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Brand: Ernie Palo
Season: Fall/Winter 2021
Editor’s Notes: Who is Ernie Palo? No one. He doesn’t exist, except in the imagination of Ryo Yamaguchi.
Yamaguchi is best known in Japan for founding edgy young label ALLEGE, but he received national attention in Spring/Summer 2021 when he debuted new label Ernie Palo, tapping into a kind of aspirational minimalism usually reserved for people who’ve worked with someone named Philo.
Ernie Palo specializes in the kind of thoughtlessly nice clothing that people would be crazy to go crazy about. Garment-dyed trucker jackets, knit polo sweaters, boxy shirts, and creased slacks in trim, uncomplicated cuts.
Nothing revolutionary, sure, but all appreciably straightforward, demarcated by extreme quality rather than pomp or circumstance. The kind of anonymous, genderless fare that seems well suited by a brand name that doesn’t actually belong to anyone but upon closer inspection is laden with double meaning.
The Palo in Ernie Palo, for instance, could refer to the fragrant Palo Santo wood that speaks to spiritual wellbeing.
Overseen by thoughtful Parisian publication The Skirt Chronicles, Ernie Palo’s lookbook for FW21 (“Edition #02,” as it’s known) is a sun-dappled affair dipped in sepia tones.
Garmentwise, it’s a thorough exploration of the intelligent wares that Yamaguchi introduced earlier this year, epitomized by suits cut in the boxy ’90s Ralph Lauren style, accented by drop-shoulder shirts, crisp trench coats, and cropped trousers.
Not unlike the timelessly out-of-time style of so many ’80s-era films, Ernie Palo’s appreciably understated style really sneaks up you. It’s clothing for people who don’t care for fashion, preferring to seek something more substantive.