15 February 2012
Waiting For Bastian
I'm not a big Fashion Week kind'a guy. I live less than 10 blocks from Lincoln Center and have avoided the place like it had the plague. There's a sameness to fashion and the strap hangers (Army for, along for the ride) that is no longer all that surprising to me. Michael Bastian is different.
I don't like or get everything. Bastian's inspiration came from a 1974 NY Times piece about men in NYC who were favored for party invites due to their charm, intelligent conversation and, I presume, they were always single. A reprint of the article was included with the show notes and I was proud to see an insurance executive on the list. We're not usually included with intelligent conversation.
It's outta the box inspiration for a collection that stands out mostly because of what it's up against. The work wear, heritage, denim apron, chop wood, aesthetic lacks sophistication and probably owes more to bad taste than anyone, certainly in the media, is willing to admit. Those people are not gonna rock a boat they may be getting on someday.
Most of what came down the tarmac (I refuse to use that other word) was easily wearable. And what wasn't could be toned down without too much effort. The navy chalk stripe with red gingham spread collar shirt was right outta London and kicked the show off with an audible, "Whoa" from the crowd.
I'm guessing the men in that NY Times piece knew London well. One button single breasted peak lapels, contrasting and cutaway collars, suede tassel loafers, windowpane, moleskin, quilted coats...These terms are not native to New York in the '70s as much as they were brought to NYC from London.
Where ever Bastian's inspiration comes from -- it's obvious he didn't pick it up from watching Barney Miller reruns. What amazes me is Bernardo Rojo from Joseph Abboud did.