September 13, 2004 New York
Som, a CFDA/Vogue Initiative finalist, used the idea of a warm-weather weekend getaway as his starting point, showing breezy dresses in floral prints or deep colors. But unlike some designers who seem to forget their clients have jobs, Som showed plenty of great work pieces: linen tweed jackets, slim skirts, and crisply tailored full-leg trousers, even some clean suits and loose, swingy coats. He puts fabrics in unusual contexts: a filigree lace top with khaki board shorts, for example, or a velvet tank with a silk burlap suit. And he uses retro references without looking like he's joined the raid on grandma's closet; a gold floral balmacaan coat had the aristocratic grace of something from the middle of the last century, but its generous cut and deep pockets kept it utterly contemporary.