Alexandre Plokhov isn't a designer destined to surprise. Season after season, he hones. His dark, broody take on suiting will always be the focal point. This season, he said at a preview at his studio, "I was working with the idea of opposites." That worked itself out in terms of proportions: larger tops, like a bat-winged jacket whose arms flowed arclike into the body, with tight pants in his usual asymmetrical, drop-crotch silhouette; or smaller jackets, their darts stitched on the outside, paired with Japanese tobi pants—essentially balloonlike jodhpurs that end in snugly buttoned cuffs. They'll make a challenging silhouette, even for his most ardent acolytes.
The part that did offer a mini shock of the new was the presentation format: Plokhov opted to show the collection on the Digital Fashion Shows Web site. In part, he said, he couldn't resist the allure of being the first menswear designer to break that particular seal. But doing the show in this way also allowed him the opportunity to reteam with the filmmaker Douglas Keeve and to create the kind of ominous atmosphere that the clothes demand. Speaking of honing, here it's possible to do so even in the course of a single collection. There's one chance for each look on the runway, then it's gone. But on video, the sky's the limit. "I like multiple takes," Plokhov said. "We do it until it looks good."