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Derek Lam Has His American Pastoral Moment

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    Showing spring collections at precisely the moment New York's weather takes a turn for the chilly is sort of a perverse thing to do — especially when that collection is as lovely and light as air as Derek Lam's latest. Full of oversized blanket checks, cinched-waist, '50s-style, full skirts, dark-blue denim, and little turbans that felt equal parts Rosie the Riveter and grunge babe, the first half of the collection was a tongue-in-cheek take on retro: Call it Lam's American pastoral.

    Always a deft hand with updated classics, Lam gives the standard floor-length goddess dress a clever update with a crisp, white dickie right where the plunging neckline should be and a waist belt so wide it's almost an obi. Elsewhere, a cropped black jersey top plays down a glamorously textured, sparkly skirt, and a slate-gray jacket adds crisp structure to a full, ladylike sheer skirt.

    Lam is playing peekaboo with our ideas about feminine allure, and we're thrilled to see smart just edge out sexy in this collection — even if we have to wait six months to wear it.

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