Derek Lam struck gold last season with a clean, sharp collection of urban sportswear that looked to the American West for inspiration. For Spring, he headed further in the same direction, to his home state of California, to be exact. The clothes were still mostly minimal, but in a softer palette and a more relaxed silhouette. The overall effect was dreamier and a bit more retro. You could picture Joni Mitchell or another Lady of the Canyon in Lam's indigo linen twill blazer and matching flared trousers, and there were shades of the seventies in other pieces, including a little yellow jacquard tunic-and-shorts set and a silk crepe blouse tucked into a stiff suede A-line skirt.
The decade has always been ripe territory for this designer, and he was savvy to resist the urge to rush headlong into another era. Sometimes it had appeared as though Lam was unsettled about his aesthetic direction; now he seems to have established his look. That's not to say this collection was rooted in the past. Floating away from the body as the models glided down the runway on wooden wedges, his spare, unadorned evening dresses couldn't have been more modern.