Wednesday, June 30, 2010

July Designer Focus: ADAM

Growing up in Buffalo, New York and graduating from Cornell University with plans of becoming an investment banker, Adam Lippes never imagined that his path would converge with the fashion industry. It was the year he spent in Paris studying art history and architecture that caused him to dramatically shift that path's direction. Returning to New York in 1995, Mr. Lippes began his fashion career as an assistant to the store manager of a Ralph Lauren retail outpost. Soon thereafter, he took a job at Oscar de la Renta, rapidly ascending the ladder that led to his being named Global Creative Director at the age of 27. After spending 7 years with the company, Mr. Lippes left in 2003 to embark on his own endeavors.

In 2004, he launched his collection of luxury basics, adam+eve. He attributes much of the vision for this label to the influence of Mr. de la Renta. "My whole history is from Oscar," he says in an interview with Rachel Strugatz of "I had an innate sense of style but it was Oscar who developed it. I wanted to create a lifestyle brand based on American sportswear; chic, easy sportswear."

Mr. Lippes's commitment to fashion, functionality, and luxury quickly propelled his brand into the mainstream consciousness, with his tees hailed as one of "Oprah's Favorite Things" shortly after their debut. By 2007, he could count himself as a member of the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and had launched a complete ready-to-wear collection of "chic, easy sportswear" on which he conferred the simple, effective moniker of ADAM.

ADAM, comprised of beautifully conceived and intricately detailed dresses and separates, is inspired by the woman with a restless spirit, an imaginative mind, and an artistic sensibility. As Mr. Lippes describes, "I want to make pieces that are for this season and next season. The jetsetter woman has evolved. She is influenced by art and culture and not interested in the trend of the second. She is interesting, and not only the New York fashion scene."

Isca Greenfield-Saunders, Black and White Parachute, 2008

For his Pre-Fall 2010 collection, bowing at McMullen on Piedmont this month, Adam Lippes expands upon this vision, imbuing his timelessly beautiful pieces with the freedom and movement of flight. Inspired by a painting by Isca Greenfield-Sanders, Lippes experiments with volume and depth, with billowing sleeves and loosely draped skirts in a deeply saturated palette of magenta, teal, charcoal, navy, and cream.

Balloon Sleeve Dress $288

With tops that feel like clouds and prints that evoke feathers flying through the air, Lippes clearly demonstrates that he has hit his stride. His collection melds the sophistication of the wordly woman with the beauty of the sky, his inspiration and skill infused into pieces that you'll treasure for years to come.

Long halter dress $622

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