September 08, 2013 New York
Take, for instance, the set of Offshore, the title he gave his show tonight. It was like a pool carved from foam shaded blue-green—sea foam, geddit? Simultaneously synthetic and natural. The parade of boys—hair slicked aerodynamically upward by Holli Smith—who stepped onto this stage in their pristine whites and navies could have stepped straight off it onto the deck of an oceangoing keeler. Casual cotton outerwear was rubberized; nylon and mesh were used for suitings. Even the more formal wool pieces were bonded, not stitched, to make them seaworthy. And the signature print of the collection was a watery abstract.
Ervell is a designer for whom precision is a point of pride, so it was odd to see fit issues with a couple of the unstructured blazers, but a rousing red, white, and blue finale put the seal on a collection that was possibly his most commercial to date. To paraphrase some antique scribe, they that go down to the sea in ships do business in great waters. It's great business that awaits Ervell with this stuff.