Peter Som was noticeably absent from the New York Fashion Week calendar this season -- his namesake line, that is. His name did pop up next to Italian label Les Copains' contemporary offshoot Blue Les Copains, where Som was named creative director about a year ago.
For the first time since Som joined the label, he held a presentation during New York Fashion Week, and we obviously went. The clothes were cute and wearable -- had the models not been standing and posing all in a row, any one of them could have been an attendee of the presentation. These were real-girl looks: leather pants, a shearling-lined leather jacket, cropped trousers, cozy wool pea coats and printed sweaters made up the bulk of the collection. It wasn't as bold or directional as what Som might have shown on the runway, but as he told us Thursday at the Standard Hotel's sun-drenched Highline Room, there was some of that Peter Som feminine sensibility mixed in. We also talked to the former Bill Blass designer about why he took the job with Les Copains and why he decided to cancel his runway show. Read on for our interview.
What was your starting point for this collection?
Les Copains is known for their great sportswear, their sweaters and their knitwear is really their signature so it was really starting from that and I was really thinking about a late '60s/early '70s sensibility. So it’s like great sportswear pieces but with a little bit of a rebellious edge.
How did this job come about and why did you want to do it?
I’ve known about Les Copains and I love the idea of, for the price point. Everything’s made in Italy and the quality is so beautiful and the fabrics are all Italian. To be able to work with them and the team in Bologna, and to go to Bologna too was great -- the food’s also fabulous -- it was just a great chance to work together. So we did two seasons where I was consulting on a case by case basis and this season we did more of a push.
Why did you feel it was important to show during fashion week in New York?
I think to do a presentation, a lot of people in the U.S. market maybe are not familiar with the brand as much as globally. So I think it was really just to show what the brand is and what it’s all about.
How do you feel this collection represents your own personal aesthetic?
I think for me it was about great sportswear pieces, wearability, which I don’t use that term lightly. It’s to have beautiful, crisp, streamlined clothes with a feminine touch and the idea of not trying too hard -- a great coat with a little flat shoe. I wanted this ease of dressing and I think that speaks to the brand’s heritage.
Why did you decide not to show your line this season?
We’re just doing some internal reorganization and we’ll be back in September.