by Alex Hawgood
As the former contributing fashion editor for V magazine, Swedish-born designer Patrik Ervell has, for the past five years, been a witness to the highs and lows of contemporary menswear. And perhaps like a food critic who's seasoned palette may render him better qualified as a four-star chef, Ervell has put his experience into action by creating a collection that aims to not only fill a gap in menswear, but offer something undiscovered, as well.
In this sense, Ervell is a bit of a rebel. But for the New York-based designer, it is less about ambition than it is about absolute necessity. For spring/summer, Ervell's line is carefully built around an angular silhouette, but it is not the same one drawn from lanky, pubescent forms. Ervell's lean cut is instead paired with the very classic American standards of the perfect windbreaker done in fire-truck red, tailor-made blazers in hues of navy blue, or the classic t-shirt done in a light-permeable fabric that features an assortment of astrological images. This hint of spaceman travel is key to Ervell's collection, mainly because he is a staunch adversary to any sort of referencing of past trends.
A sense of the future is still achieved with classicism in mind, like covering cottony fabrics with a gossamer polyurethane coating or accenting structured, cropped jackets with mother-of-pearl buttons (smart details provide an anchor of distinction for Ervell's creations). While other runway looks can't seem to escape the plethora of army-camo references and military jacket styling, Ervell takes a different road, stripping the militaristic theme down to its core by actually sourcing many of the same techniques military garmentos use: an ultra durable nylon with a layer of silicon in this case. For fall, Ervell offered a softer viewpoint (he turned out a biker jacket in decadent cashmere and school-boy knits with pleated trousers), reminding us there is much more to Ervell's American guy than just t-shirts.
Newcomer designer Patrik Ervell uses his former life as a fashion editor to provide a missing link in modern menswear.