Derek Lam Gets Free & Has Fun Mixing Romance, Punk, and Polka Dots

Luxury, "new" luxury, contemporary, sportswear...knowing where a line falls seems to be key to its future success, yet few designers manage to straddle the categories with grace--and Derek Lam is one of them. His latest collection, ripe with jewel tones, polka dots, and shimmer, had a free-spirited buzz to it, but if things got too "light" they were brought down to earth with little pieces of caramel suede, exposed zippers, and the models' messy-romantic punk up-dos. Little dresses in lackluster shades of mint and peach fell away while the more memorable drapey yet tailored bodysuits, "corset" trousers, and all those delectable cork gladiator heels--which Tod's Diego Della Valle and Vogue Paris' Carine Roitfeld sitting front-row kept a close eye on--gave us the thrill we were wanting.

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