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“A New Kind Of Military Aesthetic” At Patrik Ervell

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After Patrik Ervell’s show, Ryan McGinley said he felt like he’d been watching people walking past in an airport. If that means purposeful and modern, then I’m in agreement. I was also reminded a little of a Raf Simons show some years ago, where the models rose and fell on escalators, but that was mainly because there was a similarly military cadet precision to Ervell’s new collection, along with a polish that was undoubtedly helped by the cachet and the cash following his CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nod. (He was named a runner-up.) The designer said he was looking for “a new kind of military aesthetic” and he’d taken some leads from the early days of the People’s Liberation Army in China (“an unmined moment in military history”, he called it). This meant a lightly quilted jacket or coat with the familiar Mao collar. The influence was also evident in Ervell’s trim navy tailoring. But it was his outerwear that really clarified how far he’s come. A transparent vinyl trench or a raincoat in black latex were mesmerizing (why fight that hint of transgression?). And if a poncho in natural latex harked back to pieces Ervell showed at the start of his career, the bonded hand-finish of these garments was a world apart. It’s like boy to man. Following on last season’s breakthrough, I’d say Ervell has definitely found his rhythm as a designer.
For full coverage of Fall 2010 menswear, visit www.gq.com/fashion.

Photo: Andrew Thomas

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