Patrik Ervell's first presentation at Milk Studios saw an unlikely union of fabrics in outerwear.
With Patrik Ervell there is always a sense of clean cut minimalism showcased in his simple lines and impeccably sharp tailoring but here he fused his signature with an unexpected mix of fabrics. There is an unlikely but ultimately happy union of traditional tailoring fabrics of tweed, wool and twill blending harmoniously with the fetish, wipe clean fabrics of latex rubber and transparent vinyl. Ervell believes that it is in within the realm of outerwear where designers can really push menswear forward and here, the modified Duffel coats in transparent vinyl and the handmade latex rubber raincoats undoubtedly shoved the discipline forward.
Ervell may have decided to present his AW10 collection but this was anything but a cocktail party. The looped Terry Riley score combined with a set design full of light created a moody yet strangely ethereal and intense viewing experience...
DazedDigital: The format of the presentation surprised me, it was more of a looped, fast paced show.
Patrik Ervell: It was so stressful! Perhaps I didn't think it through, it was stressful because it had to be maintained for an hour.
DD: It was almost as stressful to watch as well,
Patrik Ervell: Ha! The music is stressful. I didn't want it to be a cocktail party and sometimes presentations do. That just seems silly to me.
DD: The collection itself is a marriage between traditional fabrics, particularly tailoring fabrics such as tweed, flannel and twill, which are juxtaposed with hi-tech/fetish materials such as natural latex and vinyl...
Patrik Ervell: Exactly. For me, the most interesting place in menswear, the place where you can really start to experiment and make it more dramatic, maybe a little romantic is in outerwear. Menswear can be tricky in that way but there is room within outerwear to explore a kind of strangeness but ultimately men can still actually wear it. For example, With the latex rubber raincoats, they are entirely functional as a rain coat, they don't have seams and instead are bonded rubber, they completely waterproof. At the same time as being functional they are really quite a bizarre garment because the material is so strange.
DD: Are they handmade?
Patrik Ervell: Yes, they are handmade here in New York.
DD: The raincoats are a great example of a reimagined classic, as are the duffel coats in transparent vinyl. The materials used have ultimately transformed something which is usually so familiar in to something quite alien.
Patrik Ervell: Exactly. It is so important in menswear that you walk this fine line. I hope it is successful.
DD: There was a terrific sense of light in the collection
Patrik Ervell: Light is so important to me. I always schedule my show late afternoon with windows facing south or west so that there is light pouring in, mostly natural light. This is the first time I've done it in this space, usually it is Pier 59 which is facing the water.
DD: How did you source the Terry Riley piece for the soundtrack?
Patrik Ervell: I had this idea that I wanted it to be quite frantic. I always like to use music which doesn't have a clear reference for people. So this is a Terry Riley piece from 1967, he composed it and then he had a Swedish High School perform it, so it is an hour long piece performed by a Swedish High School. The recording was lost for many years and then discovered by a music teacher, Mr Olson and the title of the piece used here was Olson III. So it is a Swedish High School performing this American minimalist composers piece. I hope that it has created a kind of mood.
DD: And finally, what can we look forward from you in the coming year, with you present again or return to a show?
Patrik Ervell: Onwards and upwards. This is a completely new format for me but next time I'll probably do a show again. It is nice mix things around. There is something more exciting about a show. It begins and that's it. You don't get people wandering in. Although for the presentation today we had Anna (Wintour) arrive five minutes before the scheduled time and we just started then, Anna is great that way.
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