Adam Lippes PRE-FALL 2021

Adam Lippes is opening a boutique in lower Manhattan early this year, reversing the trend of store closures we’re seeing elsewhere. When this collection starts shipping to his new shop in mid June, he’s hoping his customers are going out again—or at least feeling ready to go out.

But will they be ready to get out of their sweatpants? That’s fashion’s million-dollar question in 2021. Once we’re finally sprung free from a year in lockdown, will women crave excess and exhibitionism, or will they shrink from it?

The answer is probably both, but there’s one thing that Lippes is betting on: “I think women have gotten used to being comfortable,” he said from his showroom, which is a convenient walk from that soon-to-be store. “Our internal challenge is how to engage them.”

To start, he met the challenge by thinking differently about materials. A Japanese denim, for example, was dyed an unexpected shade of light pink here in New York, and cut into sailor-front pants and a matching sleeveless peplum top, while a black denim button-down and pencil skirt were treated to Swarovski pearl buttons.

An Italian jacquard with no fewer than 12 different colors of yarns—the sort of thing one might’ve once used for a fancy dress—was cut into Bermuda shorts and a safari jacket.

Other pieces more straightforwardly emphasized a sense of ease. A pretty printed silk dress in shades of blue and white fell gracefully to the ankles from a softly elasticized waist, and a white silk crepe dress with vintage buttons accenting its single sleeve was caftan-like in attitude.

Not a hint of excess anywhere. That said, Lippes isn’t opposed to a flash of legs. His take on the shorter silhouette we’re starting to see around town came in A-line white denim with those special vintage buttons.