Derek Lam, one of my absolute favorite designers, was at Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue for a fashion presentation of his 2017 Pre-Fall and Fall Collections. He was in Chicago as guest of honor for an event hosted by the Children’s Service Board of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and a portion of the proceeds from sales of his collection that evening were donated to the Service Board.
I met Derek Lam the last time he was in Chicago and fell in love with the impeccable tailoring and gorgeous fabrics of his collections. He is very humble and sweet, too! I wore a dress from one of his past his collections and he actually thanked me for wearing it! When I sat down to talk to him, he told me he liked my boots, so my shoe question I had prepared for him moved to the top of my list.
SCS: I’m a shoe addict and I adore your shoes! Do you design shoes to go with your apparel? What is your design process for accessories?
DL: My philosophy is to never design a total look, with the exception of a suit. The shoes are designed to compliment a look, and playing with accessories you can do whatever you want with a look. For example we showed very casual shoes with an elegant look for fall.
SCS: Who would you say is the Derek Lam woman?
DL: She is very confident, she does not wear trends, she likes refinement and casual elegance.
SCS: What is the “shape of things to come?” What silhouettes have you introduced that you feel are more modern?
DL: Well they oversize trend is of the moment, but it does not work for most women and I want to stay away from that. I don’t want them to look like David Byrn of the Talking Heads in a big suit! A woman may pick one piece that is oversized or flowey to wear with pieces that are tailored and neat. However for the runway we do show bigger sashes and longer lengths.
SCS: We love the way you did the uneven hem skirts for fall. They are so flattering!
DL: Skirts are so challenging and the uneven hem keeps them both interesting and flattering.
SCS: How do you make apparel so flattering?
DL: I think it is because I am very observant, and I think of how I would want to look.
SCS: Is there anything that you can tell us about yourself that no one or few people know?
DL: Oh, well…I really like karaoke, but I’m not very good at all! (he laughed). Performance art is not my specialty!
Shop the Derek Lam and Derek Lam 10 Crosby at Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue and NeimanMarcus.com.
Photos: Second City Style