ilded Age's collection for Fall and Winter of 2011 is an exploration of the journeyman's life. Through both individual pieces and completed ensembles, designer Stefan Miljanic wants to take us into the reality of the world's wanderers, explorers both by choice and by necessity. We are shown the world that exists for those with no place to rest their head.
There is a haphazard quality to many of the outfits in Gilded Age's show. Shirts from different patterns, perhaps even different fabrics, are knitted together, with shirt fronts even being of mismatched length. Sweaters are too long, belts are worn far above the hips, hats are worn over hoods on sweatshirts. The theme of necessity resounds throughout: these are pieces that are worn not because they match neatly, but because they combine to create warmth and protection, however inelegantly. In fact, there is a messy sense of purpose in Miljanic's show, as each model is equipped for the cold nights of Fall and Winter in their own distinct way.
Gilded Age has always focused heavily on denim, and it is not absent in this collection. Rugged denim, selvedge, aged and weathered, grounds several of the looks, almost inconspicuous until reflection makes clear that without jeans the ensembles would not function. We are reminded that denim is the perfect fabric for the vagabond: it is hardy, stiff, thick, offering protection from the elements for the common man, the natural man who grew to know denim long before synthetic fabrics came around. The Gilded Age man is a survivor. He endures with a sense of purpose that is echoed in his mismatched by practical wardrobe, and in his triumph he achieves his own kind of style.