A new way of dressing during the day—that's what John Varvatos proposed with his Spring collection. Why we need such a thing is unclear, but he made the case with lots of washed, wrinkled, and heavily textured fabrics; dramatically reimagined suits and tuxes; and light layers that almost always included a delicate scarf worn undone, tucked beneath a vest.

Close inspection of the materials revealed unique, intricate effects like a herringbone weave that dissolved into gray, a gauzy knit with tinsel-like fibers woven into the fabric to create metallic striations, and jacquard woven to look like reptile skin. Clearly the attention to detail was meticulous, but the most notable aspect of the collection was its insistence on trying to reinvent the cut of a jacket. Lapels were lopped off. Length was added and pockets were put on seams. The vent on a tailcoat was cut with three slits—apparently neither the single nor the double vent is sufficient for this new daytime dress code. Some version of a cutaway coat appeared again and again, seemingly just so its wearer could reveal the fringy ends of his summer scarf.

Taking an unorthodox approach to traditional menswear is nothing new for Varvatos, and he's built a big enough clientele to prove that he's doing something right. Still, it would be interesting to see how he might put all that R&D on materials to work on something less complicated.