February 08, 2005
Sam Shipley, Josiah Lamberto-Egan, John Witledge, and Jeff Halmos, the four old friends behind Trovata, surf the waters of their home base, Newport Beach, every day, but it was the other Newport they had in mind with their fall presentation for men and women at the National Arts Club. The drifts of unraked leaves, the grown-out topiary, and the toppled statuary were supposed to evoke the estate of a grand old WASP family down on its luck. Quite how this related to the collection's fine assortment of casual, vintage-flavored sportswear was another story, though the Trovata boys clearly share with their preppie muses a conviction that it's the little things in life that count. Their love of detail was obvious from the buttons alone, which distinguished the cuffs not just on jackets and coats but on a leaf-green cashmere sweater. The sleeves on a corduroy jacket and poplin shirt, meanwhile, were turned back to reveal the same lining in different shades.
Shipley noted a West Coast influence in the use of color and trimmed fabrics (the braid that defined the pockets on a cotton twill suit, for example). It's also apparent that the growing sartorial sophistication of board sports enthusiasts has sparked Trovata's evolution. One hears they're snowboarding in tweeds now, so a cashmere sweater with leather elbow patches or a classically clubby jacket in bottle-green corduroy should blend right in.