BY: HAL RUBENSTEIN
If you haven’t heard of him, you should (which of course, is why DESIGNER FLASH is here.) Adam Lippes creates clothes for real life. His fabrics are simply wonderful. You’ll wish your favorite robe felt this good. His designs brighten your mood the moment you take them out of your closet, and they slide across your body like an unexpected caress. Sound seductive? It is.
What’s more, the handsome, gently charming designer makes “day to night” dressing an effortless option. His clothes are virtually seasonless. Since silhouettes float along the body, dresses look appropriate whether worn at home, work, or at a party so they are sure to be the first things you’ll pack when it’s time to travel, whether business or pleasure. It’s hard to imagine ever wanting to take clothes by Adam Lippes off. No wonder they are the perfect match for our Fine Jewelry Everyday collections, and the perfect Exhibit A to put forth whenever people ask, “What’s the difference between fashion and style?”
Fashion changes. It comes and goes, it’s fickle. Style is yours forever. Adam Lippes has style.
HR: Do you have a fashion mantra?
AL: My constant goal is pretty simple. I want a woman to put on one of my looks, then see herself in the mirror and smile.
HR: You’ve been designing for two decades, first as Oscar de la Renta’s creative director, and now on your own for over a decade. How has women’s perception of beauty evolved?
AL: I don’t think that woman’s perceptions of beauty have changed but their lifestyle has changed, so the clothes they need to fit that life, now are different.
HR: In what way?
AL: They are all working, running around, traveling more than ever, which also means their clothes need to be more versatile than ever, and more seasonless. Very few women need fancy clothes to ‘go to lunch’ every day, which is how we started out, twenty years ago. It’s a sea change. Today’s woman isn’t in this perfect little chic coat all day. She’s more likely to be in Athleisurewear, which is worn by everyone, no matter how wealthy. So you can make beautiful clothes, but you have to give women their freedom.
But you still see certain magazines and social media running after every trend, sometimes the more outrageous the better.
Yes, and about 100 women will buy them. We have invested so much effort into this super-chic fashion-crazed woman. She is in all the ads, and drives the conversation. But she barely exists!
HR: Who do you see out there? Who is your ideal woman?
AL: When you travel you realize most modern day women aren’t breathing fashion day and night. She wants a bit of fashion, just enough to make her feel great and look amazing while she gets on with her life, enjoy her family, have a career, and be with her friends. I want to create clothes for the world where she lives, where we live.
HR: Do women dress the same everywhere?
AL: No. Dallas, Houston, San Francisco and, of course, New York are big style cities because there are more options. Other places have an easier pace but the desire to look good and feel confident doesn’t change.
HR: What’s essential to create clothes that appeal to women regardless of where they live?
AL: Ease and elegance is the key. We work a lot with complicated fabrics like silk jacquard and cashmere that you can’t find other places. But we work them in simple silhouettes so they are accessible. We work in florals every season because they always lift the spirit. We have even partnered with a florist who makes arrangements for us that we shoot and turn into print fabric. And I always look at home design. I’m probably a frustrated interior designer.
I LOVE JEWELRY.But I keep it simple. Easy pieces that don’t overwhelm, that YOU WEAR BECAUSE YOU LOVE THEM, because you can wear them all the time, and ALWAYS FEEL GOOD TO HAVE ON.
HR: Why home?
AL: Because that’s where people choose the colors and fabrics that make them feel most comfortable and personal. Look, I don’t need to do basic clothing. You can get great basics easily at easy price points. I want to create clothes that inspire and feel as individual as the wearer.
HR: How do you like to accessorize your clothes?
AL: I LOVE JEWELRY. But I keep it simple. Easy pieces that don’t overwhelm, that YOU WEAR BECAUSE YOU LOVE THEM, because you can wear them all the time, and ALWAYS FEEL GOOD TO HAVE ON. Accessories should be about acquiring the things you love most, because it’s bags, shoes and jewelry that you turn to most readily whenever you want to make a look your own. Plus, accessories you love give you confidence.
HR: Isn’t confidence the real key to great style?
AL: Of course it is. Obviously there is a lot that goes into creating confidence, and much of that is about liking yourself. If wearing my clothes helps you feel good about yourself, even if it is temporary, then we have done our job. And that’s why it’s a job I love.
ADAM’S TOP 5 TIPS
ADAM’S TIPS ON
ALWAYS BEING AT YOUR BEST
1. Looking good isn’t so difficult.All it takes is a perfectly fit pair of dark jeans and a crisp white shirt.
2. Trust your own instincts.If you feel like you look good in a dress, you do.
3. Dress to impress is a viable concept,but dressing so that it brings out your smile is even better.
4. Take care of your shoes.
5. No advice could be more infallible –ignore trends and focus on style.