Despite his long hair and sombre palette, Austin Sherbanenko of Odyn Vovk is a guy with a sense of humor. Odyn Vovk has been through a couple collections now and we even got to see an early jacket on flamboyant American Idol star Adam Lambert--though Austin understandably doesn't go for fashion celebrity endorsements; he's much more excited to see his brand stocked along such avant staples as MA+ and L.U.C. at boutiques like Barney's Japan and L.A.'s Sartorialoft. We talked about heavy metal and snowboarding before even touching fashion.
Some aspects of the collection that stood out included a boiled-wool material used in a pair of drop-crotch shorts (Austin suggests wearing them with leggings) and a sanded reverse leather, giving a unique almost-suede-but-not-quite texture to the pieces that used it. Austin's also introducing footwear--a simple tall boot done in a reverse calf and sharkskin (!). I would personally wear much of the collection--especially the boots--but Odyn Vovk has some very stiff competition given the pricepoint and aesthetic. A few of the pieces strike me as too minimal given the high cost--of course the prices also reflect ethical, high-quality production and the decadent fabrics and leathers and it's hard to imagine even Rick Owens doing any better at Austin's age.
He posted this on his website (which is gloriously simple in an age of fashion site flash monstrosities - COLETTE) and I'd say it's an accurate summation of what we saw at Capsule: "My work reflects on my youth and being inspired by anything that sparks my curiosity. The collection is designed without the structured direction that a hard lined story would offer. I have a much more spontaneous approach. Ideas pop into my head and I follow the ones worth following." Unlike the rigid artistic cohesion of, say, a Julius collection, Austin makes cool, wearable pieces that are a bit more elegant and minimal then the heavy metal trappings may suggest. It's not for everyone--or even most people--but for people like me and Austin whose youth involved a lot of dissonant music, genuine dive clubs, and an admittedly childish penchant for motorcycles, it might be worth throwing a couple bucks at. And as avant garde boutiques lose brands like Yohji it's nice to see an American designer trying to step up.