(CAPSULE) FEATURE // OVADIA & SONS
While there were many noteworthy collections at (capsule) this year, one name was on everyone’s “must see” list: Ovadia & Sons. After a strong showing at the S/S (capsule) last year, greatness was anticipated by many, and I think I speak for everyone when I say Ariel and Shimon exceeded expectations. I was fortunate that Ariel Ovadia and Nico Lazaro were willing to walk me through the impressively diverse, and yet entirely cohesive, collection which made me re-think the idea of ‘American heritage’.
In it’s entirety, the F/W 2013 collection covers a number of distinct themes and includes one capsule collection. First, there is pre-fall ‘ski resort’ collection in a palate of whites and buttery yellows. Second, is a true fall collection, in hunter greens and tweeds, followed by a “man of mystery” theme – a more luxury collection of grey flannels, blacks and whites. Then, a number of traditional stand bys – a navy blazer and double breasted jacket, as well as more casual, but playful garments that pretty much any guy would feel comfortable in.
The Flying Tigers capsule collection, inspired by the 1st American Volunteer Group from WWII, is arguably the biggest departure from seasons past, including a pair of sneakers modeled after Italian army trainers and manufactured in the original factories. In keeping with the theme, each piece has small army inspired details, like hand stitching, pins and distressed patches.
To be honest, the collection was a bit over whelming, but in a wonderful “I’ve just stumbled upon a long lost booty of treasures and invaluable precious objects and I can’t believe my luck” sort of way. I won’t mince words: it’s nothing short of a marvel in breadth, quality and creativity. When asked how long it took them to create the collection, Ariel smiled and said:
“Well, I’ve been alive for 29 years…But that’s what I always say when people ask me how long we’ve been doing this – in truth it took us 3 weeks to design [this particular collection], but everything we’ve known contributes to this. It’s funny because people know how old we are and say ‘your taste is like my grandfathers” but that’s just who we are. We like to take traditional garments, take them appart, and see what details we can change”.
It’s a fitting answer for a brand that I’ve always considered a bit of an ‘old soul’, which continues to evolve without losing a sense of history and tradition. While raw denim and Red Wings wooed us with tales of the West, the industrial revolution and American workers, Ovadia & Sons is telling a different kind of American heritage story; one with a more urban, refined and old-world sensibility and damn, is it refreshing to see that come out of American designers. I, for one, am looking forward to a great many chapters to come. – M
From Pre- Fall Ski Resort: The key pieces here include two collegiate influenced garments, a cardigan and henley both in a soft gold and white lambswool. True to their Brooklyn roots, the colors were inspired by a private high school Ariel and Shimon envied from affar for their #wealth school colors and varsity jackets. (Brief aside: Something tells me the Ovadia’s came out on top, as Ariel puts it “and now all those guys are wearing our clothes”).
Nico (left) and Ariel.