Last Tuesday, many of Fashion's elite came out in support of the Derek Lam Fall 2006 Collection. I was tripping over my editorial heroes left and right' Anna Wintour, Andre Leon Talley, Hamish Bowles, Nina Garcia, and Linda Wells, just to name a few. The open gallery space of Exit Art provided an industrial backdrop for Mr. Lam's flashes of bold color. The jam-packed house left many standing against the back walls, clamoring for a bird's eye view of what is being touted as his best collection to date. The CFDA winner ushered out 31 ensembles, citing New York as his inspiration, in particular the 'flashes of color you see when racing in a cab through Times Square at night!'
Derek Lam began his career at Michael Kors where he spent twelve years, first with the ready-to-wear line then as head designer for KORS, by Michael Kors. The Parsons graduate debuted his eponymous line only four years ago, but has garnered much praise since then with a 2004 Ecco Domani Fashion Award for new designers and last year's Perry Ellis Swarovski Award. Much like his mentor, Mr. Lam's focus is on American sportswear. He is known for his clean silhouettes, classic shapes, and pretty patterns.
The hair and makeup was chic and unencumbered, an elegant counterpart to Mr. Lam's beautiful designs. Famed hairstylist Orlando Pita straightened the hair and pulled it back in a sophisticated high ponytail. Celebrated makeup artist Tom Pecheux drew attention away from the mouth with a strong brow and kohl-lined eye. The face was paler than recent seasons with a soft hint of blush along the apple of the cheeks.
The runway presentation opened with one of my favorite ensembles, a grey melange cashmere cowl neck sweater paired with a crepe de Chine ruffle shirt and one of the biggest trends for the season, a black [merino] legging. Another design direction we saw for the upcoming season was the juxtaposition of black against white, ivory, nude, or camel. Derek Lam exemplified this with his exquisite black and nude crepe slipper satin dress. I was particularly fond of the trench coats; one in a khaki maxi-length with silver fox cuffs was a luxuriously updated staple. Both the salt and pepper tweed cape jacket and a-line coat with silver fox sleeves, were belted, highlighting the trend towards an accentuated waistline.
Mr. Lam also employed a great use of bold colors, capturing the city's neon lights with his spectrum of jewel tones. He brightened and updated the monochromatic neutrals of black, grey, tweeds, and camels that are prevalent for the season. Some of his finest examples of this combination included a purple v-neck ruffle blouse shown with a black crepe and velvet tuxedo pant; a yellow and black georgette strapless dress; and a turquoise georgette one shoulder dress. The vibrant shades were also prominent in the designer's handbags for Fall 2006 with the Persephone tote bag, Hildegard hobo bag, and Violet satchel bag. 'She was smitten from the first' ' Elvis Costello soulfully crooned a forecast in the background' this was me all the way from the cowl neck at the start through to the end with the velvet devore stripe ruffle cape!
Photos courtesy of Marcio Madeira.