Patrik Ervell's tenth year of living in New York coincided with the most significant anniversary in the town's history, which means he's constructed his career as the city put itself back together. "The powers of commerce and finance mixing with the grit and toughness of the street," was the context defined by his show notes. But it's a definition that denies the curious romance of Ervell's clothes. "I feel like a New Yorker," he said after the show. Still, he's the quintessential outsider—his vision of Americana is a kind of refined, sober fever dream.

That much is always evident in the restraint and precision of his tailored pieces, as it was today in jackets that were tuxedo-formal or cadet-sharp. Even trousers with elasticized cuffs that might otherwise configure as track pants were military-precise. But the confidence of maturity has allowed Ervell to fully exercise a wayward streak, which was evident in hand-painted silk pieces that were floridly Hawaiian-Gothic. It's that whole shadows-in-the-sunshine, worm-in-the-optimistic-apple mood that the most interesting contemporary American designers manage to evoke.

This season, Ervell also widened his repertoire to include womenswear, for the most prosaic of reasons. "They're a significant customer base," he said. The fact that he didn't simply transpose his menswear ideas was further evidence of his evolution as a designer. Somewhere between a navy leather T-shirt and a sleeveless jumpsuit in red silk crepe, a whole new business was taking shape.