NYFW Fall 2012: Marlon Gobel rounds up the unusual suspects
If Marlon Gobel's fall and winter 2012 collection, titled "The Heist," was a quick smash-and-grab engineered to steal our attention, consider it a caper that went off as planned.
It took place in broad daylight, against the backdrop of the polished stone mezzanine level of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, with models entering and exiting the runway via escalator.
Inspired by such well-heeled n'er-do-wells such as Thomas Crown, the Kray twins and Bonnie & Clyde, Gobel filled his catwalk -- which had been cordoned off with the kind of red velvet ropes found in only the finest banks -- with "bullet-dented" suits covered in dime-sized depressions and razor-sharp tuxedos, capes and blazers adorned with a vault's worth of gold braiding, silver buttons and crystal trim.
There was a protective element to the collection that went beyond the visual punchline of the Swarovski-encrusted body armor (which would be perfect for SWAT formals, by the way), with safety
vests that paired quilted leather with neoprene, quilted suits (including the aforementioned bullet-dented one), raw selvedge denim and coats that looked as solid as anything in Iron Man's closet, including an exaggerated wide-wale corduroy peacoat with ribbing as big as rebar and a vinyl Chesterfield coat in a shade described as "vault steel."
The most dazzling part of the collection -- literally, thanks to the sun pouring in through the floor-to-ceiling windows -- was the collection of bow ties crafted from shards of Swarovski Elements crystal (not surprisingly, Swarovski was one of the show sponsors).
Yes, Marlon Gobel is a menswear designer with a sense of humor, and his runway shows reflect that. But peel back the bejeweled Kevlar breastplate and you'll find it's based on solid tailoring skills.
A fact that will hopefully have him laughing all the way to the bank.
-- Adam Tschorn in New York
Photos: At top, looks from Marlon Gobel's fall and winter 2012 heist-themed runway collection, shown Sunday during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Bottom: A men's bow tie made with Swarovski crystal. Credit: Rob Kim/Getty Images