February 12, 2010 New York
Inspired by last summer's Ang Lee film Taking Woodstock, Som gently nudged his eclectic uptown lady in the direction of Yasgur's farm. "There's almost not a single solid fabric," Som said. "It's all printed or textured." He wasn't kidding. Most looks worked a fearlessly mismatched mélange of florals and checks and Swarovski beading and tweeds and dyed furs and paillettes and marled knits and, well, you get the idea. These were bookended by sweet cloches by Albertus Swanepoel and almost glam-rock, color-blocked granny boots and chunky platform sandals (made in collaboration with Brit It girl Charlotte Dellal's label, Charlotte Olympia). But the real news was the seventies-inflected silhouettes (Woodstock came right at the tail end of the sixties, after all). The shift brought new life to Som, whose clothes can get stuck in a Kennedy-era routine. It also gave a visible lift to showgoers, who are starting to realize they've wearied of skinny pants and big shoulders.
The renewed energy would seem to mark a turning point for Som, who has struggled for survival since the implosion of Bill Blass. It's evident he's been hard at work—and not just on his own label. The rumor that the designer has been consulting for Tommy Hilfiger is now confirmed. Som declined to offer any specifics about his side gig, only saying, "It's been very exciting. [Tommy] has been a pleasure to work with. We'll see how it goes."