Port Manifesto: Patrik Ervell AW14

The New York-based designer explains how athleticism and functionality informed his AW14 collection
In this collection I was drawn to the concept of formality. I wanted to abandon certain holdover 20th century notions of professional or formal wear—one of strictures and limitations. This collection is an attempt to find a newer, more relevant formality, one that marries formal qualities with functionality and athleticism, with a sense of versatility rather than constraint. As with many of my recent collections, this collection is heavily influenced by performance outerwear, an aesthetic that tends to jettison 20th century divisions between high and low for a less conventional but more utilitarian hybridity.

The clothes present a proper, traditional exterior but incorporate performance sportswear detailing — charcoal wool formal pants have a breathable membrane backing instead of a lining. The fur coat, a symbol of 20th century luxury (mostly for a woman but sometimes for a transgressive man) is updated for the present day… a wool “teddy fur” coat that you could actually imagine wearing.

I think of it as an aesthetic for today’s titans of industry, for a new kind of “master of the universe”, to quote Tom Wolfe. But it’s not the typical Wolfe-ian Wall Street mogul I’m interested in dressing — it’s his 21st century counterpart. I see Titan as an opportunity to build a work uniform that actually lives in the modern world, that is informed by the 20th Century but isn’t anchored in it.patrik ervell aw14