February 09, 2012 New York
Plokhov's reservations about goth aside, it's one youth cult that can boast it has kept its doomy integrity intact in the face of time and reason. Likewise, Plokhov's clothes. Unimpeachably true to the intention of their creator but simultaneously in danger of being superfluous to needs. Consider his tip of the cap to Eldritch—"a maniacal, visceral, and complex idea of masculinity"—and decide whether that is something that ticks your boxes, especially when it translated as an elongated apron/tuxedo vest over a floor-length skirt, or an overcoat in a mohair dipped in acid so that it had a matted, oily feel ("like dirty hair," said Plokhov appreciatively).
During his Versace period, the designer acquired an appreciation of Italian craftsmanship. His clothes are produced in the Veneto, and there was an agreeable sharpness to the tailoring of several formal jackets. But the collection as a whole was weighed down by its glowering obsessiveness. "Eldritch" was one of horrormeister H. P. Lovecraft's favorite adjectives to describe creeping dread. Lovecraft may not be the best go-to reference for a fashion designer in these troubled times.