Derek Lam Fall 2011 Review

Derek Lam Fall 2011 RTW

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Derek Lam 2011 collection

SHOW: Derek Lam (See the full runway collection)

THEME: “There are no new steps, only new combinations.”—George Balanchine

ACCESSORIES: Sturdy-heeled leather and suede ankle boots, lace-ups, and pumps; raffia, velvet and leather sandals

HAIR: Orlando Pita for T3

MAKEUP: Tom Pecheux for Estée Lauder, nails by Jin Soon Choi for Estée Lauder

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Another step in Lam’s steady rise as a master of American sportswear

Derek Lam may not have the buzz of the young Jason Wu or the history of Michael Kors (who celebrates his 30th year in business this season), but his unique brand of sportswear is just as luxurious, clean and covetable as any of the American masters.

His run of show began with the above quote from legendary choreography Balanchine, followed by an explanation of the new fabrications used for the season: cotton woven with the linen-like canepa, viscose added to silk twill, poplin woven with nylon for fabrics with “new hands, new touches, fluidity and drape, which look unique and feel very modern.”

Of course, Lam disciples needn’t worry about any diminishing of luxury: The collection was impeccable, from paneled wool or tweed trousers (in the same wide leg or flare he perfected for Spring) to sporty utility skirts to some of the best outerwear we’ve seen all season. A black beaver and nylon bomber jacket, a plush silver-fox coat with a leather collar, and tailored double-face wool toppers were standouts.

Closing the show was a series of gorgeous lighter-than-air pleated gowns. Lam may not be a name often heard on the red carpet circuit, but expect these stunners to change that.