The unique starting point for the new 10 Crosby Derek Lam Fall collection was "lava pottery," which came out of West Germany in the mid-twentieth century. While that doesn't sound like the sexiest inspiration, it yielded several terrific coats cut from an ombré brushed mohair wool that closely mirrored the collectible ceramics. In addition to anchoring the lineup, the textured toppers also got design director Elizabeth Giardina thinking about what modern artists might wear while working (she referenced Louise Bourgeois and Diane Arbus). The idea gave rise to pairs of utilitarian leather "studio pants" with a tapered, slightly baggy fit, and their matching boxy smock tops.
Elsewhere, Giardina focused on developing texture with custom fabrications including bonded neoprene, which was hand-spray-painted to speckled effect, and needle-punched cotton voile. The silhouette here was generally relaxed. "Volume is really important, but it was also about maintaining the integrity of the waist," said Giardina, pointing out pleated A-line skirts that hit just below mid-calf. Fur—both real and faux—played a significant role too, with indigo-hued fox vests and a mint-colored coat that appeared to be shearling but was in fact 100 percent mohair. While Derek Lam recently moved into a larger office space farther uptown—leaving behind 10 Crosby's namesake address—the line coolly maintains its decidedly downtown sensibility.