February 10, 2010
John Patrick loves a bit of atmosphere—his last two presentations took place at a 124-year-old steak house and in a church basement, respectively. Why, then, were guests squeezed into a tiny, windowless cement space this season? "There's no artifice here," Patrick explained. "No theatrics. I want the focus to be on the clothes." Not a bad idea, as the designer's latest effort—"a Joni Mitchell-slash-Sloane Ranger thing," as he put it—was among his strongest to date. Patrick worked with the Harris Tweed mills to turn out colorful plaid blazers; cropped, flared trousers; and high-waisted shorts. Hip-hugging leather pants paired with a chambray men's shirt added a rocker vibe, while sweet printed chiffon tea dresses kept it all balanced. As always, everything was produced using sustainable methods. The fine level of craftsmanship evident in the clothes makes you wonder why more designers don't follow suit.