Sander Lak, the young designer behind new label Sies Marjan, seemed to spring out from almost nowhere to debut the most buzzed-about collection of NYFW. Usually it takes many successful seasons and a devoted PR agency to get an up-and-comer serous exposure, but Lak’s first ever front row was overflowing with industry heavyweights: from Anna Wintour to Stefano Tonchi to a plethora of Barneys buyers, every invitee was eager to be apart of his bonafide “moment.”
So how did Sies Marjan become this season’s hottest ticket? It is partly due to financial backing from Nancy and Howard Marks, the owners of Oaktree Capital Management who recruited Lack to build his own brand from the ground up. Without them, Sies Marjan, a combination of Lak’s parents’ names, would not have been possible. But it is the designer’s extensive resume that got the industry truly excited. After graduating from Central Saint Martins, he worked at Marc Jacobs, 3.1 Philip Lim, and Balmain before he became head of design for the lauded Dries van Noten. But no matter what circumstances brought Lak to this point in his career, his work for Sies Marjan no doubt speaks for itself.
For FW16, the designer found inspiration in his fond memories of the so called “cool girls” from his youth- the ones he admired from afar, but never managed to befriend. He took the ease of styling of these 90’s era exclusives and created a floral filled fantasy collection in their honor. The clothes were feminine in nature, delicate even, but still maintained a sort of disheveled attitude that was both off-kilter and extremely wearable all at once.
Lak started off strong with a wispy, lavender midi dress featuring a twist detail under the bust exposing just a tinge of skin. This twisting is actually a couture technique, but when employed with an effortless hand, conveyed a simple elegance for which Sies Marjan will no doubt be a go-to. A clever mix of high-end design elements and street-wise flair carried on throughout the collection. Nylon “jean” jackets- one lined with shearling, one not- were an haute take on the time-honored classic, while a voluminous, ruffled blouse matched with a low-slung skirt hit all the modernist high notes. Elsewhere, Lak sent out languid riffs on sleepwear; his oversized robe coat and silky bias-cut slips felt easy, yet pulled together enough to rock outside of the bedroom. It wasn’t until a a cropped riding pant ensemble walked the runway with a perfectly undone blouse and fur stole draped around the arm that the show notes became clear: “femininity, elegance, imperfection.”
One of the designer’s greatest accomplishments with this first collection was his use of color. Light pastel hues had an overall feel of romanticism that was balanced with neutral tones for strength- a pairing inspired by his time at van Noten. Lack also showcased several studies in monochromatic dressing; his yellow, pink, orange, and purple versions are already being used as expert examples of how to pull off the tricky trend.
Prepare your shopping lists ladies. As soon as Sies Marjan hits stores, it will be an all out race to see who can get to these lust-worthy pieces first. With an opening show as wildly successful as this one, “sold out” may be the two words coming between you and your dream wardrobe.