Of all the editors and stylists who attend the shows, I’m pretty sure that Bruce Pask of the New York Times is the most inspiring to me on a personal wardrobe level. He’s the ultimate uniform dresser – his outfits generally consist of combinations of a blue blazer, a white or blue shirt, a denim jacket, a pair of brown leather shoes or Clark’s Desert Boots, and a pair of navy pants or these awesome beaten up Prada khakis. He’s also an incredibly nice guy – I’d been chasing him for an interview every day since day one of the Milan shows, and I kept on approaching him at inconvenient moments. Finally, on the last day of Paris, I saw him outside the Lanvin show and he suggested we do it then and there. We discussed the Givenchy collection – which he said would make great gay wedding-wear – and his penchant for draping jackets over his shoulders like a cape – a habit that he said might look a little pretentious, but helps with temperature regulation. Check it out, below.
Isaac Hindin Miller: Tell me what you thought about Givenchy.
Bruce Pask: I thought that was his [Riccardo Tisci's] best show ever. I thought it was so amazing and the idea of having such a strong statement and basically betting the whole house on this very aggressive bird of paradise print, it was really risky but I thought he did such a beautiful job. And I think it’s really interesting that it references all the Tahitian clothing that we see and Hawaiian prints so there’s this cultural relativity to it. We’re used to seeing a loud pant or a loud camp shirt – especially in this season of prints – but it’s not that jarring so in a way referencing that gave him a foundation for what he was doing. And then taking that print and really making it an aggressive, knife-like bird of paradise gave it that aggression that took it out of the context of tourist clothing and really made it a statement. I thought it was amazing, and also doing it head to toe – the printed pant, the jacket, the shirt, the tie, the hat, I thought it was so great.
IHM: Would you rock one of those looks yourself?
BP: You know I was telling Cathy Horyn I would wear it for my gay wedding. I totally would. A destination gay wedding, I absolutely would. And I was actually talking to the illustrator Richard Haines who is illustrating my top show looks, I sent him that look and he wrote back in his email, ‘Wow, that’s going to be perfect for my gay wedding.’ So it was weird that he had articulated the same thing that I had articulated as well, purely personally, because I think if you split those pieces up then they work really well on their own. I just thought it was utterly coincidental that the two of us saw it as gay wedding wear – which is pretty wild. And I’m certain that wasn’t anywhere near his mind when he was designing it but I just think that’s funny that two utterly different people with different opinions and different sensibilities came up with that same reference.
[As an aside, when I interviewed Tim Blanks later that day, I told him what Bruce Pask had said, and asked if he was getting that vibe as well. He disagreed: "I think they were more bridesmaids' dresses – you’d love to see your gay bridesmaids all lined up in that stuff with the tennis skirts with the print inserts and the pleats."]
IHM: It’s the last day of the menswear show season. How do you go about dressing yourself for these final days? Are you still making an effort or is more like comfort at the end of the week?
BP: Well you have to make an effort, show up, we’re not at the beach. We’ve been so lucky with the weather, that for me is the biggest thing. My big wardrobe adjustment is making a jacket into a cape, just taking it on and off because outside it’ll be so beautiful and inside it’ll be so stuffy. And it may look a little pretentious wearing a jacket on your shoulders but for me it’s just about temperature regulation, I just get so sick of putting on a jacket and taking it off all the time. It’s just practical.
Read my interview with Bruce Pask for Gilt Manual here.
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