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story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Peter Cameron Dominkovits
Vivienne Tam‘s work is complex, subtle, and striking. She will use prints with fringe and embossed edges and it doesn’t feel busy. It’s a remarkable feat that she performs season after season. Her Spring 2012 collection was inspired by the 1970s, and it shows in prints and palette. Pinks, oranges and blues mixed with blacks, whites and tie dyes for a very tranquil feel. There were many 70s tailoring touches which also reinforced the mood. Side slit pockets and thin yokes mixed with bell bottoms, done in a fresh way not a simple copy, embroidered bands, and silk wide and long bow tie collars that hung to the navel, all were drawn from the 1970s and updated with a definitive “Tam touch”.
In general the clothes were very subtle, loose and soft. Vivienne Tam seems to be always aiming to make the softest possible shapes that are always on the edge of flopping, sagging, or otherwise failing but never do. A few of her pieces contained a marvelous split rounded open sleeve which stopped just above the top of the bicep and protruded out an inch or so from the arm, gravity defying and impressive. This collection was as another great development inside of what makes Vivienne Tam one of the great American designers of our time. Her designs are marvels of how in the right hands a great number of elements can equal a simply beautiful design.