The scene backstage at Patrik Ervell hummed with a calm efficiency. There was the usual gathering of the angular and wide-eyed, although this time around the vibe was less Rimbaud asthmatic and more California groovy. Not quite beach bum, but Beatnik beach retreat (a strong trend emerging in New York menswear)—think Bob Dylan taking a surfing detour on his way to Altamont. The models were dressed in rusted print suits, their coifs curled into frothy, sandy halos and accented with dark round glasses. There was subsonic jolliness all around, in a low-key Ervell sort of way. A model skateboarded, the sun shone—sans clothes it would have been a Ryan McGinley shoot.
The front row was packed with attentive faces with arched patrician features.And right smack in the middle of it was this season’s star observer, Tavi. She was wearing Rodarte tights and an upside-down doll in her pocket. (I’ll spare you the Little Edie comparison). I asked her what she though of the collection. Her big eyes narrowed with disarming sophistication: “I loved the palette and the prints. I though they were a great evolution for Ervell, but still staying true to the label. It was my favorite menswear show.” I just nodded in dumbfounded agreement.