Friday, January 27, 2006

Michael Bastian Fall 2006 Preview- Part 2

Above (top) is a peacoat cut lean and a little longer than the original, and (below) a cashmere knit v-neck with the silhouette of Frank O’Hara embroidered on the chest.

Of the three main guys at the center of this New York menswear revival, Thom Browne, Michael Bastian, and Derrick Miller of Barker Black, one of the things I find most interesting is that none of them have formal design training. Thom was an actor, Michael worked at Sotheby’s, and Derrick worked for a photographer and at a magazine; all were in creative fields but they were not slaving away in the sequin mines of FIT or Parsons. The closest to fashion schooling was R.L.U. (Ralph Lauren University); both Derrick and Michael worked there, and Thom was at Club Monaco, a division of Ralph’s empire.

“Not seeing the forest for the trees” is a scenario that so many young, formally trained designers fall prey to when they begin their collections. They have grown up wanting so bad to be “the next big thing”, that they feel that they can only do it by creating the first three-armed jacket. I guess that by not growing up dreaming of being a “designer”, Thom, Michael, and Derrick were more easily able to see the opportunity and reward of reworking already established classics, and adding their own personal twists. Actually, I find what these young Americans are doing is every bit a artistic as a Raf Simons or Slimane because they are working more with color, pattern, texture, and silhouette. Raf’s collections, or designers of that ilk (Kris Van Assche), seem to make it more about overall shape and coming up with a new gimmick each season. Not that there is anything wrong with that; fashion needs that, but I don’t agree that the Raf Simons of the world are on a much higher creative plane than that of these young Americans.

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14 comments

  1. Anonymous

    January 28, 2006 at 7:36 am

    I mean, it isn’t that I don’t like Frank O’Hara, but his silhouette on a sweater? I wonder if he’s paying royalties to O’Hara’s estate…

    • Martine

      May 9, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      I’m slightly with you. I don’t know that the embroidered head is needed.

  2. Anonymous

    January 28, 2006 at 9:01 am

    Do you know what stores will carry Michael Bastian’s collection?

  3. The Sartorialist

    January 28, 2006 at 9:14 am

    From what I understand Bergdorf is a yes, speciality stores are still seeing the collection ( I got these photos very early in the process!!) and the other majors are still negotiating. Right now it is about working out in-store shops or soft shops, which cities, size of buy, etc..

    Michael was very excited that he already has an order in-house for a store in Russia.

    As long as the prices don’t go crazy with added export costs the look could do great overseas.

  4. Anonymous

    January 28, 2006 at 9:33 am

    I like the matching sweater and tuque combination.

  5. oldog/oldtrix

    January 28, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    Can’t see the trousers well in this photo, but they appear, like the ones in the earlier photo, to be cut to flatter and provide comfortable covering to the lower half of the human male torso. What a relief. I wore the ultra-slim fitting suits and hip riding trousers of the 60s, but I was then in my teens and twenties. Even then, at 5’10″ with an athletic build (42″ chest, 32″ waist), I found the clothes overly confining, both visually and actually. I was then, as were my father and grandfather, in the men’s clothing business and know that my clothes were properly fitted and tailored. Forty years older, but only 10 pounds heavier, I simply don’t want to wear trousers with waists that sit on or below my hip bones and thighs that hug mine (I’ll get my thigh hugging elsewhere, thank you). To me, tailored trousers with a waist that sits at the wearer’s waist and hips/legs full enough to drape gracefully from that waist, whether pleated or not, look good on any man and remain good looking, comfortable, and utilitarian in any position, not just standing and posing. Kudos to Mr. Bastian.

  6. Anonymous

    January 28, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    You are a fashion shill and the more you write the less I trust you.

    This shit sucks and all the other stuff you pimp is dreck as well…

    Basta!

  7. LA Guy

    January 28, 2006 at 11:49 pm

    American designers? Why don’t you talk about the guys at Rag & Bone, or the skater guys at Corpus who Selfridges picked up despite minimal PR and absolutely no training. How about the three colege roommates at Trovata, for that matter (though I personally don’t like the stuff.) What about lines like Obedient Sons, Engineered Garments (Japanese designed, but with a distintive Americana flavor, and all made in the USA, often right in NYC). And what about streetwear, from The Cast to Rogan (which is huge in Japan) to Rogues Gallery. Geez, what about Noble (from the principal of the now defunct Greige) or even John Malkovich (the actor.)

    Sorry, although some of the construction looks very nice, I see nothing special about this collection except that Michael Bastian has a big PR machine behind him in the form of Bergdorf Goodman. The collection looks a lot like early F/W John Varvatos collections. At least Thom Browne has a coherent vision (though not to my taste). And I’ll put down $20 that Barker Black is just the latest flash in the pan.

  8. The Sartorialist

    January 29, 2006 at 6:50 am

    LA Guy
    I’m just one person, I can only cover so much besides who said I wouldn’t cover them. Aren’t most of the designers you mentioned LA based? I know Trovata
    is, I honestly I think I have covered more real skate style than GQ and Esquire combined. I haven’t lately because it is simply to cold for most of the skaters to be outside. The skate photo are some of my favorite.
    Regarding Bastians PR he has no machine behind him, he left Bergdorf, I approached both he and Barker Black myself directly. In New York design it is painfully obvious when something is new and good, that is why they are getting so much press, talent.

    To Basta! (if that is your real name!!)
    I’m not a shill, I simply write about what i like. Have you seen anything on my blog about Donna Karan? Calvin?, Kors?
    If I was trying to get paid wouldn’t I go where the money is? I don’t take time to write about what I don’ like, that is why I didn’t cover much of the Milan shows. If you don’t like what I write then just enjoy the photos.

  9. LA Guy

    January 29, 2006 at 10:26 am

    Hey Sartorialist,

    In the casualwear departments, John Varvatos is obviously NYC based, as are Rag & Bone, Engineered Garments, and Noble. I know that the former two are really easy oto reach. John Malkovich is also NYC based, although I have it on good authority that JM himself lives in Cambridge. On the streetwear end, the Cast is based right in the East Village, and 5EP is NYC based, though I don’t know where in exactly.

    Rogues Gallery is based in Maine.

    Of the brands I mentioned, only Corpus (LA) and obedient Sons (SF, AFAIK) are not on the east coast.

    Yes, your skater pics are great. And don’t get me wrong, I think that much of the Michael bastian stuff is good, but none of the pieces you’ve showcased seem particularly distinctive from John Varvatos, except in terms of quality (and I imagine, commensurate prices.)

  10. The Sartorialist

    January 29, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    LA Guy,
    Just to let you know I have front and backstage passes for the Varvatos show, so I will be taking shots and trying to capture the chaos that is a fashion show.

  11. said

    January 29, 2006 at 11:59 pm

    la guy, start your own blog if you want California crap posted.

  12. Topol

    March 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I think the difference between folks like Bastian and Miller and folks like Simons and Slimane is the same difference between style and fashion.

    Of course, sometimes (we hope), the two cross. I think of fashion as invention, as new shapes and textures and technologies.

    Style is more the appropriation of invented things.

  13. bp294

    June 24, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Either a lot of Frank O’Hara or none at all. I would have preferred some rendition of the famous Larry Rivers’ nude of O’Hara. I mean, you want people to know who you’re referencing, right?

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