February 07, 2006
Despite his Swedish (by way of California) background, New York-based designer Patrik Ervell insists he finds "the European impulse in fashion" predictable and boring. He's much more interested in the American way. For fall, that meant iconic tough-guy items, albeit twisted in soft, almost feminine ways. A biker jacket came in cashmere (it was also shown in reassuring black leather, though the skin was butter-soft deer). A letterman jacket had goatskin sleeves and cashmere ribbing at collar and cuffs. The gray felt traveling-salesman's suit was reimagined in wool cashmere. On the flipside, Ervell also envisaged a tuxedo toughened up in canvas twill, with a silk canvas lapel.
All these items were as desirable as they sound. The 30-piece collection was a feast of small, perfect detailing, something that is already emerging as this young designer's signature. Shirts buttoned with mother-of-pearl, the pleats on an evening shirt were painstakingly inset with satin to create a windowpane effect, waistbands self-buckled, and the pockets of that biker jacket were trimmed with braid.