Most folks in the fashion set have grown accustomed to a cheery barrage of playfully mixed prints, textures, and colors in Peter Som's collections in past seasons, but for fall, it seems the designer has grown up some. (Or, as some whispered, he may have gotten some advice from a few buyers on what's been selling and what hasn't.)
The first few looks of Som's Fall 2011 collection, in fact, were completely devoid of color -- from a black floral jacquard dress to a dark twill double-breasted blazer. When color did arrive in the form of "winter floral" print dresses and an off-the-shoulder dress in a saturated, textured scarlet, there was almost a visible sigh of relief. To be sure: Som's tailoring is quite impeccable and his silhouettes are fantastic, but many have grown to love the unfiltered enthusiasm with which the designer seems to approach color and textiles (even purple furs).
Som's signature mixing makes its mark in more sophisticated ways for fall, focusing on tonal combinations like a chestnut check blazer paired with bronze sequin pants. The highlights of the collection included a series of exquisitely tailored suit jackets with peplum waists and lacquered sequin pieces ranging from pencil-thin pants to a perfectly-fitted long tank dress. The detail on some of the dresses was spectacular, including a black fil coupe cocktail dress rendered in black wool and organza.
The only set of pieces that drew a few wrinkled noses were the wool coats with patches of fur on the arms and, in most cases, covering the back -- rather like a hairy gorilla's back. Clever and playful, yes, but perhaps not so chic.