Despite the fact that Derek Lam has 10 successful years under his belt--and a commercial diffusion line to boot--the designer has managed to maintain his insider-y cred. There are no celebrities at his show. For that matter, there's just a lot less people, in general. But the ones who are there, matter--at least within the industry (Anna Wintour, of course, was front row).
Like the setting, the clothes were simple, well-edited, no frills--and made an impact. The show opened with a series of checkered looks--so that trend, spearheaded in Paris last season by designers like Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo, isn't going anywhere for spring 2014. The checks came in dark navy and black, in sedate '40s-inspired silhouettes, topped off with a matching check turban. The effect was a perfect blend of classic and modern American sportswear.
The collection might have been simple and concise but it wasn't without its surprises--like the raffia fringe adorning scarves and tops or the low-slung yellow skirt that revealed a slice of midriff. The finale gowns--which came in white, yellow and black--were languidly elegant.
The audience seemed to appreciate the show's intimate setting and the collection's pared down aesthetic--Lam got one of the heartiest claps I've heard so far this season. More designers might want to follow his (and Oscar de la Renta's) lead.