The fans who worshipped Alexandre Plokhov’s gone-but-not-forgotten menswear line Cloak in the early aughts never lost faith—judge only by eBay, where the designer’s gothic-tinged menswear is frequently the object of frantic competition. Those fans are in luck. Plokhov—who, after the closure of Cloak in 2007, served as Versace menswear’s lieutenant under Donatella Versace—returns with a namesake line for Fall.
“It comes from the same place as Cloak,” Plokhov explained in Paris today, where he’s showing the new line to buyers and press by appointment. “It shows the progression of the person I designed for. He’s seen the world and traveled a bit, but he’s from the same place.”
The dark, armor-like qualities that defined Cloak (and won it the CFDA’s Perry Ellis Award for menswear in 2005) are back. “Protection is very important to me,” Plokhov said with a laugh. Panels swing closed over wool jersey cardigans and hooded, asymmetrical-hem parkas. Wool melton coats have a hard, slightly rough feel to the touch. And zip-front leather jackets hug the body like a second skin.
The New York-based designer—who is creating his entire collection with a working staff of 3—is doing things his own way for his return to the scene. So instead of shooting traditional product shots, he asked his friend, the photographer Alex Freund, to shoot the atmospheric look book (left), which favors mood over clarity, on film. (It didn’t stop Barneys, Atelier, and Hong Kong’s Joyce from picking up the line.) He’d rather the clothes be experienced than seen in stagy pictures, he said. But until they hit stores, fans on eBay breaks can check out the preview video that filmmaker Douglas Keeve (Unzipped) lensed for the designer, debuting exclusively here on Style.com.
Photo: Alex Freund/Courtesy of Alexander Plokhov