Written by Nell Alk. Photographed by Greg Vaughan.
Last Thursday brought blistering temps and whipping winds, but that didn’t stop invitees from turning out in droves at Milk Studios for the first night of AW12 Fashion Week shows. The long line advanced at a snail’s pace but proved worth the wait as we sought the night’s most interesting prize: a viewing of John Bartlett’s buzzingly groundbreaking new collection.
As feeling returned to our fingers and toes and a frenzied party greeted us inside, we made our way through dense human forest to discover Bartlett’s boyish models, who were made to look muddied from a long day of work (or play).
It’s the kind of stylish impracticality that tends to abide only on the fantasyscapes of runways and photo shoots, but Bartlett’s cheeky conceit worked better than most. Equal parts Lord of the Flies and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Bartlett’s presentation, an evolution of his trademark mix of big colors (rich reds, bright blues, canary yellows) and sporty, outdoorsy masculinity, showcased crown jewels like recycled microfiber ultrasuede motorcycle jackets, smartly tailored with zippers, pockets, and buckles; dependable basics like organic cotton long johns and form-fitting henleys, with visual textures from tartans to stripes to aforementioned solids; and feet either bared or dressed in M:Zero loafers by Melissa and Hunter wellies. It was a story of whimsy-meets-manly, and I for one particularly appreciated the fearlessness it takes to pair red with red with red, as Bartlett chose for one of his most striking ensembles. Read More…