September 09, 2012 New York
As Ervell astutely noted after his show, California is also the place where the West ran out for dreamers and pioneers. An exhausted spirit of adventure has always been part of his design vocabulary. The repurposed parachutes, the military puffas de-puffed, the working man's wear gone limp, the man that tailoring turned boyish—you could dredge a whole lot of social comment from any Ervell collection. What time and experience have given him is the ability to transmogrify such notions of defeated idealism into a paradoxically ever-more-confident design ethos. Sure, that may have been The North Face in the outerwear and Teva on the feet today, but the Ervellian essence was intact: pride, defiance, and urgency.
One caveat: He has nailed that mood with his menswear, but the handful of women's outfits Ervell showed underscored the distance he has to travel to match his girls to his boys. Last season's apocalyptic scenario helped him bridge the gap (it'll always be girls on top at the end of the world), but it opened up again with Spring's set of weirdly proportioned womenswear.