by Stephen Garner

John Elliott: SS17 Runway ShowLA-based menswear designer John Elliott debuted his Season 9 collection yesterday at Skylight Clarkson Square during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. In his largest collection to date, Elliott explored new avenues of design including splashes of vibrant color and expanded product categories including eyewear, bags, belts, and a wider range of footwear (originally introduced in Season 8).

Titled Watching Water, the runway was transformed into a mirrored pool. DJ Lee Bannon was enclosed in a backlit, white canvas cube at the front of the runway; the soundtrack was produced live in collaboration with Boiler Room, the global online music broadcasting platform commissioning and streaming live music sessions with an invite-only audience. Celebrity fans who came out to support John included NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, Pusha T, J. Balvin, Colton Haynes, and Eric Rutherford.

“As our brand has grown and our products have improved, I’ve matured as a designer and so have my curiosities,” said Elliott of his inspiration. “One element of curiosity that was left untouched is the idea of understanding luxury. As a child, when I would think of what the idea of luxury is, I would envision the obvious status symbols – vacationing on an island, laying on a beach, or cruising on a yacht. When you break those concepts down, the idea of Watching Water comes up as a through line. For this season I took the literal approach of what you might need when you are Watching Water, and I let this idea infect me.”

Aside from standout pieces that included a draped Moroccan inspired towel, hand drawn using protractors; a pink summer rider jacket; color blocked sail pullover; and a vibrant green pile kake mock sweatshirt; Elliott also introduced bright eyewear to complement the collection along with belts and bags. Said Elliott of the category expansion – “I wanted to do it out of curiosity; they’re items I really want. I also scoured the world for vintage Nike Aqua Socks. They haven’t been produced since the 1990’s and I really wanted to put them on the runway in select looks.” And he did.