Michael Bastian
By Jason Hall

THE EXTRA MAN New York: There are few consistencies each New York Fashion Week, but one of them is Michael Bastian and his gang …

Feb 14, 2012


New York: There are few consistencies each New York Fashion Week, but one of them is Michael Bastian and his gang of all-American dandies. For F/W 12, the designer was a bit more buttoned-up and posh than last season’s ode to James Dean; with a collection inspired by the so-called “extra men” who were often called upon by socialites to “decorate” all the big parties. Bastian explained in his show notes, “These were men who were charming, well-dressed, educated, and single. These are the guys who you actually want to talk to at a party. They’re topical, smart, and can tell a dirty joke. They are the social Olympians.” The list (originally coined by the New York Times in the 70s) included Bill Blass, Albert Hadley, Mario Buatta, Jerome Zipkin, and David Webb, among others. With a runway full of leafy trees and hanging chandeliers, the decidedly Upper East Side mood manifested through super-chic three-piece suits, plaid dinner jackets and intarsia sweaters featuring “status” animals like French bull dogs. The expressed luxury of the formalwear complemented the flamboyant nature of the sportswear. Fit for walking dogs through the park (as one model literally did, right down the runway), the colorful layers were an exercise in how an affluent dandy does grunge — complete with double-layered plaid shirts, striped knits and cardi-coats. However, just like in real life, the glitz and glamor of the blue blood’s life is sometimes more than meets the eye. Case in point, the floral boutonnieres were actually cardboard replicas.  —Michael Fisher

Silhouette: Slim and tailored

Color: Khaki / Navy / Red / Olive / Camel / Yellow / Purple / Orange / Pink

Key Items: Animal intarsia sweaters / Double-breasted jackets / Three-piece suits / Bulky shawl collar cardigans / Pieced puffer vest / Pinwale corduroy pants / Plaid flannel shirts / Leather bomber / Silk pajamas and robes

Materials: Wool flannel / “Sharkskin” worsted wool / Silk / Camelhair / Cotton poplin

Details + Trim: Allover “critter” embroidery for pants / Contrast piping and tipping / Contrast spread collars on shirts / Shawl collars / Peak lapels

Accessories + Footwear: Solid and printed pocket squares / Cardboard boutonnieres / Fur scarves / Colored socks / Leather driving gloves / Intarsia scarves / Knit beanies / Vintage-y hats including feodras / Patterned carpet bags


Michael Bastian

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