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New York Fashion Week, Michael Bastian: Born in the USA

When Michael Bastian's well-built models emerge, their presence is always akin to velociraptors after the skinny flamingos in all of the other shows. Finally, some guys who don't have a 28" waist. But moving on...

The specter of James Dean loomed large over Bastian's "comeback" show after a season off of the runway circuit. A huge illustration of Dean decorated the wall and there were even some images of his profile on some jackets. But maybe the theme must be hammered down for the young folks so they don't think it is inspired by, say, James Franco, who is pretty Dean-esque to this generation and even played him in a bio-pic.

Dean isn't the most original of starting points, coming in a close second to Steve McQueen in macho muses these days but Bastian really did his research and explored Dean's life rather than just being cursorily inspired by him.

"The whole idea was if James Dean came back today what would his closet look like?" Bastian explained post-show. "A little Giant, a little East of Eden a little Rebel. And we added a lot of his own personal life." The Rebel Without A Cause was perfectly reincarnated with the slicked back hair and red-washed canvas windbreaker in the first look. The Giant-era was explored in denim suit vests and nods to the Texas rancher look with pale blue corduroys in place of jeans. The studious side of Dean abounded, most of the guys wore killer nerd specs and sunglasses from Bastian's own line he does with Randolph Engineering -- but remarkably five pairs were the actual frames Dean wore in his films. It's all in the details.


for an exclusive behind-the-scenes slideshow, click here.

All images courtesy of Sarah Olin

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