Off-(Lincoln) Center

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Fashion Week descended upon New York City this week, hosted at the Lincoln Center for the fourth season running. The move out of Bryant Park in September 2010 was met with mixed opinions, and has unquestionably changed the character of the event. “It’s definitely different,” said Jacob Lopez, New York-based dancer, actor and model. “At Bryant Park, everyone was standing on the same cobblestones; it was more relaxed. Now [at the Lincoln Center] everything has become a huge production.”

Yet there are still a number of events that are hosted independently of the official Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. Lesser-known labels, as well as top-name designers, choose to present their collections at other venues. Such designers include Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs. “It’s less formal than the tent shows,” said Evin McMullen ’12, who attended several of this season’s non-Lincoln Center events, “and designers use their space more creatively. The models can be more than just clothes hangers, and show a bit of personality to add something to the collection.”

Among the presentations outside of the main tents is Gant by Michael Bastian. Titled “The Lucky Ones,” Bastian’s collection for Gant is independent of his eponymous label. Each season has a specific sports theme, and draws on a particular set of inspirations. Winter ’12 draws on Bastian’s college years and the mod revival that took place at that time, all set to a boxing theme. As always, Bastian maintains a strong connection to Yale and New Haven, through Gant.

Matthew Claudel sat down with Bastian on Wednesday evening to discuss the collection.

Q. The obligatory question about this collection. Tell me about it.

A. It’s inspired by my time at school — when I was YOU — but I was in Boston. At the time, there was this great music thing going on ([music] which is actually playing right now!) … there was a mod revival.

Q. A Mod revival?

A. Yeah, and I found myself in the middle of this mod revival that I kind of got into, hard-core for a little bit.

Q. In terms of fashion or music … ?

A. In terms of fashion AND music, and going to those clubs, and the whole nine yards. I’ve always kept this in my back pocket. I’ve been dying to do this collection that’s basically preppy but has this really heavy mod overlay to it.

Q. … and there’s a boxing theme.

A. Well, there’s always a sport. We always make sure that there’s a sport with Gant, and this season we just chose boxing.

Q. For any specific reason?

A. No, I wasn’t a boxer! People keep saying, “Oh, did you box?” but no, I was more on that side of the ring. [Gestures into the distance.]

Q. Well, I wouldn’t be the one to pin that on you. Tell me about your relationship with Yale now.

A. The Gant store? Yeah! We’re very close to Yale, with the shirts that we do and the store in New Haven. Of all the colleges in the world, we’re probably most connected to Yale, at the moment.

Q. Do you have any plans to do anything further with Yale in the future?

A. Well, I always ask them, “When are you going to invite me out to Yale? When can I meet these students?” You know? So far they haven’t sent me … I don’t know why [laughs].

Q. You should come!

A. Of course. I would love to see the store, I’ve heard it’s in a great location.

Q. Anything else you’d like to say?

A. I’m an empty shell at the moment. After my own show on Monday and then this one … after this, I’ll get in my bed and won’t leave for about three days.

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