Patrik Ervell S/S12

Launching his womenswear line, the NYC designer impressed with hand painted silk bombers and red leather trousers

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New York is unquestionably a good place to come in search of menswear. The city boasts many a good designers, some showing abroad but nevertheless working out of NYC, and by squeezing them in between the womenswear shows throughout the week, buyers and press are forced to take notice. Not that a designer like Patrik Ervell needs to force anyone into paying attention - especially not now that he's also added womenswear onto his repertoire. 

Mixed in with the menswear we saw the first few examples of what Ervell's female vision is all about. Predominately based around smart tailoring, the line also featured key pieces such as a thin white plastic coat and a black V-neck leather T-shirt. Red leather trousers also added to an intriguing womenswear debut. A strong print, on both girls and boys, dominated the graphic aspect of the show; an aquarelle-esque painted pattern showed up on shirts and jackets, quickly becoming the signature print for Ervell's S/S12 collection.

Other than that, the collection also contained all the pieces we've come to love Ervell for... bomber jackets, caps, great bags (this time around dominated by a red pilot helmet bag), ethnic patterns on belts, safari and M65 jackets. The tailoring was often plain and minimal, just a shirt and no ties (they came separately on a shirt with either shorts or slacks). Showing that less is more, one of the best looks just featured beige chinos and a brown leather pilot jacket.

Dazed Digital: First of all, the womenswear... why adding that on and why now?
Patrik Ervell:
I've always had a significant female customer base so it felt natural to me and why now? Why not? It's something I love doing, it's exciting and new.

DD: How does designing womenswear differ from menswear?
Patrik Ervell:
Womenswear is much more of an engineering project. Menswear is simple in comparison. Men are just really a series of cylinders while women have a much more complicated shape.

DD: What was your main inspiration behind the collection?
Patrik Ervell:
I was thinking of New York a lot. I have lived here for ten years now and I've started feeling like a New Yorker now. There's some iconic NYC imagery in there.

DD: Like what for example?
Patrik Ervell:
I never get specific about references but it's more about a particular period. A slight late 70s period, a moment when New York was on its back, it was a bit dirty and rough. I was thinking about that, and there's a business element to the collection with the suits to counterpart that.

DD: What about the prints... very loud and colourful!
Patrik Ervell:
They are actually painted silk fabrics, so not really prints. They're made in here in New York by art students in Brooklyn.

DD: A stand-out piece in the collection?
Patrik Ervell:
There's a painted silk baseball jacket which is collarless halfway through the show, that's my favourite...

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