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February 14, 2011

J. Sabatino's Disheveled Dandies

Inspired by the elegant nomads in Jan Yoors’ book “The Heroic Present“, J. Sabatino put forth a fall collection teeming with disheveled dandy and thrift store elegance. Narcissistically, I couldn’t help but feel that the collection was just so me: the tailoring in relaxed shapes, the dandiness of printed silk, the mystery of wide-brimmed hats are all images high up in my virtual inspiration board. J. Sabatino’s Fall 2011 collection was unmistakably directional yet keenly salable, and shows immense growth from the designer since Spring 2011.
I stepped through a heavy black metal doorway in the middle of the East Village into an old, cold theater. Onstage, a lone accordion player and a model in one of the looks by the designer, spot-lit as if he were being introduced as a character in a folk play.
Here are my snapshots of the looks:
a rugged-relaxed denim suit
a black finger-woven chunky knit with a charcoal-printed shirt
a furry-lined coat and a belted vest
silk scarf worn as a sash
blanket over jacket
the finale, and my favorite look of them all: heavy black wool suit with wide-legged trousers accentuated by shots of red

A short verse headlined the show’s press release which I think succinctly embodied the feel of the collection:
“To the elegant nomads… drifters and grifters.
Con men and caravan dandies,
Rumpled romantics,
Carefree carnies and those who sleep under the stars.”


  • Andrew
    February 14th, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    bahhh that fur lined jacket is the besstttt

  • StyleSalvage
    February 14th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I have lost count of how many designers have been inspired by nomads over the last few seasons but J. Sabatino's creations thankfully edge the aesthetic a different route. The finale look steals the show and my heart!

  • David Toms
    February 14th, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Love it all except for the last Charlie Chapman look.

  • George G
    February 14th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Aren't you glad you went? ;)

  • Angy
    February 14th, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    check out



  • Giancinephile
    February 14th, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    LOL!!!! I really love saying that remark- "so me" these days!

    I'm really lovin' this collection!

  • Tea For Two
    February 14th, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Some really nice rustic touches and elements of historical costume going on. Very wearable collection.

  • Izzy
    February 15th, 2011 at 10:16 am

    andrew: do you want us to timeshare it?

    steve: the same goes for Petrou and the "ethnic" inspiration. Serves to show that the sign of a good designer is how he/she can take inspiration from something relatively common or ordinary and produce fresh, creative looks.

    david: the last one? Charlie Chaplin? you're killing me!

    george: thank you ever so much for the invite. the show was magical. clearly one of my favorites this season!

    gian: it is indeed magical when you feel like the designer is speaking directly to you!

    tea for two: yes, and I love how he tones down the costumey-ness of the historical references and makes it wearable but not boring.

  • George G
    February 24th, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Izz, I was able to try on some of the pieces and I actually might buy a few of the pieces from the collection.

  • Izzy
    February 24th, 2011 at 1:43 am

    George: Which ones? I'm jealous! I'd love to see you wear it out.

  • George G
    February 24th, 2011 at 2:00 am

    I'm thinking of the one of the plaid suits, and maybe the poncho/scarf piece. But we'll see. Those ponchos really aren't for warmth, although they do double duty as neckpieces…

  • Izzy
    February 24th, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I really want one of the suits with loose pants (to show off my long-legged). Someday!

  • George G
    February 24th, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Bwahahaha Melanie!

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