Our Editor chatted with designer Michael Bastian at the opening of the new GANT store on Newbury Street in Boston.
OK, three questions off the top. What are Michael Bastian’s favorite place to drink, chill, and play in NYC? GO!
Well I like to hang out at the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side. It’s just luxury at its finest. The wood and decor make it a perfect setting for a good, strong drink.
Washington Square Park, especially while I was doing my cleanse. My partner, Eugenia, and I did it a few weeks ago and it was pretty instense. So my treat to myself, was just relaxing in the Park. And about the cleanse: It worked, and you feel so healthy! You actually have so much energy. The first and second day you feel a little weird. The first day, you can’t drink coffee, and I almost forgot my name. But once you can drink coffee again, you’re fine. I only made it to three days, but Eugenia did five. After the third, you kind of don’t want to do it anymore. I could only get to three, she did five days and I’m way more enthusiastic about it than she is!
Well, I don’t play a lot. But my favorite place is in my bed, at my apartment. I get my energy from being by myself, recharging my battery. I know myself, I know I have to be alone sometimes to get myself together. I get holed up in my apartment, and watch Family Guy and reruns of The Simpsons all day.
Wow, The Simpsons? Designers really are just like us! Ok, and the six things every guy like me NEEDS in his closet this fall?
Stubbs and Wootton slippers, a Save khaki tee, boiled cashmere sweater, rugged boots, a GANT collared tee, and a pair of Michael Bastian cords!
What kind of music does you listen to? I heard a little Donna Summers on your runway this season, any artists that you particularly love right now?
I’m not a big music guy, actually. But also the way I deal with music is a little different. You know what’s cool changes every season, so I make two playlists – one for GANT and one for my own collection. The most recent Gant in the Galapagos playlist was packed with 79 songs, five hours full of cool neo-disco, salsa,cheesy pop, Latin music. My favorite song on the whole playlist is this Jon Secada song called, “Just Another Day”, in Spanish. But since all the shows are over, it’s weird when I get asked about music. Can you ask me next week? It’ll be something COMPLETELY different!
Let’s talk about your GANT collection, it’s themed around Boston this fall. Is that because you went to school there?
I’ve always wanted to do a Boston collection, but not for my own line. Then I was talking to the GANT guys in New York, and they said “we’re opening up a collection, we think we want it to be in San Francisco,and I told them I’d start designing. Then a third of the way in, they said they finally felt like they could nail Boston. And I thought, “Great, I’ve had this in the back of my mind for so long!’
(Photo Via: Style.com Gant F/W12)
I’ve checked out the collection, and it’s very collegiate.
It is very collegiate, but that’s because Boston is such a college town. But I wanted to take it up a notch because Boston’s so much more than that. A couple ideas fell into there, mainly the Irish thing. I started putting shamrocks, lucky coins, and things like that on shirts, because it’s such a huge Irish town. A lot of my friends have shamrock tattoos! Also the music element, because it has a big music culture too. We mixed that in there and it got a pretty cool edge.
(Photo Via: Style.com)
Is there a lot of pressure having to design for two different collections?
Weirdly enough it’s not too hard because Gant is so chill. I’m pretty settled into the [two collection] routine now. I’ve been doing it for 7 seasons, and both lines have their own personality; we’ve got our own identities. It was less preppy than it’s ever been!
I read on Style.com that you’re very adamant that your Michael Bastian line not be considered just preppy!
People use ‘preppy’ as a crutch, you’re either preppy or something else. I didn’t want people to think I was a preppy designer, because I don’t feel that. It’s a part of me as a designer, but it’s not all of me.
(Photo Via: Style.com Michael Bastian F/W12)
So where does Michael Bastian fit in amongst other prep-tinged designers, like Todd Snyder…and what’s your edge?
I think we’re a little more European. We take American ideas, and switch them up with luxury fabrics and [slimmer] European cuts .
The new collection is way sexier than its ever been.
Ha. Our thought process was like how little can a guy wear? It’s funny but if you’re just gonna wear a bathing suit, it’s gotta be a PERFECT bathing suit. It was kind of going back to the late 70′s early 80′s idea of guys wearing less.
(Photo Via: Style.com)
Are runway seating charts – who’s to sit where? – annoying or stressful for you?
It’s so stressful for Eugenia, she deals with it mostly. It’s always been intense, but now it’s even more intense. Now you have to seat the bloggers, all the while worrying about where to seat the magazines and the other editors and photographers that you know and trust. It’s ridiculous because someone who was sitting in the front this year, could possibly be in the back next year. There’s a constant change between who’s hot and who’s not.
(Gardens In Villa, Photo Via: Bayridged)
You played Donna Summer during the runway show, which I thought was epic! Are there any other runway divas that you would like to have played at your next shows, old or new?
The next one is going to be so different. We’ve never done anything like the Donna Summer thing, because our theme was so sexy. Next time, it’s not gonna be about sex. We also opened the show with a song called “Gypsy”, written by Stevie Nicks but sung by a new band called Gardens In Villa. It was such a weird twist on a song we all know, and then you hear it sung by all guys.
(Featured Image Via: Esquire)