The Castaway

Designer Samantha Pleet plays Lost and Found. By Kirsten Fleming
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Samantha Pleet spring/summer '07 collection
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Brooklyn designer, Samantha Pleet is still having a laugh over her recent run-in with a man kitted out in full wizard gear and a long beard, rushing through the streets of Prague. "You see the most interesting things traveling through Europe, and I want to recreate that beauty and mystery," says Pleet whose extensive travels from Venice to Barcelona has provided the canvas for her hauntingly magical togs.
The Pratt alum and former intern for As Four has been charming everyone with her sartorial alchemy since she walked into Lower Eastside boutique, TG-170 with a very small lookbook and instantly sold most of her pieces.
"It's all happened so organically for me. Now it's becoming what it is," says Pleet from her Williamsburg studio. The IT, which she refers to is her eponymous line of clothing that looks as though she's channeling a virtual hipster Neverland. Her second collection for spring '07 is a fashion remake of the Lost Boys adventures—if JM Barrie had harbored design aspirations.
"We're lost and we never want to grow up. We're ageless and timeless," says Pleet, of the signature Samantha Pleet girl. Between pirate vests and striped fisherman tanks, rompers and short pixie dresses, Pleet shows us that fantasy can sometimes be real and exceedingly wearable.
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Samantha Pleet fall/winter '07 collection
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"I like things that make you feel special, like you can do anything in them," says Pleet. "These clothes are for daily adventures."
Details like vintage Russian buttons with sea monsters make sweet dresses and rompers more handsome and salty; the Castaway romper, a striped hooded one-piece with a matching tie belt is spectacularly casual and cool. Pleet's favorite, the Kellerwald jumper, looks like a dapper pair of old-fashioned underwear (in a good way).
The daydreaming designer shows her maturity in her freshly debuted line for fall '07 where it seems the Lost Boys get schooled. "I was in London and really got into the menswear-inspired uniform look for girls," says Pleet, who translated this idea into jumpers with matching jackets and oversized bows reminiscent of a schoolgirl with a flair for dark mischief. While she has mostly worked with knits and jersey, corduroys and wool are on heavy rotation this time around. She's also putting together some one-off men's duds for her guy friends in bands. "I want it to look dusty like it's been in a trunk for a few hundred years," she says. "But totally suitable for today."
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Samantha Pleet fall/winter '07 collection
Samantha Pleet is available in New York at Stuart & Wright, 85 Lafayette Street, Brooklyn, 718-797-0011, and at I Heart, 262 Mott Street; and in London at Luna, 198 Brick Lane, (011) 440-797-744-0212. For more information, go to www.samanthapleet.com
Designer Samantha Pleet plays Lost and Found.
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