To celebrate the tenth anniversary of his label, John Varvatos
staged his Spring show in a Milanese church and invited a wallful of "friends and family" to watch over the proceedings. It was a collage of all the rockers, from Alice to Iggy, who've appeared in his ads, along with others, like Robert Plant, he has met and befriended along the way. Friends with Robert Plant? The music-obsessed kid from Detroit must pinch himself sometimes. He's a man living his dream, and the wardrobe he's created to service it has solidified over the years into a repertoire of outlaw-dandy rocker wear—all skinny silhouettes, vintage tailoring, and washed leathers and suedes, with antique hardware (hook-and-eye closings are a favorite) to make the clothes look like they've been around since the Civil War. Come to that, Civil War military jackets have been another arrow in his creative quiver.
He may love it in his music, but the designer isn't about revolution in his fashion. His anniversary collection opened with an over-dyed glen plaid coat, a weathered classic, paired with a matching waistcoat and white jeans—the kind of three-piece dressing that's become a Varvatos staple. The show did, however, inject at least one new element into the designer's vocab. What happens to aging rock dandies? They move to the country. And Varvatos moved along with them, offering a mulberry cable knit with toggle closings or a long, granddadlike Fair Isle cardie, cozy items that could become fireside companions.
Still, the most alluring piece in the collection was a taupe biker jacket. There's life in the old boys yet, country or otherwise.