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The expectations for Sander Lak, the Dutch designer behind the fledgling Sies Marjan label, could not have been higher. A breakout freshman showing in New York this past February — when just a few buyers and editors piled into a downtown Manhattan residence across the street from Goldman Sachs and Condé Nast— intensified the scrutiny for season two.
A crowd showed up for Mr Lak’s second showing, weeks after his first collection arrived in stores. Already women are acquainting themselves with Sies Marjan. The Maxfield boutique in Los Angeles has nearly sold out of its first order. Barney’s is quickly running through stock as well.
It is news that bodes well for the brand as it finds its footing (Monse, by the newly appointed Oscar de la Renta designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, is the other buzzy brand to watch). It is also no surprise. Mr Lak has a predilection for an obstacle, which takes the form in a colour palette that would overwhelm many other designers. His education at Dries Van Noten, Balmain and 3.1 Phillip Lim has proved fruitful.
“I really wanted to work with things that are really hard to make believable clothes out of, the oranges and neons,” he said after his tremendous spring summer 2017 show. “It’s relatively easy to make streetwear out of these colours, but to do beautiful, elegant clothes is really a challenge.”
“It’s like taking an acid pill and suddenly everything is bright . . . a smack of colour” he added.
Certainly most of his showgoers would like to find this dispensary. The collection included chartreuse silk slip dresses; neon pink long sleeve wrap tops with bias-cut skirts; and a bright orange meringue strapped dress draped at the breast with extra fabric. They are items that will sell, alongside some of the excellent seersucker button-downs and draped skirts.
The clothes had an easy movement and feel, even when Mr Lak turned to metal crunch cottons, plastic-like velvets and corduroy. It is a refinement that a new clientele will very quickly fall for, and a point he plans to remain centred around.
“I want to focus on the clothes for as long as I can,” he said. “The first messages of the first few collections have to be about what the Sies Marjan mentality is. Let the perfumes and [accessories] come later.”
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