Last Friday, Adam Lippes debuted his spring collection on the runway as the guest designer at Neiman Marcus’ annual Crystal Charity Ball in Dallas.
“It’s a big deal, so I was really honored they asked, plus I love this idea of having these big productions and shows be more than 12 minutes — of having them do more,” Lippes told WWD, adding that over 600 women bought tickets and attended the charity event. Following the show, the brand hosted a successful trunk show at its first ever shop-in-shop at Neiman Marcus for customers (noting clients spanned from sophisticated young girls up to their grandmothers).
The request stemmed from Lippes’ impressive “old-school,” customer-facing ethos — last year alone, he said he visited about 14 stores and will be back on the road for more trunk shows later this fall. The designer is also set to open his second store in Houston in early November, with plans to open 18 over the next five years.
“We hear this word experiential, experiential, experiential, and what’s more experiential than seeing it right with the designer?” he said, noting he’ll be back to showing in New York next season. “I’m hearing everywhere I go, from the sales associates to the customer, they say, ‘You know, we are so enamored by your fabrics.’”
His fabrications are excellent, as seen through this beautiful spring collection, which leaned much dressier than his usual offerings — a result said to be influenced directly by his Dallas show. For instance, an ivory strapless silk mikado gown with hand-embroidered glass, crystal and acrylic beading; a lightweight hand-pearl-embellished scalloped “t-shirt” (worn with a little miniskirt); “simple” four-ply silk crepe dresses with fringes peeking out beneath their caped backs; a floral duchess satin ball skirt with little matching bralette, or a champagne-hued duchess satin structured blazer vest with pleat-front pants, to name a few.
Lippes said the collection’s colors and patterns were inspired by a trip to Sweden last summer and the Royal Pavilion at Haga Palace. He subtly brought forth the ideas with upholstery-inspired hand-embroideries and Danish wallpaper motifs, as seen on a hand-painted four-ply silk crepe skirt.
“We have really focused on using simply the finest mills in the world. We don’t do crazy trend-driven clothes and we don’t do exotic shapes. We really are more of a classicist, so it really comes down a lot to these fabrications and these prints. As we’ve developed the brand over the past nine years, I really have removed limitations on the mills and the quality of the fabric we work with. We simply work with the best.”
Even his most casual of styles (topped with hats made in collaboration for the second season with Rodney Patterson’s brand, Esenshel) shined in this luxe fabrications. There were shimmering thin ribbed knits made from metallic yarns; luxurious Japanese denim layers with hand-cast gold floral hardware, or meticulously hand-embroideries; Belgian linen shirting and tweedy wool layers with rubberized, textured threads that ran through it, giving the lady-like shapes more of a playful sensibility.
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