Net-a-Porter's Sies Marjan capsule is an appetiser to the buzzy, hybrid label
Colouring outside the lines
With a couture anatomy but ease of ready-to-wear, Sies Marjan serves up the best of both worlds
American label Sies Marjan has an interesting story. It is by all means new — in name and in design — but by all means old too, if you dissect it to the bones. The name Ralph Rucci might ring more familiar. He's been around since 1994, wields a godly precision with fabric, and has pocketed the title of America's sole true couturier — until he left his own label in 2014. Enter Sander Lak: transplanted from Dries Van Noten to captain the ship reborn as Sies Marjan.
In three years, Lak (and his team, a mash-up of staff from Ralph Rucci days to new blood like himself) has plonked the brand smack centre on the fashion map. To say Sies Marjan is colourful is stating the obvious, but it's precisely this palpable source code that one credits for its triumph. Its couture technique, not so much. But as Lak divulged to System x Buro, it's all there — in the "twists, folds and drapings." You see it in the pinched waist of an otherwise shapeless mint green shift from the brand's Net-a-Porter capsule, executed such that it looks like the top half has been nonchalantly tucked into the bottom. And again on a scarlet long-sleeve dress. On a mandarin orange skirt, a series of folds afford the ruching effect without turning the fabric into unceremonious bunches. As a whole, it's a canapé to the Sies Marjan universe.
While Lak has too, said that Sies Marjan "[tries] to make a product that is easy to wear [that] does not have a couture price point", rendering it "very hard to read just how high-end it really is," part of us think that with the 34-year-old, there is an on-the-pulse understanding of the contemporary consumer today. Of course, the frills and in-your-face glamour of couture is still what makes that domain amazing — that demanding, wow-factor also tips the craft over into art — but if it can be part of everyday life instead of prized for occassion, then it's truly luxury.
Sies Marjan for Net-a-Porter:
Shop the Sies Marjan exclusive capsule on Net-a-Porter from 16 May.