Shall we Start by saying, I ADORE Peter Som as a Designer. Would Love to meet him and would love to work for him as well... But in saying all that and giving Mad Love to Peter, I truly have to say this collection left me... *Cue Michael Kors' Voice* Underwhelmed!
The Major issue plaguing it was it seemed FAR too referential to Lesser Designers... Most Obviously Proenza Schouler and Rodarte. To A Lesser Degree, Rag & Bone Also. The collection seems to have lost that Singular Som like Signature that made his clothes Percolate with Sly Humour and A slight subversive bent. It was there, in some of the outfits. However, It seems he played to the critics and the audience by trading it what is Essentially HIM for what the Fashion Press Et Al. want him to be... And in the end, that's NEVER A good Path to take!
It started out in Fine Som Fashion but when Exit No. 4 took the runway... something just struck one as Hopelessly Proenza-Esque about it and it didn't feel true or sincere. It was a Great Outfit and Damn if Lazaro and Jack could ever WISH to make something that Awesome looking... but again... it was Som seen through the prism of someone else! By Exit No. 6 we felt as if this was perhaps only a Slight Transgression and we were back on Peter Som Firmament.. And Exit No. 6 was indeed Spectacular! Fun, Chic, Subverse, Slightly Kooky! But then... A Rag&Bone Moment at Exit No. 7. SAY HUH!?!? Then, back in safe harbour, More Kookiness and Delightful playfulness! but at Exit No. 10...
Jack and Lazaro were rearing their ugly heads again!
No. 10 wasn't bad. like No. 4 it was actually quite Good, But, ENTIRELY Disconcerting! Maybe it is me, I cannot be sure that it isn't, but it simply felt like Peter was in someone else's skin when he designed these pieces, and Boxy Jacketed White pantsuit of Exit No. 12 gave the same vibe. STUNNING it may be, but again... A little off kilter for the Som DNA! Then Pirouetting to Exits No. 16 and 20 we were in Mulleavy Land with Rodarte.
Is it Just Me? Am I Seeing Things that are not there? neither duo (Proezna Schouler or Rodarte) are Nearly as competent Designers as Som. NO WAY NO HOW! And to see his style superimposed with these lesser-than designers is not only Confusing, it's kinda Irritating! He needn't Go that route. One has to be aware of one's competition and the Design Touchstones of Other houses so one isn't compelled to create things without understanding how they encroach on other peoples Signatures.... meaning KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN! Look at what your competitors do so you don't wind up doing Referential works!
I Shan't beat this horse any further... But I will comment on Two PHENOMENAL outfits that Screamed Peter Som from across the room and were the Standouts in the collection...
Exit No. 21 Was So successfully BRILL that it made me just Smile With my Heart at it's Flirty Beauty! It was one of those outfits that Editors should be Scrambling for to shoot for the Spring 2014 Magazines... but most likely won't!
Exit No. 23 was a Playful winner as well... A Body-Hugging stretch of Black Eyelet lace worn over a T-shirt in a Black/White Stripe pattern. Fun and Whimsical and Sexy to boot!
What was one left with you might ask? Difficult question to answer. Peter certainly has the Chops of a Serious designer and has the skills to be a Major Player. To my eye, though, This collection never coalesced into anything Approaching Success... There were Gorgeous pieces and outfits here, there, and about... but no Through-Line of Coherence.
So In the End, Chillrens we are left with this.... Everyone has a Bad Day Sometimes and Every Designer has a Bad Collection Sometimes... This simply happened to be Peter Som's Sometime....