gellerRobert Geller has recently been announced as the winner of the Best New Menswear Designer in America award for 2009. The second annual competition, a collaboration between GQ magazine and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, nets the winner $50,000 and a chance to design a limited-edition collection for Levi’s.

So the big question is: will he spend it all on Slivovitz and angst-y German rock music?

If you don’t get the joke, you may not have seen Robert Geller’s collection for Spring/Summer 2009, a collection that is, all joking aside, broodingly European in the most Eastern sense of the word. Think pale skin and jawlines that cast Caligari-like shadows.

The clothes themselves are decidedly, unabashedly beautiful. The pieces belong under dark skies, influenced heavily by evening wear: silky jackets, tuxedo details, piping. The vest is ubiquitous, and paired with the uber-tailored trousers it takes on an arrogance that can be described as London dandy-meets-American rocker. It’s the clothing equivalent of a lipsticked smirk.

What’s going to be fun is to see is what Robert Geller brings to the Levi’s line, which so frequently reaches into the past when it wants to go into the future. The jeans collection will be featured at Bloomingdales this Fall, and it will be handy to be able to buy Geller pieces at the department store rather than being limited to Odin (in New York) or LA’s Confederacy (or the too-small smattering of other stockists).

For now, if there are no Geller-stocking shops in your town (which might be a reason to move in and of itself), you can see his clothes in their expressionist glory on his website, or in the February issue of GQ.

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