Three years ago, when designer Vincent Flumiani began his new line, Caulfield Preparatory, it was under the influence of J.D. Salinger and a longing to write his own story of self-discovery. The first men’s collection, for fall 2009, is based on a story Flumiani wrote about a young man who runs away on various adventures around the world. Not unlike the designer’s own past, the hero takes off after school, driving across the country and living out of his car. “I wanted to take classic, preppy clothes like the wool blazer or corduroy suit and make them more rebellious and more rumpled than the originals,” Flumiani explains. “This first collection is Chapter One of my story,” he says, “In Chapter Two — spring 2010 — the hero sets sail from New York and so that collection has a more nautical slant.” The spring line, which previewed this past week in NYC, includes several sailor-striped pieces, soft, thick-knit sweaters and shirts with anchor-stamped second buttons. It’s those special buttons, along with details like plaid lining and removable crest patches that separate Caulfield Preparatory as a standout new line. The label, which will be sold by Bloomingdale's, Odin, Kesner, Oak and RevolveClothing.com starting in August, is slim-fitting, tailored and well-constructed. The look is certainly preppy, but the distressed fabrics and relaxed look make it stylish and easy to wear. Along with each piece, from the perfectly wrinkled button-up shirts to the hand-designed, worn-in tees, comes a pocket-sized reprint of that collection’s chapter, so the buyer can follow the travels of Flumiani’s character. “The writing actually inspires the collection and not the other way around,” he says. “In the end, it will be a lot harder for me to end the story than to design the clothing!” Check out some of our favorite pieces from the fall 2009 and spring 2010 collections.
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