Sies Marjan Grabs the Industry Elite's Attention With Debut Fashion Week Show

Will this new line by a former Dries Van Noten designer be the breakout star of the week? Anna Wintour was there, so it has a good shot.
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Will this new line by a former Dries Van Noten designer be the breakout star of the week? Anna Wintour was there, so it has a good shot.
A look from the Sies Marjan fall 2016 show. Photo: Sies Marjan

A look from the Sies Marjan fall 2016 show. Photo: Sies Marjan

It can take several seasons for a new brand to get a respected fashion critic at its show — I've spoken to several designers who felt they'd finally "made it" when, years in, they got a Style.com (RIP) write up — and even longer before someone as powerful as Anna Wintour will make an appearance. But Sander Lak, creative director of brand new label Sies Marjan, had the most influential people in the industry in the front row at his debut presentation, including Anna Wintour, Cathy Horyn and Nicole Phelps.

There's a certain FOMO that comes from missing the show of a new designer who turns out to be really great. A desire to avoid that feeling, paired with the information that Lak most recently worked at Dries Van Noten — information dispersed by fashion publicity powerhouse PR Consulting — is likely what motivated top editors, critics and buyers (we spotted a few from Barneys) to make their way to the unfinished, sun-drenched Tribeca condo in which the runway show took place.

I had the same feeling I did at my first Delpozo show years ago: almost like I'd been transported to Europe. Not to hate on New York — it's where I'm most likely to find clothes I actually want to wear — but Sies Marjan had elements of luxury, surprise and newness that are less common here. The show notes mentioned a "transcontinental freshness," which may not make sense in any other context besides this collection, which was also described as "opposing the ingrained discord of seasons." (Read: seasonless.) 

The show began with a series of sparse florals and busy abstract prints on loose, romantic dresses and pajama-like separates. Dusty pinks, nudes and citrus shades like yellow and orange were peppered throughout, while a section of navy jackets, blouses and skirts felt the most fall-like, as did fur harnesses that allowed for that chic, off-the-shoulder look with some stability. Familiar silhouettes, like turtlenecks, midi dresses, wrap skirts and cropped pants, were all reworked with selective ruching, drawstrings and taping. The fabrics were unmistakably luxurious — wool silk, duchess silk, linen jacquard — and prices will certainly be on the higher end of the spectrum. Still, most of it looked easy and wearable, qualities that make sense for a New York brand.

Post-show chatter was overwhelmingly positive, and it's been a while since a new designer drummed up this kind of excitement from fashion's power players. It may be too early to call it the breakout show of Fashion Week, but we got the distinct feeling that we're going to be writing about this brand — and seeing it in street style photos — for seasons to come. For now, browse the debut collection below.