Derek Lam doesn't get better than he was today. He left his post at Tod's almost a year ago now, and it looks as though he's used his newfound free time to get to know himself—and his customer—better. He neatly summed her up backstage: "She's got a bohemian spirit, but in a modern, controlled way."

That's a good fit for Lam, a California boy who was raised in San Francisco in its hippie heyday. His inner boho came out here in patchwork on a sleeveless suede dress; a full, below-the-knee skirt; and in a technically challenging but worth the effort suede T-shirt with a mosaic pattern encircling its neckline. Last season's macramé got another airing, and he also experimented with crochet. A black openwork poncho dress looked sweet.

As for modern and controlled, it's hard to compete with the simplicity of a navy and white satin top tucked into swaggering black sailor pants, but a cape-back white satin blouse and tapering navy satin pants with shades of Spring Céline came away with a slight advantage. It might've been the show's most elegant look; still, it wasn't all quite as spare as that. Graphic color-blocked T-shirts will be eye-catching from the other side of the selling floor.

Lam's been a destination for coats since he started, and he didn't mess with success here. A pair of camel capes—short for day, long for night—were unstructured beauties. The peacoat with contrast white lapels and martingale was more hardworking but just as polished.