John Varvatos
by Stephen Garner

John VarvatosNew York-based menswear designer John Varvatos presented his fall/winter 2018 collection at an off-calendar runway show at the Angel Orensanz Center in New York City on Friday, January 26.

Exploring the notion of looking back to move forward, the fall/winter 2018 collection picks up the John Varvatos ethos — and takes it to the streets. Injected with the vitality of downtown New York, the lineup reveals an emotive concept with an effortlessly cool execution. Juxtaposing the strength of a well-built foundation with the unrestricted movements of an on-the-pulse underground, the 2.0 man underscores his subversive virtues with a laidback confidence.

John VarvatosThe result is a look of ease and comfort with a new sense of rebellion — with Varvatos’ iconic styles, revamped by street influence. Starting from the debut look, inventive layering dominates the collection with an unwavering sense of tossed-together elegance. In a range of nutmeg hues, soft winter whites and neutral sandy tones, luxe washed velvets are worn with soft, saturated leathers and abstract-print cashmere sweaters, creating richly-textured, but not-too-precious looks.

In textured combinations of suede and leather, pumped-up trainers make an impactful point of difference — bringing the collection a well-leisured dose of street-inspired vibes. This relationship between slouchy-sleek and sophistication is showcased throughout, as evident in marled-wool socks and luxe wool-and-cotton-blend training pants. Styling remains perfectly-imperfect from start to finish. Footwear forgoes slim, narrow designs for chunky, yet streamlined profiles and built-up soles, giving a thought-through heft that nicely matches when teamed with oversized garments.

John VarvatosThe nonchalant confidence continues as time-favored silhouettes are reinterpreted in unexpected proportions, enhancing the necessities of comfort with a strong sense of control. Washed wool, enlivened by a cloud-printed motif, and ultra-soft, bold black leather redefines the atypical parka, while duster-length coats drape a gentleman’s take on the downtown ensemble. Pants speak to proportions in subtle, yet effective updates. From reverse silhouettes to a cropped, wide leg fit, pants feel properly accentuated with slimmer pairings on top and statement footwear — such as a washed velvet bomber and weighty leather boots. Turned cuffs, raw cut edges and trim detailing create subtle variations of proportional irreverence.

In a deeper color palette of marled wine hues, tailored clothing loudens the moment with an emotive nod to heritage craftsmanship — a single-breasted coat is hand-woven and subtly-wrinkled for a striking, multi-dimensional appearance that’s just as modern as it is classic.

Watch the full show below!