Patrik Ervell is just 26 and, aside from some technical classes at Parsons, he's spent three years "quietly learning by doing." But he's ambitious—he wants to define the essence of a man's wardrobe. His tightly edited 28-piece collection for spring 2006 made a start: a couple of suits, a handful of shirts, some blousons, one pair of denims, another of corduroy, an easy lab-coat-like trench, and an item he called "the perfect sweatshirt."

The style of the clothes might best be defined as "skinhead from the future" (a look akin to Ervell's own). In other words, it was young and lean. Fitted jackets closed with a single button set low; severely tapered trousers had a quarter-inch cuff, matched by the tiny cuff on a short-sleeved shirt. Given Ervell's declared antipathy to anything that suggested the past, it made sense that fabric technology was a cornerstone of the enterprise. The all-over embroidery on a T-shirt was created by a machine in New Jersey (the only one of its kind in the U.S.) that is normally used to make lace. A luminously red blouson with capelet detailing was made of a virtually indestructible silicon-coated nylon, sourced from a military contractor.

Ervell emphasized the human touch with hand-finished buttonholes, pockets trimmed in braid, and a tuxedo shirt with colored ribbon arduously threaded through its pleated front. There was a sheerness to shirts and T-shirts—he envisaged the clothes being worn on top of each other, one giving a glimpse of the other beneath, lending the pieces a kind of inner life.