Adam Lippes RTW Spring 2022

Adam Lippes
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Adam Lippes

Sugar flower sculptures discovered on Instagram brought a new dimension to the designer’s sportswear.

The number of Instagram DM connections that have made and inspired runway collections during this pandemic year-plus is truly remarkable.

Adam Lippes zeroed in on the stylish @cakeatelieramsterdam feed run by by designer-turned-flower sugar sculptor Natasja Sadi, half a world away in the Netherlands. When he first hit send, she said no. (It wasn’t the first time someone had asked to use her florals for a commercial project).

But Lippes is quite the charmer, and a two-hour Zoom turned into a lovefest and a collaboration for the designer, who on Thursday morning presented his first runway show since February 2020.

Breakfast was set for the civilized affair in the Winter Court of Brookfield Place, where Lippes has his store. And the intimate salon feel (somehow conjured in a mall) was a good set-up for his less-is-more sportswear to stand out.

Lippes has a wonderful color sense, with his combinations of rust and apricot, flashes of shocking pink and kelly green, much appreciated on a rainy morning.

So, too, were his subtle twists on the classics, comfort wear for confusing times.

His shirting has cult status (an oversized banker blue style with appliquéd white lace was a standout), and dressy-casual pieces like a superbly tailored ivory silk wool vest and shorts “suit” struck the right “are we working from home or aren’t we?” note.

Nobody can get enough special denim right now, and Lippes delivered in that department with a charming railroad stripe cami and patch pants look, as well as a true blue ruffle party skirt that looked great with a white poplin puff-sleeved shirt with lace point collar.

Quilted silk wool added a rich texture to a cream circle skirt, worn with an ivory cotton embroidered sweater after Sadi’s candied blooms. Her moody floral photography was also translated into a print on silk Duchesse pieces. Another nod to the Netherlands? A cream linen gown embroidered with a bouquet and Delft vase after the sculptor’s personal collection.

“This is the first time I’ve been inspired by a single person,” said Lippes of his Instagram connection. “It’s not just her style, it’s her outlook on life, and joy coming out of the pandemic.” She’s “thoughtful but optimistic.” You might say the same about these clothes.

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