February 11, 2011 New York
For Fall, Ervell carried his love of the uniform essence of menswear to a logical limit. He joined the air force, in spirit at least. The aerial mood was established by a backdrop of billowing parachutes, which were gradually suffused with light, like clouds. It was a simple, beautiful effect. Cloud effects were also hand-painted on a silk twill bomber jacket. In fact, bombers and flight suits were the collection's key pieces, but, in this context, you could attribute a subtle aerodynamism to Ervell's trademark silhouette (the narrow pants had pleats stitched flat to emphasize the streamline), or the poncho/coat hybrid, aptly described as "billowing" in the show notes.
Though there is no man's uniform as precise as a military one, Ervell's innate strictness also emphasized the uniformity of a gray tweed suit or preppy staples like a baseball jacket, Sperry Top-Siders, and button-down shirts (especially when they were buttoned up to the neck). So far, so predictable, except that the seasons of experience Ervell has now acquired helped him to throw that predictability off kilter. So the baseball jacket was knit; the flight suit he offered as an aerospace option for evening was pleather. The sobriety of a navy gab suit was disturbed by the sporty parka draped over it. And a latex hoodie (Ervell's love of rubber is one of his most endearing design quirks) peeked out from under one of the "billowing" coats. This element of subtle surprise is the kind of asset that is turning the shy and retiring Ervell into a quiet dynamo of New York menswear.