Derek Lam: Art and Luxury

In college, my best friend interned at Derek Lam, where her bosses would let her borrow from the closet for special events. I hated them for it. She always looked amazing, and I couldn't compete. Derek Lam reads luxury even to those so removed from fashion they can't tell an Alaia from an A-what-a. While he doesn't scream in blinged out crystals and lames, Lam definitely whispers wealth, in quietly perfect cuts and politely rich fabrics. But the result is the same: clothes that are expensive, and look like it. On Sunday, as Lam sent yet another collection of luxe looks down the runway, I found myself selfishly relieved that my best friend's no longer able to pilfer that closet. Seeing my BFF in Lam's swoon-worthy LBD would honestly just make me jealous. So too would standing next to her in any of the gorgeous trench coats, which like the LBD, were flanked with peplums that added rich volume to an otherwise traditional silhouette.
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In college, my best friend interned at Derek Lam, where her bosses would let her borrow from the closet for special events. I hated them for it. She always looked amazing, and I couldn't compete. Derek Lam reads luxury even to those so removed from fashion they can't tell an Alaia from an A-what-a. While he doesn't scream in blinged out crystals and lames, Lam definitely whispers wealth, in quietly perfect cuts and politely rich fabrics. But the result is the same: clothes that are expensive, and look like it. On Sunday, as Lam sent yet another collection of luxe looks down the runway, I found myself selfishly relieved that my best friend's no longer able to pilfer that closet. Seeing my BFF in Lam's swoon-worthy LBD would honestly just make me jealous. So too would standing next to her in any of the gorgeous trench coats, which like the LBD, were flanked with peplums that added rich volume to an otherwise traditional silhouette.
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In college, my best friend interned at Derek Lam, where her bosses would let her borrow from the closet for special events.

I hated them for it.

She always looked amazing, and I couldn't compete. Derek Lam reads luxury even to those so removed from fashion they can't tell an Alaia from an A-what-a. While he doesn't scream in blinged out crystals and lames, Lam definitely whispers wealth, in quietly perfect cuts and politely rich fabrics. But the result is the same: clothes that are expensive, and look like it.

On Sunday, as Lam sent yet another collection of luxe looks down the runway, I found myself selfishly relieved that my best friend's no longer able to pilfer that closet. Seeing my BFF in Lam's swoon-worthy LBD would honestly just make me jealous. So too would standing next to her in any of the gorgeous trench coats, which like the LBD, were flanked with peplums that added rich volume to an otherwise traditional silhouette.

Missteps did walk down the runway --in fact, they clunked-- in the form of Japanese Geta style platforms, whose lack of arch would lengthen any foot's appearance (perhaps not ideal for those of us who wear over a size 7). But Lam more than atoned for that with another shoe success: simple gladiator sandals in nudes and blacks, which lent a refined flavor to a shoe that has become more Kate Moss at Glastonbury as of late. The same goes for the denim looks that opened the show: this was denim that would look more at home at a ladies' luncheon than a downtown party. In fact, it even looked luxurious for a luncheon.

Citing his inspiration in a New Yorker article about California minimalist art, Lam clipped hundreds of words from Peter Schjeldahl's piece for his audience to read. It was too much for this writer to entirely process without an espresso, but a few words glared at me, most notably Schjeldahl's assertion that "there's no crime in art looking like a luxury."

Let's hope not, for Lam's sake.

**All photos by Julia Silverman