J.Sabatino: ‘Nomadic Dandies Sleeping in the Dirt’


J.Sabatino is an eclectic menswear line whose cult is spreading, so it was fitting that its eponymous designer, Jay Sabitino, a New Yorker who lives in Tokyo, presented his collection in a romantically decrepit, darkened theater in the East Village on Sunday night. An accordion player supplied a lovely lament as the rough-and-tumble-looking models stood on a stage sprinkled copiously with dirt. Lights were strung up like stars, conjuring a dreamscape outdoor bonfire, and the bleachers were filled with a hip crowd sipping beer. “I tried to give it a bohemian vibe,” Sabatino said. “An Alain Delon film, Le Gitan, was my main inspiration. These guys in my mind are traveling musicians. My theme was nomadic dandies sleeping in the dirt.” The clothes fully evoked this: Vegetable-dyed henleys, a tough mohair sweater whose stripes echoed southwestern ponchos, and a leather vest with petrified-wood buttons were among the stand-out items.

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