September 07, 2004 New York
The designer installed his models in the Reading Room at the Harvard Club, this Ivy League grad's first address in New York. In that august atmosphere, all leather-bound volumes and coffered ceilings, his work looked fresh, exciting, and reinvigorated. Hip as he is, Bartlett's devotion is to the canon of tailoring: beautiful lapels, elegant fabrics, crisp fit. "I wanted to explore the parameters of the jacket, shirt, and tie combination," he explained. But in his own way, with a fine-tuned color sense that put acid tones of orange, pink, green, and violet against navy, black, and khaki. And in a season full of slouch, Bartlett stuck to a trim, clean silhouette. "It's an American sensibility, not tight, not complicated," he said. In fact, it all looked just right.