To the untrained eye, the amalgamation of sunbaked shipping containers, landscape architecture and abstract expressionism would seem like a veritable chop suey of elements. But to Michael Maccari, creative director at Perry Ellis and, as it turns out, visual auteur and current menswear darling, the juxtaposition was a no-brainer for the brand’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection.
“Print and pattern are explored from a distance, and upon closer inspection take on a different look—like landscapes in nature,” he tells Out. Quite the literal crop circle, we surmise: This macro-to-micro interpretation—together with color-block cues taken from American abstract painter Richard Diebenkorn, and the cheery yet whitewashed look of pier-parked cargo containers—came together seamlessly in the form of micro-prints on the fabric (fun fact: the jacket’s inner linings used a zoomed photo of shipping containers as a starting point). Lush, slightly retro basics took hints from 1960-1970 and were reinvented in a lighter, seasonless palette of grays, rusts, blues, mauves and olives. The warm neutrals highlighted the sophisticated separates that have stood as the hallmark of the brand: merino wool tees, track pants, Sherpa necklines, tweed trousers, and cashmere, bouclé and cable-knit everything kept the feel more lumbersensual than anything else.
Details such as mod accessories—the occasional attaché case, monkstraps, a murse—added some quirk to the collection and took a more lighthearted approach to traditional American menswear. The reference comes as no surprise, as Maccari, who now marks this collection as his fourth outing for the label, looked to the label’s vintage ads for some throwback inspiration as well. A tilt-shift perspective proved a home run for the creative director, as he iterates on via Hypebeast: “When you step back, you start to get the bigger picture of shape and proportion; but when you get closer, that image is actually made up on many complicated textures and colors.”