September 04, 2007
John Crocco, now in his fourth season with Perry Ellis, has spent a lot of time in the company archives, though his years at J.Crew have surely been just as instrumental in determining the spirit of his collections for Ellis: Crisp, clean Americana, says Crew. Crocco toyed with a little nautical themean anchor jacquard, the white coat called a "captain's trench"but his main focus was on easy pieces in shades so pale they could have been faded by the sun. "I wanted to modernize Perry's patterns with a neutral color palette," Crocco said backstage. So, pinstriped cotton jeans, a windowpane-checked suit, and a waffle-knit cardigan showed in subdued sands, corals, and yellows. Modern or not, there were enough of them that a nylon jacket and baggy pants in sunset orange came across as something of a rude relief, much like the burst of Grand Funk on the soundtrack. And the surf subtextlinen cargo shorts, rope-tied pants, sleeveless cotton/cashmere hoodiesalso injected some life less ordinary.