September 07, 2007
In a pun you could parse for paragraphs, Robert Geller called his second collection Beuys Don't Cry. The Hamburg-born designer claimed influence from German art icon Joseph Beuys' sober, utilitarian mode of dress, which was obvious in the uniformly gray tailoring (there was even a blazer that looked cut from felt, a fabric used by Beuys to great effect in some of his most famous pieces). But balancing Beuys were Geller's early experiences in L.A., where his family moved when he was ten years old. So a gray Beuys blazer was paired with the acid-toned skinny jeans of skaters from Venice Beach. And that Goth-tinged culturen.b. the namesake Cure songwas also echoed in shirts and sweaters with an angst-y droop, especially the languid striped cardigan over an equally attenuated top in the same stripe. Then, the pièces de résistance: a black leather vest over a biker jacket, and another jacket, this one in white leather, belted at chest height on the boy-waif who sported it. Such androgyny was enough to evoke a blurry recollection of Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry, one more piece in that pun's puzzle. Geller claimed a hopeless bias toward skinny-mini proportions, though he also showed a generously proportioned, broad-shouldered gray suit, more man than boyafter all, Beuys was no waif. And all in all, Geller's trawl through his own autobiography actually yielded enough promisingly odd material to make him one to watch.