New York Fashion Week: Peter Som

Citing inspiration as “surf style meets downtown”, Peter Som’s spring 2014 collection is a playful mix of sportswear and your city girl’s essentials. The moto jacket and sweatshirt are re-interpreted for the new season with digitized prints, graphic florals and bold stripes. Som also focused on crop tops for spring paired with loose-fitting trousers or billowing skirts. The color palette varies between black and white, cerulean, navy and grey for the designer’s surfer-inspired outing.

Peter Som took the “spring” element of the collection to heart– quite literally. Embodying the spirit of playful femininity, his creations are filled with floral prints, floral textures, and floral hues. His inspiration for the entire collection was “Woman on the Verge” which is evident in the juxtaposition between the soft girly looks, the bright pops of color, and the angular geometric prints.

One of the reasons for Som’s popularity is that he understands how to work with bold prints without making them garish or painful. From stripes to diamonds to an incredible blue, black, and white watercolor pattern, this season’s wardrobe is full of prints that infer motion even when one is standing still.

Motion is a big factor here. Som’s line gives the wearer plenty of room to move. He does his best to make the spring wardrobe comfortable without getting too terribly daring. Trousers are full enough to be comfortable, flowing and airy, but are also well tailored enough at the hips to not appear frumpy. Likewise, skirts and dresses present a lovely feminine silhouette and still maintain a breeziness that might have one already wishing for the beach.

While shades of black, white and blue are Som’s primary palette for this collection, he does manage to insert a bit of burnt sienna in a couple of pieces that look nice if one has the complexion to pull off that color. For the most part, though, the colors stay surprisingly conservative for spring.

There are bare arms and a few bare midriffs, but what few risks he takes are more in how he folds and drapes his skirts and jackets, where he decides to use sheer panels and putting black shoulder straps on a white dress. He plays very, very well in the Midwest. There are no frightening surprises to his clothes. There’s nothing here one can’t wear to a casual lunch and there are even some pieces suitable for work or church.

We loved the versatility and complexity of this defining visual motif, as the detailed floral embroideries seen in white fabrics are a clever predecessor to the youthful floral prints seen in pastels which are then artfully contrasted against more abstract prints seen in bold pink and blue hues. Peter Som’s play between texture, color, and print design felt reminiscent of a coming of age fable– one in which the protagonist’s sense of self (and style) changes over time yet she is able to stay on the edge.

Appearances: Lara Mullen, Julia Frauche, Steffi Soede, Elza Luijendijk, Ella Kandyba, Maria Bradley, Mackenzie Drazen, Patrycja Gardygajlo, Thairine Garcia, Zen Sevastyanova, Betty Adewole, Andie Arthur, Karlina Caune, Lina Zhang, Liu Wen, Katlin Aas, Sojourner Morrell, Elsa Sylvan, Codie Young, Shu Pei Qin, Valery Ka, Josilyn Williams, Louise Parker, Melissa Tammerijn, Monika Sawicka, Sui He, Kel Markey, Laura Kampman, Othilia Simon, Ava Smith, Marie Piovesan, Peter Som

Credit: Zahra Kerry
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