Peter Som Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 New York
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“I wanted to convey a sense of ease, a downtown girl heading to the beach,” said self-avowed beach bum Peter Som after his Summer ‘14 show at Milk Studios. Not a surfer himself, while all his friends are busy shredding waves on their surfboards, this leaves plenty of time to take in the scenery, which he turned into deliciously near-optical prints, starting with the marbled blue-black swirling of water that dressed his opening tuxedo coat thrown over a navy bikini.

His Summer 2014 woman? Beach-ready from the top of her sunglass-clad face down to the tip of her polished toes, painted in the trio of custom colors by nail brand Zoya which guests found on their seats at the show.

His advice for packing to hit the beach may be one of simplicity (“some great swimwear, a versatile cover-up and cool shades”) but traveling light isn’t what his uptown clientele wants to do with their busy seaside social calendars. With off-the-cuff dressing out of the question, much loved Americana wardrobe-building staples got the tailored-and-structured Som update. Turned out in neoprene – definitely God’s gift to easy tailoring, the humble sweatshirt holds down its structural own; there’s charm a-plenty in a tiny cropped blue tweed peacoat shimmering softly, and an origami folded dress (available in peach, or black-trimmed white) has the ease of a dressy summer staple. Masculine/feminine play on proportions gave this a thoroughly modern appeal such as the pairing of a tweed brassiere with wide-legged trousers for a youthful yet chic appeal. And his woman’s not too precious as impeccably frayed shorts looked suspiciously like someone had taken scissors to beautiful slacks.

You couldn’t see some of it ever being anywhere near sand, but who’s counting when you have a nautical mid-riff baring sheer and blue sweater, or when picking up his lovely pure white drop-waist shift dress? It’s clear that with this proper but not too prim approach, the designer’s wooing a wider audience than ever before, uptown belles or downtown slickers. Life’s a beach and the world is still Som’s oyster.

- Lily Templeton

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