Perry Ellis debuted their Fall/Winter 2016 Collection at NYFW on Wednesday.
Part of their #VERYPERRY line meant to honor the late Perry Ellis, this collection made a strong showing, presenting a wide variety of interesting and visually appealing looks, breaking from what can be a drab season for fashion.
The collection had a great deal of variety, which is a nice breath of fresh air compared to the many monotonous (though not bad) fashions making their appearance. Instead of an onslaught of grays and blacks (though #VERYPERRY had its share of those, too), colorful garnishes on a collar or pattern made the clothes pop, giving the outfits a playful feeling in an industry and season where self-seriousness can pervade for the sake of egos.
There were two primary silhouettes on display at the show: flowing and stocky. There were plenty of long duster-type winter coats that gave an elegance to casual wear underneath. Like many other collections at NYFW this year, the Perry Ellis line relies heavily on suits. In this case, the suits are made a little less formal thanks to some good pinstripes or psychedelic patterns. More than that, however, were the sweaters underneath that enhanced the casual and cozy feel. There was a great use of patterns and prints, which really broke up the standard monochromatic look of much winter wear.
There were many different cuts and colors that kept the line from feeling monotonous, although occasionally it seemed like they came from different collections altogether. However, there were a couple of elements that served as a sort of through line.
Contrast was the theme that tied everything together aesthetically. Splashes of red against muted colors; lines cutting short and creating sharp perpendicular angles within the frame of a jacket; shorts with a heavy coat (a choice that is… somewhat befuddling) — this variation made for a collection that was visually interesting and unpredictable, and one of the stronger collections on display this year.
That being said, however (to be nitpicky), some individual elements seemed to go beyond practicality or general usefulness as winter clothing into the realm of sheer indulgence. Take, for example, the turtlenecks, which weren’t just any turtlenecks, but large unholy bits of fabric that swallowed half the face and sagged downward, make for a rather turkeyneck look. Then, there was the matter of the befuddling shorts. I get it. I really do. This is fashion, which doesn’t always translate into real-world application. Essentially, it falls into the old debate of the merit of art for art’s sake — theatre for social change as opposed to theatre for sheer entertainment value. But still — these indulgent elements felt out of place in a collection that was otherwise striking and, at times, even somewhat innovative.