Saturday, September 30, 2023
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John Elliott Spring 2024 Menswear

“When Silicon Valley Bank failed,” says John Elliott, “I started thinking about the disappearance of the American dream. It kind of turned into a rant, to be honest. But it became a spring collection The roots of what I call “the faded outlook.”

The great hopes and appearances commonly associated with American life are ideals crafted by one individual. A generation is now entering its twilight years, and this picture is being undone by the ever-faster passage of time. Much of its dress code remains, however, lingering in dress code inertia. Elliott took a key principle in the spring—be prepared—and subverted it gently. “It’s a denial of preparation. It’s dirty preparation. It’s vandalism of preparation,” he said. Or, to put it more dramatically: “It’s like you’re going to L.A., and then leave it in the back of a pickup truck, only to find it years later.”

Which means Nautical jackets were acid-washed, oversized polo shirts were purposely sun-faded and stained with dirt, and sunset-stained rugby shirts were badly frayed with “messy” edges. A heavy and luxurious brown leather blazer is thoughtfully crafted for a well-worn effect. A trompe-l’oeil cable-knit graphic is printed on a heavy-gauge sweater. It doesn’t look preppy at all, which is Elliott’s intention, but you can still recognize his roots.

What’s really aspirational about Elliott’s work is that if he tries something novel, the wearability and intelligence is still high. His pieces are always California-inspired, with pastel colors and a sophisticated touch of athleisure-post-lounge. But look closer and you’ll see that the details are quite forward-thinking—check out the inside-out varsity stripes on the hem of a cropped bomber jacket or cardigan for spring. Although the designer said this latest collection was “a new stylistic language for the brand”, it seemed more like a strong dialect of his own illustrious language. We will say with him: preparation is dead, long live preparation.



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