Perry Ellis is focusing its efforts on a see-now-buy-now initiative in September and, as a result, opted to forgo a traditional runway show this season in favor of a look book and a consumer outreach in the fall.
During a preview at the company’s offices, creative director Michael Maccari said the change also involves bringing the commercial collection and the higher-end Signature line together under the core Perry Ellis label. Even so, there will still be pinnacle product and special pieces with more-limited distribution.
These special pieces will be focused on PE Schooled, he said, noting that the name is intended to invoke both the brand name as well as physical education. No surprise then that the collection incorporates a lot of active and technical influences. A pinstripe “suit,” for example, looks more like a tracksuit with a stripe running up the side of the pant, a zip-up jacket and matching cardigan.
There were Neoprene-textured sweatshirts, pima cotton T-shirts with wicking properties and knit lounge pants. “There’s a lot of focus on knitwear,” Maccari said.
A wool-bonded-to-fleece trenchcoat joined a long lightweight puffer as among the key outerwear pieces and there were rumpled shirts and a referee’s jacket in velvet that mimicked a mesh. Technical warm-up pants in a four-way stretch were also part of the mix.
This being Perry Ellis, there was also the requisite offering of suits, but Maccari softened the look by pairing them with quarter-zip sweaters, updated polos and T-shirts. The piece de resistance was a hand-knit sweater with an elaborate braided cable on the reverse.
Without the Signature collection, Maccari’s talents aren’t being used to their fullest extent and a few of the pinnacle pieces — notably the hand-knit sweater and a three-piece knit suit with a bomber jacket in place of a vest — left one wanting more.