Rock 'n' roll forever? The answer's yes if your name is John Varvatos
. The designer has made a devotion to the spirit of rock his point of difference in the crowded American sportswear market. The trick is to keep coming up with new riffs for the familiar tunes. Varvatos set out to do that today by referencing the period in the seventies when groups like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Who retreated to their country estates and returned with some of their best albums. To the pounding chords of "Baba O'Riley," the first model emerged from behind iron gates and made his way along an overgrown paved path, long hair flowing and the tails of his tunic top trailing behind. Varvatos said he was thinking of Jimmy Page circa 1972, but it also brought to mind a similarly garbed Mick Jagger at the infamous Stones concert in London's Hyde Park in 1969.
That loose, romantic attitude continued throughout. Knits were slouchy, fencing-style jackets were worn unbuttoned at the top, braided necklaces dangled at the models' sternums. With his astute commercial sense, Varvatos was careful not to let things get too costumey, though. A peaked-lapel, three-piece seersucker suit qualified as pretty traditional, and the hand-painted roses that climbed up the sides of other jackets were as wild as things got. All this was delivered in a palette of gray and sand, and if there were a few too many variations on the same theme, Varvatos largely succeeded in putting a new spin on his rock classics.