John Varvatos' collections are often less about the clothes than they are a rock-and-roll attitude, the kind the Detroit native has been ventriloquizing since launching his men's label in New York in the late Nineties. So when an endearingly crotchety old rocker in the crowd muttered, "I'm too old for this shit", it was unclear whether he was grousing about the fashionably late start time or the crush of photographers jostling for his attention -or something else altogether. Attitude or not, there's something refreshing about a designer who'd rather talk about a halcyon music scene than the particulars of a jacket, as was Mr Varvatos' wont before the show. "Oh, man", he said, "I was thinking about the mid-Seventies rock scene in Southern California, the clubs in the Laurel Canyon area where the Stones and Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac played. It was all so relaxed and bohemian". Sure thing. Those early rock nightclubs of LA proved irresistible to John Varvatos (whose store took up residence in the former CBGB on the Bowery after the storied club was forced out by the landlord). But he didn't go wild. He kept things pared down, sticking to respectable stripes and harmless solids -in rich tones that recalled lighting gels- while wisely eschewing some of the glam-rock elements of collections past. Which is to say, showier jackets didn't reach tailcoat proportions, nor did various dandy-inspired looks wander into the fancy domain of Beau Brummell. So inoffensive was this offering that one craved subversion, an omission, a perceived slight... anything. Now where did that senior rocker go ? Bottom line : it was nice but a tad boring.