Michael Bastian Autumn/Winter 2014
One of the United States’ leading menswear designers claimed trips to Tokyo formed the character of his latest collection. Michael Bastian debuted his label’s AW14 line at last month’s New York Fashion Week.
Presenting at the Ruben Museum, Bastian gave LA Times reporters a preview beforehand, during which he spoke of Japanese street photographers and the resulting “Beautiful, funny and serious,” collection.
“I’ve been travelling to Tokyo a lot lately,” he said. “And I’ve also been noticing all those Japanese street style photographers that gather outside places like Pitti Uomo. In a way they’re really the world’s editors.”
Bastian’s influence could not be more apparent. Pieces on the runway incorporated bamboo camouflage patterns, an image of Mount Fuji, a Godzilla-like monster, kimono fabric and obvious samurai inspiration.
However, the former Council of Fashion Designers of America Menswear Designer of the Year did not put all his eggs in one basket. Neutral, versatile pieces – including double-breasted suits, roll neck shirts and intarsia knits with bold colours, such as purple, gold, jade, and red – rounded out the offering.
Prior to putting together his namesake brand, Bastian held positions at Abraham & Strauss, Sotheby’s, Tiffany & Co., Polo Ralph Lauren and Bergdorf Goodman.
The 48-year-old’s role as Menswear Director at the department store from 2001 to 2006 is said to have given him the push to start his own line, which can now be found at 35 retail locations.
Under his name, the brand has since expanded to design nine seasons of Gant by Michael Bastian, which debuted in 2010 but announced its end last month.
The AW14 line from Michael Bastian will arrive later in the year. The final Gant collaboration, inspired by high school football, is expected around the same time.