"Spectral Metal" in action (by CG Watkins and Martyn Gough) Accipiter shirt in red/black accipiter shirt in indigo denim Accipiter shirt in blue/black accipiter shirt in grey/black Halcyon shirt in black/blue/white Photos from the Sidian, Ersatz & Vanes Fall 2011 Lookbook (by Julia Galdo and Cody Cloud, JUCO)

Three of a Kind: Sidian, Ersatz & Vanes FW11

BY Alice Newell-Hanson | Wed. December 31, 1969 | 7:00 PM | OC
The designers behind our new shirts of choice, Sidian, Ersatz & Vanes, are a mystery. (Those aren't even their real names). What we do know is this: a) They are three friends, b) They have some pretty serious ideas about shirts. So while you won't find their faces anywhere, you will find their ingenious fingerprints on every inch of their expertly-cut shirting.

S,E&V was born out of a love of basic principles and shared obsessions. The trio began with their own shirt triptych of button-down, button-up, and denim (models favored by Mr. Sidian, Mr. Vanes, and Mr. Ersatz respectively), then they riffed on their favorite themes. Stripes cut across shirt fronts like radar scans and their recurring two-tone dyes take inspiration from geological diagrams.

In an effort to find out more, we sent S,E&V a few questions. Read their answers below for a rare insight, plus check out these exclusive pictures from their fall lookbook shoot.

Shop all Sidian, Ersatz & Vanes here.

Alice Newell-Hanson: The lookbook for your spring collection, "Spectral Metal" has a real fifties quality to it (a great decade for shirts), is this an era that always speaks to SE&V?
Sidian, Ersatz & Vanes:
I would say it's a term that's slightly more mercurial, and therefore not so anchored in a specific decade. However, we do draw some influence from post-war modernism, and of course the fifties was an interesting time for men's fashion. It may have been a great time for the shirt, although the absence of the jacket may be more telling than the conspicuousness of shirts.

ANH: Block colors are a big feature for the line. Where did you look for your palette?
One of the key elements of SEV is how one can best reduce visual identity to its purest form. Reductionism and pattern recognition are always in our minds when designing, but apart from that the colours may come from anywhere, one season it may be as obvious as a flag, another it's the colors from a diagram of the cross section of the earth.

ANH: You're very mysterious, the three of you. We're intrigued. If we can't get your names, or pictures, can we ask who would play each of you in a movie?
Firstly, I would imagine that if we were to be in a film it would most likely be some form of science or natural-history documentary, therefore it would make more sense for me to give you presenters we identify with. Mr. Isaac Vanes would likely be David Attenborough, and Mr. Ersatz would be a voiceover, and I would have to pick the late Jacob Bronowski in "The Ascent of Man."

ANH: Good things come in threes—that seems to be a running theme with SE&V. What are the three items every man should own?
Knowledge, confidence, and a Y chromosome.

ANH: What's next for SE&V? Might you explore other branches of menswear?
For the moment we are enjoying the purity of exploring a single form, however that does not rule out any future detours or expansions. In any case, I imagine that you will witness more of our consideration diversify to other applications in the future.