When the Derek Lam show opened with a group of outfits in shades of Gray Poupon yellow and pea soup green, it was hard to imagine that this was a collection intended for the summer months.
Granted, the colors played out on madras plaids and lightweight cottons,but with black leather pieces - like a halter top or cropped camisole - entering the equation, this show had a real autumnal vibe.
There was very little that made this collection feel like a fully formed concept. It was as if Lam was still deciding what direction he wanted to take his brand when he ran out of time and had to send his ensembles down the catwalk.
That being said, the designer had a lot of good ideas floating about in this show, the first one being the use of a “cellophane basket weave” material that had a textural high gloss shine, lending an intriguing weight and stiffness to tops and skirts.
The experimental Arts and Crafts feel of the collection could also be felt in the way the designer wove a macramé skirt together using sea snake, or how he used old school guipure lace in a modern way by fading and blending two contrasting colors. Even the final few outfits that featured crunchy iridescent sequins showed a certain potential.
But when the model Joan Smalls closed out the show, the residual effect felt by the audience was of a collection thwarted by too many good ideas. Each one of them needing Lam to give it just a bit more development, which would have made the crucial different between a concept and a collection.
- Jessica Michault