Returning to the New York runway after taking a break for a season, John Elliott debuted his first women’s collection alongside his men’s. “For my women’s, I wanted to incorporate this idea of hard and soft, bringing elements that are very prevalent on my men’s, but with a softer touch,” Elliott said backstage before the show.
A clear example was a high-waisted black-coated linen skirt paired with an oversize alpaca turtleneck and Elliott’s trademark boxy bomber jacket that had cool girl written all over it.
His men’s also exhibited more sophistication than in seasons past, thanks to the use of English heritage checks, houndstooth and plaids for top coats, crop jackets and pants. “I wanted to appropriate classic men’s wear fabrics but make them our way,” Elliott said. A seven-wale corduroy jersey basketball short served as the perfect bridge between the two worlds. A distressed leather “Perfecto”-style jacket with a pair of plaid red and black pants hinted at Eighties punk, which gave the collection another interesting layer.
In the past the Los Angeles-based designer has traveled to Southeast Asia and Japan for inspiration; this time a trip to the “iconic” old strip of Vegas was a source. Vintage neon signs and casino graphics were used as motifs on printed shirts and sweatshirts, resulting in a “tacky” humorous addition.
Mixing vintage references with street and athletic elements seems to be one of today’s formulas for success, but Elliott’s adventurous use of new fabrics, control of proportions and his true streetwear pedigree — his latest Nike Vandal collaboration is sure to become a collector’s item — surely put him in a league of his own.