Dispatches from Spring '12

Steven Alan Oliver Shorts

With each new Steven Alan presentation we’re reminded of two things: 1. The growth and evolution of his eponymous label from a shirtwear staple into the coveted territory of the lifestyle brand. 2. We’ve got a long weekend ahead. Wednesday morning’s dreary rain was uplifted by Mr. Alan’s collection that effused a sense of palpable light. As in weight, not photons. Even a cozy bomber was lightened up by a pair of selvedge white jeans—a subtle reminder, even in the context of a spring show, to stick with those winter whites.

The one piece that kept popping up, and catching my eye, was the Oliver Short. This past summer short-appropriateness debates became short-length debates, a tribute to the garments overall acceptance but also a recognition of its new challenges. This version from Steven Alan provides the best of both worlds. Unrolled, the light cotton hits just above the knee, as paired with a raglan baseball tee in the show. In my opinion, too long, but not offensively so. A couple of rolls does you good, especially when there are pops of colored and striped lining, adding just the right amount of whimsy (has there ever been so precarious a balance?) to an ensemble of basics.

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