Jemal Countess, Getty Images for IMG


INSPIRATION: West Coast minimalist art

TOP LOOKS: Trenches in diverse fabrications: some simple, some with peplum detail or looser silhouettes; abstract-print devoré tunic dress; snake-print chiffon tank gowns with waist gathering; sleek, sweeping white gowns

ACCESSORIES: Platform sandals and pumps, and bags from the designer's own line. Our money is on the python Ume bag -- a simple, structured semiround saddle shoulder bag -- as an editor favorite come spring.

WHO WAS THERE: Rashida Jones, Leighton Meester. Vogue entourage including Anna Wintour, Candy Pratts Price, and Hamish Bowles; French Vogue's Carine Roitfeld; Glenda Bailey of Harper's Bazaar; Cathy Horyn and Sally Singer of The New York Times. Linda Fargo from Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys New York's Julie Gilhart.

WHAT WE THOUGHT: Art-world inspiration is a hot trend for spring, and Derek Lam turned to West Coast minimalism while designing his collection. How did this translate? Austere yet flattering silhouettes in sumptuous fabrics, textures, and (here and there) colors.

Lam opened with a few all-denim looks, including a covetable trench, and continued with his austerity exercise: superclean lines, simple silhouettes, and a rigorously neutral palette in creamy, sensuous finishes, and textures. His single nod to frill was a modified peplum shape, which popped up again and again -- on a khaki trench, a tux blazer, a sleeveless silk tunic. The few color exceptions included a burst of rainbow hues across a devoré tunic dress. A trio of sweeping A-line gowns closed the show, the last of which (in white crepe, with long sleeves, jewel neckline, and fitted bodice) suggested a beautifully modern Princess Leah.

All this was trimmed with Lam's lust-worthy accessories. Keeping with the West Coast theme, he used a lot of snake skin. There were platform sandals and pumps, color-blocked totes, and a great modified saddle bag in python. In total, a ton of wearable clothing. "I'm really happy with it," an exuberant Lam told us after the show. "There were a lot of great pieces and I think it's a strong collection." And how.

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