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August 23 2014

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2 posts tagged "Marlon Gobel"

Hail, Odd Fellow

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Marlon Gobel is a former assistant of Thom Browne’s who shares some of his old boss’ interests: namely, in mid-century American archetypes of masculinity, and the way a generous application of glitter or velvet can upend them. His line is still small—a testament, he said after his show at the Park Avenue Armory Thursday, to “what one guy, his boyfriend, and his intern can do”—and available only at Bergdorf Goodman. But judging from the influential attendees in the audience (a full coterie from Barneys among them), that could change.

If it does, Gobel’s collection, which often veers close to the precious, may need to shift a bit, too. Gobel’s taste for full-tilt luxury (his is the first men’s show for which Christian Louboutin contributed a full assortment of glittered and bell-bedecked shoes) may make sales a challenge. His trouser-cut, wide-wale cords, offered here in a rainbow of colors, were the retail takeaway. For spectacle, there were velvet blazers hand-painted with ocean or forest scenes, cashmere and mohair jackets that sparkled, a Fair Isle featuring unicorns.

Gobel was inspired, he said, by the fraternal orders that flourished in America in the nineteenth century, and he offered his own dandily sartorial members-only club, complete with fezes. His show notes mentioned its centuries-old predecessors: the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was one. That could’ve been the title of this whole collection, frankly. But an Odd Fellow on his own can get to feeling lonesome, and fraternity is a noble goal. Today’s odd and flashy fellows deserve their couturier, too. Here he is, boys.

Photo: Filippo Flor/GoRunway.com

Lab Beakers Not Included

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Look hard enough at a fashion season and you can extract practically anything you like. I like forensics, so the appearance in Dsquared²’s mad scientist show of a sheer stretch top with arteries carefully outlined on it reminded me that I’ve been catching vague intimations of a CSI subtext over the past few weeks. We have Douglas Gordon’s special-edition sweater for Pringle to look forward to, with his tattoos duplicated in cashmere, but what was really on my mind was Marlon Gobel’s hand-knit sweater intarsia-ed with a human heart and its supportive web of veins. Though Gobel is one of New York’s newest menswear names, he’s actually been a backstage Johnny for years, working with Thom Browne and then Michael Bastian, which gave him a mountain of valuable experience to compress into his own collection. Mad science is a pretty accurate description of the 12-look collection he showed in the geodesic dome he installed in an old bathhouse in the (very) East Village during New York fashion week. It occurred to Gobel that cable knit looked like the DNA double helix, which gave him one of his key motifs for sweaters and the quilting on a nylon blouson. A tuxedo jumpsuit had carbon fiber lining. Other tailored pieces were lined with Kevlar. The designer wanted his models, with their slicked-back hair and ID tags, to look like NASA Employees of the Year. To say he succeeded isn’t necessarily a compliment. Still, Gobel was insistent that “You can’t get into the future without the right ID.” The same goes for Bergdorf Goodman, where the collection has been picked up for fall.

Photo: Courtesy of Marlon Gobel