Sunday, September 12, 2010

Derek Lam SS2011: An Embarassment of Riches

I mean that in the best possible sense. Derek Lam has everything going on. He's playing a winning hand with a full deck. There was so much to love in this collection at the beginning, the middle and the end. I kept waiting for one of his platform shoes to drop but it didn't happen. Whatever talk there is out there about an Asian Invasion is just talk. He stands head and shoulders above the group, a one man army. There were moments when I found myself associating what I was seeing with designers from before and ones that operate now. Never did it feel like copies but simply as references in the truest sense of the word. The mood of the collection was similar to that of Rochas last season. I thought Rochas was rich, varied and KILLER. Derek's Spring has a very similar dynamism. I also had images of Oscar de la Renta and YSL (the actual/real one) in my head only done lighter and less stuffy. You could say that this collection was somewhat similar to theirs but with all the layers of construction removed. Still the clothes had real bones to them in an utterly weightless way. From tailored denim to tucked and pleated chiffon and gauze there didn't seem to be anything that was beyond his ability to marshall. Knits were just another part of his arsenal that he unleashed on everyone in that audience. His color sense is just as sophisticated. This is only the 4th day of the forced march toward sensory overload and with this collection I feel it may be downhill from here. It was all so effortless and unstudied. That for me is a sign of a mature designer in command of his craft. Certainly, there were other great collections these last few days and in the days to come but this one will stand out as one of the pivotal ones of the season.

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