Knowing that the childhood of the famous Chinese American fashion designer Derek Lam was full of fabrics and clothes, it was quite predictable that some years later America would get a chance to see a Chinese look at American lifestyle by means of feminine yet languid and relaxing silhouettes. The velocity of life in New York has formulated his one-of-a-kind style, which was later adopted by many a woman appreciating comfort and non-formality. The Derek Lam spring/summer 2016 collection does not deviate from this concept, in the meanwhile adding “deep soul and independent beauty” to the whole Derek-Lam-style. The deep soul and independent beauty carrier is none other than American singer and activist Nina Simone, who had an exceptional competence to disguise her femininity when it was about to struggle for independence and freedom and to reveal it to the fullest extent when it was about music. Inspired by the documentary film “What Happened, Miss Simone?” illustrating that strong and independent woman’s life, Derek Lam is spreading fresh pieces on the runway at New York Fashion Week.
Taking a glance at the show we can instantly catch some boyish and naughty atmosphere all around and beneath that atmosphere – an independent creature, who is wandering around the city, infecting everybody with her free spirit. As a symbol of comfort Derek again focuses on bell, elongated sleeves and bell-bottoms that are nonchalantly moving while the models are catwalking down on the runway. Actually, flaring touches do exist in every single piece of the collection. In case a dress comes to be with straight sleeves or spaghetti straps then the bottom part is sure to be layered and flaring, if a dress has straight hemlines at the bottom, it may come to be with butterfly sleeves and moreover, some ensembles appear to be with multiple flaring elements.
Talking about American lifestyle and not mentioning typical street style trenches would be illogical of Derek Lam. The designer presents a handful of bathrobe-style trenches of pastel colors without any buttons, fastened only by a tonal belt. The most impressive one is sent down the runway at the finale of the show – a cream trench unbelted and styled with fringes at the hemlines, which is paired with a lingerie-style tonal dress beneath with a sensual plunging neckline. Despite the fact of the abundance of work-wear modest collars, the designer just could not deprive us of feminine dresses with square, plunging and V-necklines that are sure to insinuate Nina Simone’s feminine side.
We cannot ignore the upcoming spring’s gradually outlining trend to wear a shirt or a tight-fitting top beneath a ribbed sweater or vest, which could not be ignored by the designer either. As a result we see a couple of ensembles conveying that very trendy style as well.
Independence and boho chic are two notions that are so strongly associated with each other that the designer could not but adorn the catwalk with some bohemian looks, the most luxurious and impressive among them being intarsia knit dresses that are exposing just the right amount of feminine body and, of course, fur stoles on the models’ hands that have always been luxury providers. Some halter-neck dresses are so massive and elongated that require a little courage from one when it comes to wearing them to the streets and she is sure to do it being Derek Lam’s true-blue follower.
Photos courtesy of Vogue