German-born Markus Lupfer is a textbook Anglophile, but he's not just interested in the posh highborns; he celebrates all classes—hence, his take for Fall is "the full English," a holiday weekend in seaside places like Blackpool or Brighton. Lupfer's models were lounging around in the "Lupfer Café," tucking into a lunch of chips, hot dogs, and milkshakes, while doing crossword puzzles and playing bingo.
The models wore slogan jumpers that said, "One Sandwich Short of a Picnic" and "Bingo." Sweaters had cute motifs of crossword puzzles and the pigeons that plague picnic tables everywhere. All fun and games? Yes and no. Underneath it all were some serious craftsmanship and a massive nod toward commerciality. A Scottish tartan suit didn't say lady of leisure, but office worker. Ditto the giant polka-dot-print skirts, bomber jackets, and Lupfer's now-favorite shape, the skater dress—all guaranteed to be wardrobe staples. Gray flannel suits looked like no-nonsense work uniforms, but with a little humor courtesy of some teddy bear fake fur on the collar. A dress with a panel cutout in the center said fun—but put a white shirt underneath it and, voilà, perfect for the office! A keen businessman, Lupfer is more than aware that his client has to finance those weekends away.
The collection also saw a return to the slogan sweaters Lupfer swore off last season because of copycats, and his specialty, the merino wool sweater. This season's version came color-blocked in the softest cable knit, in three different sizes and shapes. For the cabbage-rose print, Lupfer used a mohair fabric, but it was ingeniously coated for another cool effect. With him, it's all about the details.
But could the designer be stuck in a loop? Most of the silhouettes from season to season are very similar: He keeps churning out the old favorites, mostly because they sell. But given his technical prowess and head for business, perhaps it's time to push it a bit. A gown, a statement dress, a frill, a thrill—something out of his comfort zone would be nice to see.