Los Angeles designer Jerry Lorenzo follows his own calendar.
Last week he debuted his “Eternal” collection at his new Willo Perron-designed, “starkly sensual” Arts District showroom (as Architectural Digest put it). Not one for a fashion show, he held private appointments in his meticulously arranged office, where one couldn’t help but notice the Post-it notes perfectly aligned on his desk, near a heavily tabbed “Louis Vuitton” book.
The million-dollar question: Is he contemplating a move to Paris?
“Not at all,” he laughed. “I’m really stretched with Athletics and Essentials, being CEO [chief executive officer] and creative director.”
Lorenzo has been working since last August on his eighth main collection, while simultaneously expanding Essentials to include women’s sizing, and readying his new Athletics collection with Adidas to launch in September/October, when the designer will also open a dedicated office at the Adidas headquarters in downtown L.A.
“We move at our own pace, our benchmark is if this collection is better than the last — though what we are proposing is timeless, it could have come out two years ago, but it’s coming out now because that’s when it’s finished,” said Lorenzo, dressed in sweats, slide sandals and socks, and a Supreme bandana tied around his head.
The collection — made for a man but with a woman in mind — cemented his reputation as a master of effortless yet elegant modern dressing, with pared back, tonal Made-in-Italy tailoring seen through an American sportswear lens.
Fear of God is more about an evolution than revolution, but there was news in the more generous silhouettes and cleaner tailoring in soothing gradations of concrete, gr-olive (gray-olive), charcoal and black.
“I kept trying to strip back all the unnecessary opinions to propose pieces in their most beautiful, honest form,” he said of his reductive mode. “Everything is created to pair with everything else, so it’s, is the hoodie going to fit under the blazer, are the pants voluminous enough to handle the generous blazer so it doesn’t look too rock-star skinny jean,” he said of what can be a top-heavy look.
Lorenzo is admittedly a bit obsessive when it comes to perfecting his precision-cut cashmere-wool Chesterfield coats, double-breasted “California” blazers with the right notch lapel, and tricot ones with light shoulder padding. His zip-front Harrington jackets, loose-pleated trousers and suede espadrilles had a bit of an 1980s “Miami Vice” throwback jam. “I still watch it all the time,” he said of the TV show.
“The white espadrille, suit, no tie and T-shirt, you will see a lot of that vibe through the collection,” the designer said, adding that Don Johnson hasn’t worn Fear of God yet, but that if the actor did, the designer would “lose his mind.”
In addition to tailoring, the collection offered plenty of workwear pieces, including overshirts and drawstring pants in the same fabrication that could be worn as an alt-suit. “When you touch this shirt it’s not silky and smooth like you’d assume a dress shirt to be, and it doesn’t have an oxford American feel, it’s this in-between,’ he explained.
He offered new sweats, but not fashion sweats, he clarified, noting the weight. “I want them to feel like Russell or Champion vintage.” Buttery charcoal suede sweats — one of Lorenzo’s favorite pieces in the collection — could be paired back to a matching zip-front jacket. “I almost wore these to the Gold Party,” he said of the Beyoncé-Jay-Z Oscar night fete.
Black iridescent nylon bombers and pants, Japanese washed-in-L.A. denim, sumptuous yet simple merino knit polos, Western-meets-Chelsea patent leather boots, leather cummerbund belts and crossbody bags rounded out the wardrobing elements that fit together like pieces in a Tetris game, as Lorenzo described it.
“It’s allowing the person to enter the room before the clothes,” he said. “But when you pay attention to what they have on, it’s oh, that’s beautiful.”