arrived in New York from Sweden by way of California. His innately hybrid sensibility meant the inspiration for his latest collection—the L.A. milieu that Bret Easton Ellis skewered in Less Than Zero
—was a perfect fit. All those eighties new-wave rich kids with their mock Euro-chic, their tousled Leo Ford hair, and their Bryan Ferry soundtrack were a dream clientele for Ervell's compact, skinny-lapelled, stitched-pleat tailoring. And L.A. played itself with the sun-bleached color scheme, the faded splash-dyed effects (akin to a very delicate tie-dye), and the braided detailing that added a barrio flourish. Because the narrative framework was so graphic, Ervell could get away with a collection that was his most subtle and refined to date. The backstory added spine to a belted beige shorts suit, a low-slung tan trench, candy-striped button-downs, and the soft, washed cotton suitings. Imagine Andrew McCarthy or Robert Downey Jr. in any of it to make it come alive. But Ervell ultimately needs no such literal help. The tentativeness that once brought a hit-and-miss edge to his collections has gone. Just check any of the navy pieces from this collection.