• Text Lewis Firth
  • Photography Harry Eelman
  • 17th July 2015

Seeing stripes

After 7-8 years of showing in Milan, John Varvatos decided to bring his brand home to America. The significance of this was that he – along with the CFDA – spearheaded New York Fashion Week: Men’s, hoping his position would help solidify it into the annual show-schedule and lure buyers and media to the Big Apple. Well, it worked.

Varvatos has always looked to rock ’n’ roll for inspiration. It’s central to his aesthetic. SS16 was more historically sourced, looking towards the likes of Fleetwood Mac and a personal-style influencer of his, Keith Richards.

Points of focus were the mesh of cultures, the bohemian lifestyle of Southern California in the ’70s, manifesting through masculine-edged flamboyancy – with stripes, upon stripes, upon stripes. (Think of Beetlejuice – but cleaner, slicker and sexier.)

From the backdrop to the runway, lines were plastered thick and thin, continuing across tailored jackets, tightly cut trousers, waistcoats and duster coats – the latter piece being quite epic.

Hand-finishes – types of washes for vests, hand-scoring of leather jackets and hand-etching wood for his emblematic Chelsea-boots – exemplify Varvatos’ dedication to artisanal processes, individuality and a genuine understanding of rock sensibilities.