At Patrik Ervell’s spring presentation, oversize venetian blinds backlit in blue with a little smoke pouring through them ran along one side of the runway—the set was meant to evoke a very particular idea of interior space and design. “I was watching a lot of Michael Mann movies, especially Manhunter,” said Ervell backstage after the show. “There’s something kind of perverse and otherworldly to it. I mean it’s not an overt reference, but that feeling runs through the collection. It’s almost, not quite, but almost a sense of period interiors. Almost a high eighties interior.”
Colors were sourced from the look of construction materials: a duffle coat in concrete, or a pair of pleated shorts in asphalt. The more vivid colors tended toward metallic derivation, say cobalt blue or cadmium red. Picking up on the recent street style trend of layering clear disposable raincoats over more full-on looks, transparent vinyl found its way onto an anorak and numerous jackets. Perhaps a reference to peeking into a room through a window, the pieces allowed the linings and the clothes underneath to become visible. “Of course there are those disposable raincoats, and a folded one from Muji, but a really beautiful one doesn’t exist,” he explained. “I’ve always wanted that.”
Perhaps most notable was Ervell’s novel use of commercial design textiles, many of them sourced from Maharam. “These fabrics have to do different work than typical fashion fabrics. They have to last for ten years, sometimes ten years outside,” he said, pointing to one of the many pieces of outerwear he constructed out of a heavy but soft-to-the-touch polyurethane. “The best application is the raincoat,” he said, pulling up a flap to reveal the hidden venting feature in the yoke. “There’s nothing weird about using this fabric for a raincoat. I can’t wait for it to be produced so I can wear it.”
But while rubbery fabrics on a raincoat are fairly expected, other Maharam fabrics such as the fluted silk wall covering used on a bomber jacket, were, to use his words, a little weird. “The material has a real strangeness, which is always exciting,” he said. “It makes a beautiful shape.” And therein lies what was great about this collection. Ervell’s choices allowed him to create pieces that last, are permanent, can be bought and kept for a long time, but in so doing elaborated his own personal aesthetic: understated, simple, but with a certain richness.
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