Through Exquisite Color and Craft, Adam Lippes Plants Subtle Seeds of Spring
By Mark Wittmer
Elegant but not opulent, the Adam Lippes’ Spring 2022 show felt like a warm breeze bearing subtle scents of spring. Lippes kept the work focused and wearable while subtly allowing it to expand into an emotional celebration of growth and beauty, primarily recognizable in the colors and patterns, which combined warm neutral and earth tones with bright bursts of color and floral motifs across lavish prints and embroidery.
The inspiration for the collection stemmed from an obsession with the work of Dutch couturier turned baker-cum-floral genius, Natasja Sadi. What began with a collaboration focused on her vivid floral photography led to an exploration of both her essence and her work. Her heritage, art and vibrancy set the color palette, mood and of course, pattern for the collection.
– Adam Lippes
Long dresses were kept straight or only slightly pulled in at the waist. Sleeveless tops that flirt with being called bralettes or extend into gently blooming frills pair well with loose skirts that hug a high waist. Asymmetrical jewelry styling paired some looks with a dangly floral earring on one ear only. Pulled low over the eyes, oversized bucket hats imbued a perennially youthful feeling of cool mystique.
Committing to the more free-flowing silhouette, Lippes’ blazers, which have become something of a signature thanks in part to being a favorite of Jill Biden’s, had their sleeves sliced off, and in one instance were made flirty and dramatic in its combination with a floral-printed bralette and tiered frill-hem skirt. Rather than rigid tailoring, the few somewhat more structured pieces drew their solidity from the supple construction of the fabric itself.
The pieces’ sense of flowing ease and simplicity belie the meticulous intricacy of their details, particularly with regards to embroidery. The white-on-white floral embroidery of one shirt gives way to geometrical open-work patterns, almost tapping into deconstructionism. The Dutch influence returns here, as the lace embroidery was pulled from an antique Dutch bonnet sampler (the gorgeously colored solid silks are upcycled as well). Photographs can’t do justice to the shimmering movement of the colorfully beaded embroidered flowers that delicately bloom across several dresses and sweaters.
Emotional, sophisticated, and romantic, Lippes’ work here expresses an idea of luxury that is not performative and pandering, but that exists simply for the joy of existing. Speaking through a language of history, form, color, and flowers, he opens our senses to a subtle and persistent beauty.