MILAN, ITALY [JANUARY 17, 2015] – In search of inspiration for Fall ’15, John Varvatos looked out his window, over Central Park, and thought of a favorite Richard Avedon portrait of Bob Dylan, shot there in 1965. “He looks like a young man does today,” said Varvatos. “He doesn’t look like the Beatles; he looks contemporary.”
Hence, an extended riff on Dylan set on a runway littered with humus-tanged leaves supposed to re-create Poet’s Walk. Look 9 apart, that riff was actually pretty loose: There were leopard-skin bags, but not hats; those were Slash-style toppers, including one that boldly matched the broad gray check of the belted coat below it. And although there weren’t many of them, there were still some of the Spinal Tap-esque, virtual-vasectomy leather trousers that are one of Varvatos’ great loves.
More broadly, the show was like a mostly so-so concept album blessed with a couple of nailed-on hits. A short, small-pocketed brown suede jacket was all the better for this season’s button restraint. A shaggy-hemmed shearling overcoat was just what people used to look for at Camden Market but could never find. If you’re slim and like a biker worn over a suit, see look 38. Despite a slightly odd ticket pocket at the right breast and another “What’s that for?” extra pocket at the left, a khaki three-piece suit with (excellent) front-man boots looked convincingly Rock God. For night there was berry and black peak-lapelled, fitted suiting sprinkled with beading, set off by polo-neck shirts, some fastened with poppers. There was also a black three-piece, peppered with gray splotches. This was solid fare for the constituency of bedroom rock stars—and more than a few real ones—that Varvatos has so assiduously made his own. Altering the lineup too radically would be pointless: As Dylan himself once sang, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody.”