Steven Alan is in a voyaging mood. "Mediterranean," he said, remembering a trip to Spain taken with his brother. "Sort of getting out of New York, but having the New York sensibilities in a different place." Departing is apropos for a collection he calls a major departure for his ever-enlarging brand (not to mention that this is the label's first formal presentation, comprising men's and women's clothing, shoes, and accessories, after seasons of viewings by showroom appointment only). "The stores that we sell to have been requesting more of a story," Alan went on. "This feels a lot more like a collection."
Alan made his name, and still makes a lot of his bottom line, on one piece of the wardrobe: the men's shirt—that's the opposite of a collection. But he's shrewdly growing into much more than a supplier of standards. For both mens and womens, the offerings here felt breezily casual, more muted and more refined than in the past. Simplicity was a strength. Having mastered the shirt, he's moving on to perfecting the pant—and the gusseted, cinched-waist mountain pant he's offering as an alternative to denim is a solid contender. For the ladies, it's a wide-leg "beach trouser" in cotton or linen. A pleated minidress in indigo cupro? Just toss it in your overnight bag and go. The feeling you took away from the whole was salt-aired and sun-bleached—and that's a sensation that sounds pretty salable, even if you're not going any farther than the next subway stop.
More Lookbook Men's Spring 2011 on Steven Alan
More Lookbook Women's Spring 2011 on Steven Alan
—Backstage at Steven Alan Spring 2011
This entry was written by Kristiina Wilson | Images by
Friday morning, outside the window at Steven Alan’s show, white clouds blew across the brilliant blue sky over the Hudson River. Inside, the colors and textures were equally fresh and familiar—stripes, cotton and straw, plus several sweet surprises:
An ivory silk linen smoking jacket (shoulders like a blazer, collar and closure like a robe.)
A spaghetti-strapped white eyelet dress with a bustier-style bodice and full skirt.
A ruched cotton jumpsuit printed with a lilliputian version of my childhood wallpaper;
“It might have been!” exclaimed the designer.
And, finally, a shin-skimming striped tank dress. The length is rare territory for Mr. Alan, and it came with a promise for more. Floor-skimming skirts, the designer divulged, are also in our future.Click “Read More” for additional images.
"My favorite shirts