Michael Bastian's Rebel Gent

Luigi Tadini

Things at Michael Bastian were a bit different this season, and for the better. The talented king of prep and former men's fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman has added a rebellious edge to his trademark tailored gent. His show's setting, a country estate being burglarized by a team of expertly styled intruders, set the tone for Bastian's collection and proposed a rougher, slightly punkish version of American sportswear. The classic elements Bastian fans have come to expect and love were still present -- there was an array of corduroy pants, alpaca V-neck sweaters, rugby shirts, fitted wool and cashmere jackets and houndstooth suiting -- but they were paired with heavy Doc Martens, fingerless gloves, kilts and exaggerated collared leather jackets. The  departure added an unexpected dimension to the 42 looks that stomped down the runway, all evocative of British punk and skinhead fashions, which included everything from cashmere caps and Stubbs & Wooton shoes with skull detailing to distressed jeans and studded belts. Butter-soft cashmere sweaters stamped with the phrase "love is blind" coupled with vibrantly colored socks added a nod to prepsters while quilted vests added a dash of British country flair. Among the stand-outs, however, were a moleskin military jacket, a double-breasted shearling coat and an assortment of perfectly tailored checked suits. Perhaps this was Bastian's way of telling us that behind every prepster, there's a rebel.

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