The Elder Statesman 2021: A Yummy Sweater Oddessey
Half a dozen Fall Winter fashion weeks into 2021, and just when the world was ready to succumb to Lookbook Fatigue™, The Elder Statesman has revealed a new collection full of dreamy gear worth opening a new tab for.
Inspired by Biosphere 2, an earth science facility in Arizona with bizarre connections to Steve Bannon, the 17-look-effort features laid-back ragamuffins standing in airlocks and geodesic domes wearing highly enviable outfits. As a whole, it evokes a post-apocalyptic scenario where only those who smoke a pound of loud per week have survived.
Par for the course, the collection delivers in droves the colorful and opulently slouchy knitwear that has put founder Greg Chait’s label on the map — with smurf-like beanies in a variety of colorways, sweaters with a Tom Sachs-esque “Field Research” written on their chests, and a striped number (#9) that is arguably the final boss of all hoodies. Noteworthy also are the tie-dyes made in collaboration with Mordechai Rubenstein, the man who literally wrote the book on Grateful Dead fashion.
But don’t confuse the casualness for accessible pricing. As Digital Fashion Editor Noah Thomas said about one of the brand’s robes in the November 2020 issue of our magazine: “Elder will always break your heart.”
After two months of hot takes on how life in quarantine has changed fashion week, the biggest joy to be had from the new The Elder Statesman collection is how The Elder Statesman it is. Much like the hermetically-sealed micro-environments of Biosphere 2, Chait’s work for the brand has operated in its bubble, amassing a loyal following who understand its craft-intensive ethos and co-exist on its general wave-length. Flash forward to the surreal present, and its brand of hyper-cozy, post-office culture luxury gear has found itself smack dab in the center of the zeitgeist. Now that’s a vibe.
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