Chipper he is not. If you can’t tell from the portrait above, Alexandre Plokhov, the Russian-born, New York-based designer, has a dark side. “I do not really trust people who smile too much,” he admitted to us.
Not surprisingly, there’s nothing sweet or dainty about his namesake collection for men and women, both of which are crafted in Italy. Dark and directional, these quietly beautiful, no-frill pieces focus on a simple color scheme, precise tailoring and a slim, streamlined fit. Indeed, Plokhov has developed quite a devoted cult following among the anti-prep set over the years.
Below, get inside the mind of this one-of-a-kind designer, whose pedigree spans an impressive list of titles from creative director and founder of menswear label Cloak (which shut its doors in 2007) to head menswear designer at Versace.
Are there any design legacies from Cloak in your namesake collection?
Somber color palette, obsession with details and overall approach to design stayed absolutely the same.
Do you approach menswear and womenswear with a different mindset?
No, it comes from the same place; same world.
The word “goth” has been used a lot to describe your aesthetic—do you identify with this label or would you describe it another way?
I have made peace with that, even though the majority of the fashion press do not really seem to grasp what “goth” really means. If one associates it with the music and image legacy originated by Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Southern Death Cult and Fields of the Nephilim (to name but the obvious ones), it would be a real badge of honor! My aesthetic is more aptly described as one being in a minor key, a bit melancholic. With a few exceptions, I do not really trust people who smile too much…
If you could dress any person—living, dead or fictional—who would it be?
In no particular order: Albrecht Dürer, Francis Bacon, Erich Maria Remarque, Cormac McCarthy, William Gibson, Alain Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Pierre Melville, Glenn Danzig, Ian Astbury and Andrew Eldritch.
Could you see your designs living in any particular film?
Le Samouraï, Army of Shadows and The City of Lost Children would make the list.
What was the last thing that inspired you?
A bottle of Amarone and a view of the Grand Canal in Venice…
What’s your favorite Alexandre Plokhov piece for men and why?
The ‘pilotka’ hat. I wore it every day for two years in the army.
And for women?
A pair of leather zipper jeans—do I need to explain?
How do you see fashion evolving now and in the future?
I do not really think about that—I just try to perfect and hone what I do.
1. Pleated front trouser; 2. Hidden placket dress shirt; 3. Waffle-knit sleeveless sweatshirt; 4. Uniform jacket; 5. Multi-pocket bomber jacket; 6. Inside out unconstructed sport jacket; 7. Welt cutout crewneck tee; 8. Long versatile bomber jacket; 9. Vintage sailor hat; 10. Inside out skirt
Portrait of Alexandre Plokhov by Gregory Aune.