Robert Geller Rises
It was Jared Leto, not Edward Cullen, who played the part of the It guy in Robert Geller’s front row. But with Geller’s long-honed vampire chic—My So-Called Afterlife?—you might’ve expected Ed instead. Truth be told, I haven’t always been Geller’s biggest booster. His pallid boys, stalking Schwarzwälder sets in turn-of-the-century finery, struck me as too costumey, and his dark dandyism, with its whisper of gender trouble, rang false to my ear. It’s all part and parcel of the shtick, of course. Count Dracula was one of the original dandies.
For Fall, Geller pushed it all farther. The romantic, feminine notes of seasons past were amped to a point almost female. By the second look, we’d seen a twin set and a pair of culottes. Down the line marched stoles, draped scarves, and a hat that resembled an elegant lady’s cloche. The Geller signatures—the layering; the vertical prison stripe; the rich, plummy palette—were all back for an encore. And what vamp of 1890′s Vienna wouldn’t (blood)lust after one of those capes?
Here’s the thing: It was terrific. The returning standards reexamined his themes: The stripes were lovelier and more tonal than before, the thick knits offset by dense patches of fur. Cutaway jackets were rejiggered as smart, asymmetrical blazers. The whole felt like the fullest expression of Geller’s unswerving vision that I’ve seen (though I’d lose the Herman Munster hairstyles some models sported—Frank’s got no place in Drac’s house). The show was a winner, but the not-yet-undead shouldn’t be discouraged by the theatrics. There’s plenty that will look as good on the rack as the runway, from a sophisticated denim patchwork trench (sophisticated denim—neat trick!) to the thickly striped sport coats. And let’s hope the side-zip suede boots, a collaboration with Common Projects, see production come Fall.
For complete coverage of Fall 2010 menswear, visit www.gq.com/fashion.