story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Adrianna Favero
Austin Sherbanenko’s label Odyn Vovk explores one of the most interesting areas of fashion as iconic expression, the tough guy. Rough around the edges, and far from refined, the allure of male toughness never fades. Odyn Vovk uses the familiar symbols of leather, raw cottons, and rough denims to create modern versions of the hard working, mysterious handsome stranger that has occupied our collective conscious and collective art since writers began creating characters.
Though this style of fashion design seems to be all about lack of construction and simplicity, it of course isn’t. There are a great number of choices and details that Mr. Sherbanenko has made in his garments that show that he is a serious designer and craftsman. In his Spring 2011 collection it was his use of layering in particular that caught my eye. Sometimes performed with multi-hued neutrals of black, gray, and white, and sometimes using the same fabric simply separated but placed over each other at different lengths, as done in a very interesting pair of gray denim shorts. The technique when combined with his very loose tailoring created an almost nomadic feel.
Mr. Sherbanenko’s clothes are very movement-friendly and convey not only a sense of ease but also one of a life in motion. This is for a man who sometimes either has to or wants to go somewhere he’s never been, right now. That impulsive wanderer who we all secretly wish we could be. The only negative aspect to the treatment of volume in the collection was in the bowing to the current trend of an enormous drop of fabric between the legs. To have a section of fabric that goes from crotch to knees looks unbalanced, and even though it is centered it reminds me of what happens in asymmetrical draping when not enough thought goes into handling the negative space that is created. That aspect aside though, Odyn Vovk is nicely positioned to participate in what I believe is a very welcome wave of modernization that is beginning in menswear. Nomad or desk jockey, you don’t have to be a globetrotting tough guy to be done with the antique affectations such as lapels, ties, and collars that plague male dress. Fortunately there are starting to be some choices, be brave and grab them, dismiss the drones.