This is a world in which four-letter words are constantly abused. Cool, nice…are both words that have lost their meanings. However, in viewing J. Sabatino’s Fall/Winter 2010 collection, the word “cool” epitomizes itself and imprints perfectly with the collection.
On a chilled Tuesday evening, as New York Fashion Week starts to wrap up, leading fashion editors and tastemakers in the industry gathered at the Dactyl Foundation in SoHo for the New York designer’s presentation. A cinematic backdrop was chosen for the presentation as models clad in Sabatino’s eclectic sartorial vision of the early 80s New York City downtown occupied two rows of seats with Jim Jarmusch’s Permanent Vacation playing in the back. Sabatino toyed with the idea of perspective, as the models who were supposed to be audience for a movie were being examined and studied.
The collection captures the fine nuance of the Lower East Side during the early 1980s when artists lived and lingered in illegal lofts, managing a delicate existence and wanderlust both in work and in the unforgiving city. As such, the collection reflected such a tapestry of characters, attitudes and thoughts, and it takes the unique thrift-store dressing on a dandy bespoke spin, putting pieces inspired by different eras through the lens of fine tailoring. The resulting collection is one that is complex in character depth yet impeccably fitted.
An intriguing tapestry of styles makes up the collection seamlesslyâ€”a slim cut plaid suit and navy suit featuring a peaked lapel with slightly boot-cut trousers from the seventies co-exist in mismatched harmony with a touch leather biker jacket worn over a punk-inspired red-and-black striped shirt and with roomy black trousers. Playful patterned button-downs are tucked into cuffed denim and worn with suspenders underneath a black peacoat. Accessories accent the collection light a perfect signature, as soda can tabs are worn as lapel pins and hats are modernized by removing the divide. Each styling is unique and gives the wearer a storied sophistication, which is not surprising considering many pieces do have tales behind them. The soda pin is quite a memoir of Sabatino’s childhood, as he used to wear them as pins; and one of the stand out pieces in the collection, an over-size navy wool overcoat is inspired by an old picture of Madonna before she blew up into superstardom in the world.
Fit for the dandy with an appreciation for the history and nuance, Sabatino’s collection lives beyond the intrinsic meaning of cool, pulling a sense of nostalgia for a different time into the contemporary with artful relevance. Do look out for the collection at select retailers such as Opening Ceremony, Barneys and United Arrows.