonymous said...

great quote :D
i just bumped into your blog! love it!


Fashion Philosopher said...

I really like the simplicity and minimalism of the clothes and if you talk about men's fashion is about details, I find it interesting that the jackets and coats are worn with coloured, braided and embroiderd belts. An idea which I have been using, when styling my girlfrind, for almost a year now. I just bought a " stament belt" from Burkman Bros at Liberty's which is quite similar to the ones in the photos. I will try to style my old, beige Hackett trench with the belt and take again some pics. Let's see how it looks ... men's fashion lies in the details- how true.

Anonymous said...

loving that ss11 stuff!


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