Fashion can be mercilessly fickle: Designers are quite often dismissed just as soon as they're discovered. So thank God for Derek Lam, who has slowly, methodically, and quietly worked his way toward a collection that is now a mainstay of what we consider American fashion.
Lam's show this evening officially announced his point of view, something he’s been working toward for several seasons now. And it is this: extremely feminine (flounced skirts, high ruffled necks), massively luxurious (the fabrics are epic in their richness), and heavy on detail, both in the tailoring and the embellishment. It's a very specific take on glamour and suggests a woman who is acutely conscious of the feel of her clothes. Standout pieces included an embellished black cocktail dress with a sheer yoke as well as epically luscious velvet evening gowns (one in navy, the other in black) with the most magical underlayer of stiff, accordion pleats in ivory silk. That petticoat moved so beautifully it suggested a whole new (and perfectly beguiling) focal point. The styling was sexy and yet Victorian, with rich velvet dresses, dark lips, and chokers. Who wouldn't want to look like this? —Amy Larocca
Browse a slideshow of the Derek Lam collection.