January 08, 2012 New York
Tacked up on Peter Som's mood board for pre-fall were stills from The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. A proper lady—la haute bourgeoisie—has always been Som's most loyal supporter, and he confided that his standard sheaths and swingy, sixties-ish coats continue to be his best sellers. But he rarely passes up a chance to play. "It's a ladylike approach to dressing, but a little undone," he explained. Cue the makeup colors, lipstick red especially, that he splashed throughout the lineup. "It's almost Wallis Simpson," he said of his woman. "Slightly cuckoo." Expect to hear many more designers mention her name, given that the Material Woman chose Simpson as the subject for her biopic W.E. But more to the point, Som is well qualified to take the slightly cuckoo muse and push her further into zaniness. How else to explain the jewelry print that decorated silk pieces, sometimes augmented around the collars with actual jewels? ("Get the 3-D glasses," he joked.) Charm isn't always discreet.
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