Over the course of our 15-minute conversation, New York-based designer Adam Lippes shifted positions seven times—sitting forward, leaning back with his legs crossed, tucking one leg under the other. For some, this might read as restless, but Lippes was energetic and present as he discussed his spring collection, his mentor (the late Oscar de la Renta) and the true meaning of luxury. We sat still and took it all in.
ON HIS SECRET MUSE
“She’s a friend of mine, but she doesn’t know she’s my muse. We have a secret mood board that gets hidden when she comes by the studio.”
ON LESSONS LEARNED
“My aesthetic is very different from Oscar de la Renta’s, but the core values are not. I want to make clothes that make women smile. And so did he. I learned everything about fashion from him.”
ON SLOW LUXURY
“If something took time to create, then chances are it’s luxurious. Like time spent with family or a dinner that took six hours to prepare—that’s a luxurious dinner.”
ON DRESSY CASUAL
“I’ve banned the word ‘gown’; I do long dresses. I think the word is ‘ease’; I try to do something that’s comfortable but also dressed up. Comfort doesn’t have to be sloppy.”
ON HIS SPRING COLLECTION
“There are lots of gathered asymmetrical hems and a play of stiff and soft. We make what we call an ‘opera coat,’ [made of] silk jacquard in 12 different colours. You can wear it with jeans and a T-shirt to the grocery store or out to black tie at night.”
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