A child of the seventies, Derek Lam is at his best when he's reimagining the Me Decade. Before his show, the designer explained he was inspired by the late photographer Guy Bourdin. "I've always loved his work," Lam said. "He's the other side of Helmut Newtonyoung and fresh and provocative." Lam's show was all those things, from the first gray-tone leopard-print silk romper to the final look, a louche gold sequin robe. By day, there were mid-calf dresses with V-necks in bold green and red raw silk; and, on the tailored side, a swingy coat-dress with bell sleeves and a double row of gold buttons, or a navy blazer that was all sharp angles worn over a little one-piece.
After dark, out came the zebra prints and an allover-beaded sheath that had the look of stained glass without any of its holy connotations. But what this show will be remembered for, not least because come springtime you'll see bright young things all over town sporting them, were the little silk georgette evening dresses. Lam cut them short, with tiny handkerchief sleeves and delicate pintucks at the chest, and showed them with sexy black back-seam stockings. Bourdin would approve.