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New York Fashion Week: Gant by Michael Bastian goes ski tripping to the Green Mountains

February 14, 2011 | 11:12 am

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The inspiration for the Gant by Michael Bastian Fall-Winter 2011 collection?  "We imagined it as a cross-country ski gang called the Green Mountain Avengers," designer Michael Bastian told me at the presentation. "Which we thought would be funny since cross-country skiers are the least likely group to have a gang. And we envisioned her as an abducted schoolgirl along for a joy ride."

The collection was a joy ride in its own right, shot through with skiing motifs (Bastian's Gant collaborations tend to riff on certain sports -- the inaugural collection a year-ago was lacrosse-themed) including allover embroidery of cross-country skiers on beige corduroys, a vintage-looking "Ski Vermont" T-shirt and a gym bag emblazoned with the name and logo of the mythical Green Mountain Avengers.

The color palette is grounded in shades of blue, gray and khaki with a pop of cardinal red (literally in the case of an intarsia sweater that depicts a pair of the birds)  as an accent color.

Even theGant_dressalpaca sweaters, orange nylon puffer vests, red thermal henleys and mountaineering  sunglasses that didn't have any overt reference to the state or skiing felt as if they'd been plucked right  out of a Vermont college ski-weekend circa 1985.

But Bastian explained that it hadn't been inspired from his personal experiences, but someone else's."My deputy creative  director Antonio Ciongoli grew up in Burlington, Vt.,"  Bastian said. "And that's where a lot of this came from."

The fall-winter collection marks only the second season the line has included womenswear, and while there was plenty of stylish stuff for the guys on display at the presentation (moleskin double-breasted topcoats, tweed jackets and trousers and a particularly eye-catching red corduroy shawl collar dinner jacket that would be perfect for a winter carnival formal dance), it was the women's pieces that really stood out.

Perhaps that's because despite being clad in layers of thick, cold-weather fabrics (think flannel, corduroy and waffled thermals), the garments were cut in a way that hugged the body and flared at the ankle, resulting in a some surprisingly sexy women's looks.

Two looks in particular were a navy wool jumpsuit paired with tights, mittens and an oversize schoolboy scarf and an oversize cardigan layered over a gingham pullover, a striped turtleneck and a red, mini-ribbed union suit dress.

And, in my book, anyone who can make a woman in a red union suit look sexy is a genius.

-- Adam Tschorn in New York

Gant Fall-Winter 2011 runway collection photo gallery

Photos: Looks from the Gant by Michael Bastian Fall-Winter 2011 collection, presented on Saturdayduring New York Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times.

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