Often a collection has a showpiece to spark conversation, and Eli Russell Linnetz outdid himself with a $30,000 Lesage-embroidered jockstrap. Oh, and said jockstrap is deadstock from 1946 Communist Russia that he found online, still in its original packaging. “I stocked up,” he said during a preview of his new line, ERL, produced and distributed by Dover Street Market Paris. Made to order, the sparkly underwear is emblazoned with the word “Venice,” the main, beach-y inspiration for the California creative, best known for his Kanye West videos and stage designs, Lady Gaga’s Las Vegas show and Grimes’ pregnancy portraits. Yet the rest of the collection is as approachable as the jockstrap is over-the-top: Melt-in-your hands corduroy pants, velvet shirts and roomy hoodies, all in either searing or sun-faded colors. Mohair sweaters, checkered shorts and cool tees round out the line, with a fragrance to come.
WWD Critique: Linnetz succeeded in creating an original version of retro-tinged California cool that’s simple, yet eye-catching and sumptuous, too.