Designer Peter Som

We were pleased when we found out designer Peter Som not only has a penchant for prints, but also for all things food and entertaining. Som’s ideal food day includes a French Onion Soup Burger, and it turns out his hypothetical last meal starts with Italian food and ends with Chinese food. Do more perfect combinations exist? Turns out they do, taking the form of Som’s new collaboration launching with Anthropologie, which stems from a mutual love of print, color and pattern. We sat down with the designer to discuss the collection, as well as his take on all things concerning eating and entertaining…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

My ideal food day would start with two medium boiled organic eggs from Garden of Spices Poultry Farm with a touch of Maldon sea salt and coffee. Post-gym I always have a Greengenes smoothie from Juice Generation. For lunch, I usually keep it light so it’s usually avocado on toast or a tuna nicoise salad. The afternoon munchies always get me so if I feel like treating myself I’m definitely down for a doughnut – classic glazed please. Evening may start with a glass of rosé – I like most rosés but I currently love Channing Daughters Rosato varieties. Dinner? I can always have a burger. The French Onion Soup Burger from The Little Prince is one that I am always happy to see in front of me. I’m not a huge dessert person but a few chunks of Dark Chocolate Break Up (and some Dark Chocolate covered pretzels) from Li-Lac do the trick. Ok now I’m seriously hungry!

What was your inspiration for the Anthropologie collaboration? Can you tell us about it?

I was inspired by Film Noir femme fatales mixed with Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love. I love the idea of cinematic and mysterious romance.

What about the collection screams ‘Peter’?

Like all my collections, this one starts with the prints. The florals I used here are dark and shadowy. It’s a less obvious kind of femininity – still pretty but also slightly seductive.

This is your third collection with Anthropologie. Could you tell us how this relationship came to be? Why and how does it continue to work so well? 

I’ve always admired Anthropologie’s love of color, print and pattern – which I also love – so the synergy was also there. The chance to bring my vision to the Anthropologie customer that first time was so exciting, and continues to be with this collection.

Is there a certain print that has always reflected you? What is it?

Ha! There have been so many prints that I have loved; it’s almost impossible. But one print in particular that I love is from my Spring 2015 show. It’s a graphic rose print floral with a dark ground. The rose stems look like they’ve been tossed in the air and are falling. It’s bold and crisp yet also feminine and fun.

We hear you’re a foodie. What do you love to cook?

I do love cooking and baking a lot. I usually tend toward very seasonal cooking based on what’s available at the farmers market. For fall, I start turning toward late-season tomatoes in every variation – salads, soups, sauces – everything!

How do you always start your day? 

The thing I do now is start my day by waking up and purposely not looking at my iPhone for at least an hour. It sounds like nothing much but considering how we are all so attached to them, having some time during the morning to be fully aware of the present moment is kind of great. Then of course it’s coffee and emails!

Who is your style icon and why? 

There are so many women whose style I love. From Audrey Hepburn and Jane Birkin to Leandra Medine and Olivia Palermo, the common factor is a sense of effortlessness and embracing individuality. That to me is style.

The trend you’re loving…

Oversized clothes.

The trend you’re hating…

Oversized clothes done wrong!

What’s the biggest dinner party faux pas as a host? 

To be stressed. If you’re stressed your guests will sense that and not relax. It’s all about keeping your cool and having fun. A close second is not offering a drink within the first few minutes of their arrival.

As a guest? 

It’s not the biggest faux pas, but I always like to show up with something – a bottle of wine or a Diptyque candle. It doesn’t matter really what. Just no cut flowers. No host has time to find a vase and unwrap flowers when guests are arriving.

Advice to women waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror, and getting dressed…

Say something nice to yourself. Positive affirmation will go a long way!

What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?

Wow this is honestly something I’ve never thought of! It would be a meal from I Sodi, plus a few Chinese dishes thrown in like my Grandmother’s pan-fried turnip cake and her savory sticky rice. I would have my family and closest friends with me. We’d make it a party!

One item every woman should own…

A crisp white shirt.

Three Instagram accounts you can’t live without…

@eyeswoon, @humansofny, and @ottolenghi

Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without? 

I’m a beach bum at heart so for me travel is a time to relax and unwind. Some favorites are Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands, St Barths, and the Amalfi Coast. I won’t travel without my Bose headphones, the New Yorker and a few Facial Treatment Masks from Skin Laundry.

What are you favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?

I love my hometown San Francisco for food. I always try and have a meal at Rich Table, State Bird Provisions, Hog Island Oyster Co. for their crazy grilled cheese, Yank Sing for dim sum and R & G Lounge for a good Chinese meal.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato right now?

You’re never fully dressed without a smile?

Shop the Anthropologie collection here.

*Peter Som, photographed at Café Clover in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann. Sponsored by Anthropologie.