by Chad McPhail
One can feel a bit like a man-child in the proverbial candy store upon entering SoHo's newest and, perhaps, most-anticipated menswear boutique, Cloak, a collaboration project with long-time supporter and fellow retail trailblazer Opening Ceremony. The over-scaled Herringbone floor and soaring library wall with secret dressing room door impart a hint of this idea, but seeing the merchandise displayed temptingly on racks and in an antique glass vitrine delivers it full-force. In other words, you'll be seduced to buy most everything.
For Fall 2005, Cloak designer Alexandre Plokhov has provided the young men of the city with decadent merino wools, custom tweeds, cotton twills, and super thin (read: luxurious) corduroys in a smartly limited palette of gray, oatmeal, navy, black, and white. His designs are, with the exception perhaps of the Jagger-esque deerskin jean, totally practical and utterly stylish; a great blend of Russian literary pessimism, American working-class practicality and New York rockster attitude. Plokhov's love of fine details carries over into accessories and Cloak Bespoke, his studio for custom suits set to launch early this fall (Plokhov was a pattern-maker for Marc Jacobs and had his own atelier in Chicago).
Even within the ready-to-wear line, the details of the shawl-collared sweater stand out, as do the covered buttons of the cotton dress shirt and the smart cut of the wool Arctic jacket. In the event that you're restricted to just one piece of candy this time around, go for the infinite perfection of the $250 jet black 'skinny jean.' Your inner-child will thank you.
Cloak, 10 Greene Street, New York, (212) 625-2828
Designer Alexander Plokhov's name and line, Cloak, have been traveling around fashion circles a lot lately, and with the opening of his first boutique in SoHo—in partnership with New York indie fashion powerhouse Opening Ceremony—everyone else can discover what all the fuss is about.