Perry Ellis was a fashion designer who left behind a profound legacy that would stand for excellence in American fashion and influence in the company of other greats like Marc Jacobs to Tom Ford. The brand has changed considerably since the death of its founder, however, there remains something of his spirited sense of fun and playful use of clothes for self expression.
The label is shifting, as so many are, to a see-now-buy-now business model and opted to hold a presentation rather than its usual runway show. Creative Director Michael Maccari wanted to discuss traditional uniforms for men and how long-held standards of appropriateness are changing as the world becomes increasingly casual and comfort-focused. “In the last few years, we’ve played with the traditional idea of sportswear and added a unique Perry twist, reinvented the suit, and redefined how activewear and performance fabrics are incorporated into our collections,” Maccari said. “This season we’re bringing all of these elements together to create a cohesive experience, with a particular focus on functional pieces that can be worn now and transitioned into next season.”
Ellis started his menswear line in 1980 and the number 80 was a nod to this that appeared throughout the collection on sweaters and in small details. While this may have been a hint at tradition, the clothes themselves were very much grounded in the present. Technical wools, bonded materials and lightweight synthetics were used in conjunction with classic prints and textures to evoke the wardrobes of generations past.
Maccari has clearly incorporated some elements of streetwear with beanies, backpacks and sneakers throughout. It seemed more cohesive than in recent seasons with a clearer sense of direction and purpose. Maccari also noted that plans are in the works to merge the high-end Signature line with the commercial collection under the core Perry Ellis label. It is a difficult task that requires immense focus to strike the right notes without allowing one to outshine the other. Perry Ellis (the brand) has the resources at hand to bring that vision to fruition.
written by martin lerma