Adam Lippes saw his online business grow 500 percent this year. A large part of that can be attributed to a new chief executive officer, but credit should also be given to the developing personal connections Lippes shares with his customers. They’re in a constant rapport — “she wants luxury and something to invest in,” he said of his engagement with the customer. “She loves discovery and wants to learn about fabric and construction.” Three years ago, she wanted elevated basics; he’s now finding she wants eveningwear and special items to build into her wardrobe as well.
His collections have long been founded on interiors. He looked to French interior designer Madeleine Castaing this season, who mixed an incredible sense of exoticism with luxury in her country home. She favored leopard and cheetah prints, which Lippes reimagined onto a stretch Italian cotton dress with hints of fuchsia and pink for something fresh. A blue floral pattern in her homes was interpreted as lovely embroidery on a gown, and as separates cut in silk jacquard. Some references were subtler, like the antique French trim on silk crepe pants taken from the same time period with which she worked, or her use of tweed, which appeared as comfy woven pants and knits. It all came in her preferred palette derived from the sky, earth and sea.
Evening offerings tread a course of refinement and elegance. There was more volume than normal, like the ethereal chartreuse dress or lace gown, whose strips were sewn then indigo-dyed. It culminated in a younger take on evening — a silk crepe T-shirt with a silk and lace skirt, stripped and reembroidered with Swarovski crystals. “Our customer wants fashion but with a small ‘f,’” Lippes concluded. “They want to get into it. They want to have fun.”