Ever since Patrik Ervell, the California-raised son of Swedish immigrants, dropped out of Berkeley, where he was studying political science, to pursue a career in fashion design, he's impressed us with his mastery of high-tech fabrics and minimalist silhouettes, nabbing a spot as one of Details' Best New Menswear Designers, and making a big splash at his 2014 Spring show with a sea foam runway and sailing-inspired threads.We caught up with the designer, who was busy prepping for his Autumn/Winter 2014 show in a few weeks, to discuss his affinity for dad jeans, the one place where you should never buy a watch, and the rules of wearing silk.
1. Develop your own uniform and wear a version of it every day. If its something you could have worn 20 years ago or you can picture yourself wearing 20 years in the future then you're doing it right.
2. Don't wear cologne. Or if you do, wear very little. I think if your smell extends more than a few inches from your person it's aggressive, no matter what the smell is.
3. Rediscover your dad's denim washes. I don't think of "dad jeans" as a pejorative term.
4. Choose alpaca sweaters over cashmere ones. They're more masculine.
5. T-shirts and sweatshirts are important. These are probably the two things that we end up fitting and refitting the most in the studio. It's the simple things that have to be the most carefully considered. A subtle change of silhouette in a T-shirt or sweatshirt can be very powerful. Don't be afraid of a slight mock neck, Steve Jobs-style.
6. Consider silk. It's tricky in menswear but if used in the right way it can be really beautiful. Silk thermal underwear is extremely warm. A silk knit tie is super elegant. But you might also try a Hawaiian style shirt in fuji silk or a button-down shirt in matte silk dupioni. Those last two are things I make.
7. Don't wear a watch made by a fashion brand.
8. Only wear a suit if you have to, but when you do, make sure it's beautiful.
9. Pro tip: Wear a beautiful suit slightly wrong. Try it with white socks, for example.
10. Try wearing all navy. It looks so much tougher than all black.
—Kristen Dold. Follow her on Twitter at @KristenDold.