NYFW A/W11: Derek Lam

By  February 15, 2011

The Clothes Whisperer reports from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York:

“There are no new steps, only new combinations” read the George Balanchine quote atop the Derek Lam show notes. And Lam meant what he cited, and not in the obvious way. In fact, Lam’s newfound love of new “combinations” stems from experimentation with fabrics at the fiber level, a new way of working with mills to create new kinds of materials as prices of traditional cloths like cashmere and silk continue to skyrocket.

Gorgeous draping, demure palettes, lush lush fur coats and sheepskin gilets made myself (and Madame Wintour cross-catwalk) catch our breath. Lam, like Wang, like Wu, like Som, is part of this new generation of Asian talents, setting the bar for laissez faire cool dressing and ushering in a new era of American sportswear–excuse me, Asian American sportswear.

For daywear, there were doubleface wool pea coats teamed with flowing wideleg trousers (ladies, prepare to toss your skinnies, it’s all about the stovepipe for AW11), beaver-fur trimmed nylon bomber jackets, blanket stripe felt dresses and a breathtaking slate alpaca shearling layered over a grey melange wool shetland coat. It’s all about the clash of textures centered around a core strength of pristine tailoring and fluid draping.