February 11, 2003 New York
Som has an eye for fabrics that can stand on their own, from light, spongy bouclé tweeds to a crinkly gold-foil-embossed knit to a liquid mercury satin. The colors, like charcoal gray, toffee brown, ivory and pink, were subtle and appealing, and the shapes were mostly simple and straightforward: A-line skirts, shirtdresses, trousers cut trim but not tight, jackets that hit flatteringly at the hip. The designer added interest by tweaking one or two elements in each outfit—shaping a floating chiffon skirt with rows of bias pin tucks, or finishing off a soft gray mohair suit with bishop sleeves. Som scattered fox fur through the collection, adding long cuffs to a slim gray sweater and topping off a few outfits with giant wraps. He got ahead of himself a few times, as with a two-piece charmeuse outfit that had more twisting and tucking than a gymnastic event. And culottes are rarely, if ever, flattering. But overall, Som’s easy cool is making a justified name for itself.