Neighborhood: Chinatown
Type of Place: Women's Clothing

I first learned of menswear designer Alexandre Plokhov last spring,
when a documentary with the working title of "Seamless," featuring
Plokhov and several other up-and-coming clothing designers, was screened at
the Tribeca Film Festival. Handsome, hard-working Plokhov, shown to be a
loving and devoted husband as well as a professional talent, quite
completely charmed the audience; so when I heard that he'd opened a
flagship store on Greene Street for his design label, Cloak, I knew I wanted
to visit.

The Cloak flagship opened in August and provides an elegant showcase
for Plokhov's line. Its muted colors and classic details complement the
clothes, which are tremendously good-looking and of wonderful quality. I
appreciated also the streaks of humor and whimsy. Near the back, behind
the jackets and sweaters and crisp, gorgeous shirts, a small table is
devoted to an artful display of underwear. One wall is given over to
bookshelves, and on those shelves I found Aristotle's "On Man in the
Universe" nestled next to..."Winnie the Pooh." Though Verdi or perhaps
Coltrane might have been the expected music, Black Sabbath was coming
through the speakers instead.

Plokhov has had the Cloak label for about 5 years, having previously
worked for the Versace and Marc Jacobs lines. Last year he won the
Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for Emerging Talent in Menswear from the CFDA
(Council of Fashion Designers of America), which marked him officially as
a talent to watch--and provided some welcome cash to help him pursue
his vision. I noted the white "Guardsman" shirt ($295) and the soft,
striped woolen crewnecks in grey and black or blue and grey ($375) before,
caught up in the designs, I forgot to keep checking prices. That said,
I recall thick wool scarves in beautiful neutral shades and a delicious
belted cardigan in charcoal. Wonderful stuff here, displayed with great
style and proving that Plokhov's charms extend far beyond the screen.   - Pamela Grossman; Oct 18, 2005

10 Greene Street
New York, NY 10013