Fashion shows can be pretty ridiculous, but fashion show reviews are often worse. I know because I read a lot of them (for reasons I’m not sure). Recently, Fashionista sent a non-fashion guy to review some of the runway shows at New York Fashion Week: Men’s (you know something is serious when the name has a colon). The result is the most relatable review ever.
Suddenly the music starts, and the models appear, strutting before us. I would describe Perry Ellis’s fall aesthetic as “boarding school boy who got dressed while blindfolded.” A wool cable sweater is paired indifferently with boiled wool track pants. A patterned crewneck is worn atop a clashing patterned shirt.
If I were looking to define an emotional theme, I would note that many of the outfits feature thick padding — soft armaments that cushion the wearer from external danger. There are generous, gummy soles on the shoes; fat, shearling collars on the jackets; absurdly floppy necks on the turtlenecks. I wonder: What does Perry Ellis fear? What vile, encroaching invader must be repelled from the Perry Ellis sanctuary?
I can offer no informed opinion on the worthiness of these designs, fashion-wise. I can only tell you that I would not personally wear any of these clothes. I can also report, if it helps, that Cuba Gooding, Jr. smiled appreciatively at a mauve alpaca turtleneck that peeked out from beneath a plum twill trenchcoat.
Waiting for the crowd to shuffle out as the show wraps, I do some quick googling. Did you know that Perry Ellis died in 1980 from an illness suspected to be AIDS? I do because I just googled it. It turns out that Perry’s final public appearance was at his fall fashion show in New York in 1986, 20 years ago, when he was too frail to take the stage without assistance. So this kind of a sad anniversary. RIP, Perry. I wonder how you’d feel about your brand’s fall 2016 line. I bet there’s some sweet classic casual menswear in Heaven.