12 August 2010

Three Fold Path

Fall 2010
"Three Fold Path"

Coming out of Los Angeles, the work of designer Austin Sherbanenko, for his label Odyn Vovk (meaning One Wolf in Ukranian), is perhaps most immediately comparable to Rick Owens.  Owens started his eponymous label in Los Angeles before moving to show in Paris, and indeed whilst based in Los Angeles, Odyn Vovk actually shows in New York.  Whilst Owens has a flair for the highly dramatic and a very strong futuristic sensibility behind his work, Sherbanenko's work is more relaxed and spontaneous.  As a far younger designer than Owens it is perhaps not surprising, however in only a few seasons Odyn Vovk really has branched out to create quite the unique voice.

Comparisons to Rick Owens, Julius or Boris Bidjan Saberi are easy enough, however such comparisons tend to undervalue the unique merits of each label.  For its part, Odyn Vovk is perhaps more accessible than much of Owens, less industrial than Julius, and more sharply tailored than Saberi.  Whilst such labels certainly have a similar and coherent style (I would hesitate in saying that they follow the same aesthetic, because whilst the aesthetic is indeed similar, they follow different streams out of that river, so to speak), I feel that Odyn Vovk is a far more relaxed and accessible label.

Having built upon well crafted and nicely designed basics in his first collection, Sherbanenko has since evolved the label to create subsequently stronger and increasingly interesting collections.  The attention paid to exploring and playing with fabrics and their textures is particularly fascinating, and indeed this was certainly the case with his Fall 2010 collection.  With such a muted and dark colour scheme (albeit with the nice punch of the red leather gloves), I feel that the focus is then drawn around two main factors: silhouette/fit and texture.

Closely fitted and slouched pieces worked alongside more dramatic drapes to create a romantically dark silhouette.  The play with the texture of fabrics, from leather to rayon to wool, helps to create an interesting mix that focuses on tactility and the physical experience of the wearer.  Indeed focusing on textures not only helps to create visually interesting looks (seeing a number of black garments in varying fabrics in the same look certainly allows for that), but also creates a unique experience for the wearer.  Clothing is created to be worn and having the varying textures and drapes of different fabrics makes such looks highly alluring for the viewer.

I really liked the diagonal zipper placement on this leather jacket and the opposing off-centered seams on the torso.  Although fully zipped up on the runway to keep the streamline silhouette, I think the jacket would look equally good, if not more interesting, with the zip slightly undone, allowing for the leather to fold and drape over the torso.

The crop of the jacket was rather nice, especially with the styling of the black t-shirt underneath.  The high arm holes, closely cut shoulders and fitted sleeves allowed for a very sleek fit, and indeed the look as a whole was streamline.  Leather jackets can often be very heavy and overpowering in such a minimalistic look, and yet the close cut and styling of this particular piece gave it an odd sense of softness.

The idea of the urban ninja/nomad has always been fascinating in my books, and this look certainly held true in that respect.  I loved the texture of what appears to be a reversed leather jacket, especially against the boots.  The fit was broader than that of the leather jacket above and I liked the longer sleeves, which worked well with the longer length of the t-shirt beneath the jacket.  The scarf styled as a face covering was also rather interesting to see, especially the texture of the piece (although, truth be told, I do rather miss the Carol Christian Poell surgeon's masks from the Fall 2009 collection). 

I loved the carefully considered fold and drape of this coat, as well as the skinny trousers and high Dr Martens it was coupled with.  Seriously cool coat. 

Who hasn't once wished on a cold Winter's day that they had a cloak?  And I really do want some red leather gloves.

Vovk Tank
Longsleeve Waffle Shirt
(both pieces available via Blackbird)

Whilst the Odyn Vovk outerwear pieces certainly stand out, I have to admit that I find myself drawn to the construction and detail of the basics.  I am quite the fan of stretch t-shirts featuring raw hems, especially such form fitting pieces, however at the lower end of the market the quality and construction tends to be somewhat tragic (I am looking at you Topman and All Saints).  Crafted from rayon and cotton jersey such pieces are cut slim and fit close to the body, however contain a good stretch allowing for easy layering of various hues.  Considering their relatively small production run and careful construction, the Odyn Vovk basics are highly appealing, even given their somewhat higher costs.

Still a relatively young designer, and indeed label, I really do look forward to seeing how Sherbanenko develops Odyn Vovk in the coming seasons.

Currently playing: She Paints Me Blue - Something Corporate



  1. I had never heard of this designer before. Thanks for sharing these pieces from the collection with us.

  2. Ok.. that leather jacket it will be my new obsession.. and those red leather gloves are incredible
    great blog

  3. The drape look seems so in. This designer definitely knows winter. Which is great.

  4. oh, the basics. A real must. But a v-neck is always a BIG NO when it comes to my boyfriend.

  5. I'd really love to have that hat and scarf for here this winter.

  6. Icredible design...really love it!

  7. As always you do such well written posts. I like the styling detail of the red leather glove, I believe Givenchy and maybe even Ann D did this to in their women's shows for fall. I like the sinister quality to it, which is why I like Baccarat's reds, like a mixture of red and black. The last runway look is my favorite, the overall silhouette and the interesting texture of the pants too.

  8. Oh my! Makes me wish I was a fella looking at these great designs - your blog always makes me feel like that!! I especially love that snug leather jacket with the diagonal zip - my idea of heaven!

  9. My favorite piece is that remarkably draped coat and as you said, it is styled extremely well with skinny trousers and Docs. I would totally wear that outfit

  10. oo haven't checked in here for a while.. nice collection there !!

  11. That is a wicked style! I am digging it.

  12. His outerwear are magnificent. I am starting to become a fan of his basics also especially the tight fit and the interesting ways he puts details in them.

  13. You just know this designer knows a lot about the elements out there.

  14. Love the unexpected colour and shapes! I was thinking, whatever happened to your around the world diary project?

  15. I would like to exchange links with your site dapperkid.blogspot.com
    Is this possible?

  16. My favorite piece is that remarkably draped coat and as you said, it is styled extremely well with skinny trousers and Docs. I would totally wear that outfit