News & Runway

ADAM S/S 2011

Who knew American designer Adam Lippes was such a Francophile? This season, Lippes’s ADAM collection was inspired by French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg’s character in The City of Your Final Destination.

The models walked the runway to a mismatched soundtrack of Bjork and Sleigh Bells (mixed by Michel Gaubert and Steven Brinke). The first look was a copper linen blazer atop a pair of high-waisted white denim sailor pants, which awakened the imagination.

The use of ivory lace, eyelet, and chiffon seemed a bit mature, but still managed to provide a sense of prairie prettiness. Countryside aesthetics hardened by leather gave the show its edge. For the hair, Rudi Lewis’s sumo wrestler high buns (said to be inspired by someone from the ADAM design team) helped modernize the French femme look.

Label mainstays, such as bejeweled cocktail dresses and linen summer sweaters, were offset by crop tops, leather shorts, and tuxedo jackets. The collection’s most wearable items were high-waisted bell-bottoms in peach, lava, and black. The bell-bottoms were so tailored, you could see the audience react in the front row.

However, ADAM’s best piece was the final one: an intricately embroidered cut-out chiffon gown that challenged Lippes’s past underwear and separates-inspired pieces.

Perhaps ADAM, recently acquired by Kellwood, a St. Louis-based clothing giant, is moving up a tier. From the look of the latest collection, it certainly appears so.

Marcus Holmlund’s blog is at