Robert Geller has childhood on his mind: his spring men’s collection centered around the North Sea, a border to his hometown of Hamburg, Germany, and this season he looked to a fairy tale he was “super scared of as a kid”: The Grey Men by Michael Ende, who is best known for The Neverending Story. The grey men of the tale, it turns out, are a group who convinces a small town to give up family and leisure time in favor of more production.
** It’s a dark tale for a toddler, and one that Geller actually wasn't allowed to read – he was only four or five at the time. "But my brother and sister were older, and they would talk about the grey men," Geller said after his show on Tuesday afternoon. Now that he's of age to explore capitalist parables, he told his own version of Ende's story on his runway at Skylight Clarkson.
“That’s why it starts with the sort of banker-y businessmen, and then it turns into the more colorful, liberated youth,” he continued. The first wave of models, then, had their hair slicked back and coated with thick swaths of grey paint. They wore fitted coats and trenches, atop of which were proudly displayed metal watches – courtesy of Geller’s seasons-long collaboration with G-Shock.
Of course, there were briefcases, too, made of an industrial Japanese paper that’s actually water-proof. Those went along with the“techy versus organic ” juxtaposition, which came across with the next wave of models: the tale's hero rebel youths, dressed in flow-y purples and vibrant yellows.
When it came to casting, though, the differentiation wasn’t too extreme: “You can’t let the narrative overtake,” Geller said. “I wanted the businessmen to be just as attractive as the more colorful models.” With Geller's typical sultry cast of “interesting and cool guys,” the more the merrier.