Medium MODA: Derek Lam FW16

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

photos courtesy vogue.com

Derek Lam’s namesake collection remains one of #NYFW’s hidden gems. Don’t get me wrong; any-and-every influential buyer, editor, or stylist is honored to receive an invitation to Lam’s twice-annual presentations and wouldn’t miss them for the world (or Hood By Air, which often shows at the same time). That said, Lam—an alumnus of Michael Kors’ design studio—tends to fly under the flashy press-radar. That means no front-row Kardashians, Biebers, or Empire cast-members. Because of this, focus is always placed firmly upon the clothes, and they rarely disappoint. This season was no exception to that rule as Lam set his 70s fascinations—the disco decade factors centrally in many of Lam’s deliveries—to a contemporary beat. Forget “Studio 54” tropes and glamrock-gauche abandon, the looks on parade were all about architectural restraint and nostalgia tempered by a forward-thinking sensibility. Sharply creased trousers hovered at a fresh cropped proportion, skirts with movement maintained modesty at a just-below-the-knee length, and investment-worthy outerwear nodded respectfully to the most classic shapes (the trench, peacoat, and duster among them). A dash of the daring came via a duo of Lam’s sparkly frocks (one in jet beading, the other in an unexpected-but-pitch-perfect lapis-blue). Their shimmer-and-shine was countered by modest maxi-length gowns that would certainly be at home on a bright-young-thing come next award season. Though the celebrity/red-carpet game has never been Lam’s schtick, perhaps he should consider throwing his hat in that ring more often: with a collection so thoroughly addressing metropolitan women’s complex lives, a little amped press could render him a household name. -Kibwe Chase-Marhsall

see the entire collection at Vogue.com

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