Gustav von Aschenbach by Robert Geller Spring/Summer 2018 New York

By Alex Badia

It is not everyday that an independent designer introduces a new, comprehensive line separate from his own. But that’s just what Robert Geller did on Tuesday with Gustav von Aschenbach.

Although the name doesn’t roll easily off the tongue, the collection is much easier to understand.

The brand is named after a character in the novel “Death in Venice” by Thomas Mann, “my favorite book through my teenage years,” according to Geller.

The cohesive lineup consisted of an array of tonal outfits that read like minimalistic uniforms. Geller’s long history visiting Japan was clearly reflected not only in the use of Japanese textiles but in the workwear references and more avant-garde silhouettes — very characteristic of that area of the world.

The looks favored rounded shapes and oversized proportions such as elongated summer coats, boxy jackets and wide-leg pants and shorts. The result felt easy and youthful.

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Geller’s signature rich palette was Gustav’s most directional and unique message. Some of those colors included deep mustards, concrete green and bright red. Geller’s bold striped patterns from his main line also made a guest appearance here in pants and bomber jackets — the only graphic statement of the offering.

Concentrating on volume and monochromatic ensembles could sound a little simple in today’s fashion world where more is seen as better, but Gustav’s unique point of view might just leave a long-lasting impression.

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