Perry Ellis, 1982


Perry Ellis with Mariel Hemingway who I assume is in his design.

Ellis was the leader of the pack in the understatement of American sportswear. He didn’t project the kind of glamor Halston did, even Halston‘s daywear suggested a fast paced affluent lifestyle. And he eschewed the minimalism of Calvin Klein for what could be redefined as “essentialism”. Nor was he as bent on stuffy couture like Beene, another American master. Ellis was so casual, so easy, but just refined enough so that a cardigan could become eveningwear. It’s the kind of thing Michael Kors has taken up as his own.

Over the years the brand has been severely diminished, down to a purveyor of generic menswear and mediocre fragrance. A mere shadow of the creative output and design acuteness that it once commanded, even under Marc Jacobs and Patrick Robinson, it held its own.


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