John Varvatos Hits New York for the Grammys, Fall Collection

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for John Varvatos

Nick Jonas celebrated his new collab with the designer, too.

John Varvatos just wants to cuddle.

The Grammys were back in New York this weekend but the designer chose to leave his bawdy rocker vibe behind and show off a softer side on his fall 2018 runway Friday evening to an audience that included all three Jonas brothers — Joe, Kevin and Nick, the designer’s newest muse — as well as Iggy Azalea, Thomas Rhett, Harry Connick Jr., Ian Mellencamp and Young Paris.

And then Varvatos followed up Saturday night with a launch party to celebrate his breaking spring collab,  John Varvatos X Nick Jonas, a first for the designer. The actor's and singer’s arrival in a Detroit-themed “Rock City” hoodie caused the expected hail of camera flashes but then he disappeared into the crowd, leaving only blown-up images of his starring turn in the Varvatos spring ad campaign behind, including a teasingly coy shot of just the famously muscular Jonas’ bare shoulders touting the designer’s Artisan fragrance. He also wore a Varvatos "Detroit" T-shirt from the collab at Sunday's Grammys, along with a straight-off-the-runway coat from the fall 2018 collection.

On the runway Friday, gone were the punky leopard spots, metallic leathers and fitted frock coats of yore. Instead, Varvatos gave a big sartorial hug to his fans with a collection that tipped heavily into plush sueded shearling, lushly textured brushed wools and lofty cable-knit cardigans.  

Standout items included a conifer-colored patchwork shearling hooded coat, a blankety full-length overcoat with a hazy effect that resembled dappled light coming through the trees and a suede parka with woodsy camo pattern.

More often than not, soft woolen trousers replaced skinny jeans and were tucked into the model’s socks and worn with Varvatos’ version of the chunky “dad sneaker” but in luxe pale suede. Every one of the boys wore a knitted beanie (making the runway hairstyling credit a bit superfluous) and fingerless gloves to underscore the sense of “Brooklyn urchin” chic.

The designer’s meaning was oft-layered as in one look that saw a patchwork-effect wool blazer in varied gray tones worn over a chunky salt-and-pepper knee-length cardigan with a bedroom-y tank top underneath. About as menacing as things got was one model’s chest tattoo barely peeking out of a fuzzy V-neck sweater worn under a charcoal dinner jacket.

After the models walked the double runway, they massed in front of the house and were joined by the designer, clad in an “Equality” T-shirt, all standing with hands over their hearts while the naked chords of Jimi Hendrix’s live guitar version of the "Star Spangled Banner" from Woodstock rang out. Rock on.

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