Over the four seasons since relaunching his namesake label last February, Adam Lippes
has carved out a niche in the designer market for his subtle, sophisticated sportswear, and built up a substantial customer base abroad—more than 50 percent of his sales are international. His first Pre-Fall collection was chock-full of refined fabrics that begged to be touched. An enveloping, reversible cape was cut from ultrasoft double-face cashmere, while eveningwear items including a cocktail dress, full palazzo trousers, and a bracelet-sleeve coat came in sumptuous, raw-edged duchesse satin. Loosely inspired by Balthus' paintings of young women in uniforms, Lippes channeled a schoolgirl vibe with a crepe suspender dress featuring bar-tack stitching, as well as a cozy gray crewneck sweater paired with a pleated leather skirt broken up with panels of gauzy organza. But it was the opulent outerwear here that ultimately stood out. Lippes topped a crisp shirtdress (adorned in delicate pearl closures) with a voluminous shadow fox fur, and belted a terrific navy shearling over a floor-skimming column gown.