A good Peter Som
collection tends to find the designer waging a battle, through clothes, between his instinct for buttoned-up-ness and his palpable desire to let a freak flag fly. That tension was very plain on the Som runway today—indeed, you could even say it was the collection's overarching theme. As Som explained after the show, his silhouettes charted a progression from the structured look of the early sixties to the free-floating bohemian style of the seventies. There were strong pieces at both ends of that spectrum: a leather A-line miniskirt in two soft tones of orange, a broad-collared leopard-print pony-skin coat, the series of diaphanous floral print dresses and gowns that closed the show. The heart of the collection, though, was in Som's blurred prints—"roses, with some mystery," as he described them. A blocked dress of black and gray and construction cone orange that featured the print was a knockout—it really captured the collection's spirit, of a person testing the experience of dropping the reins and hitting the gas pedal.