Derek Lam said that he designed his sophomore collection "with a woman, not an ingénue, in mind," and the names he gave his pieces drove the point home. There were "Sophia" and "Ava" dresses, as well as a "Marilyn" camisole that referenced Ms. Monroe, one of Lam’s main inspirations for the season (the other being the film In the Mood for Love). But for all their grown-up sophistication, the clothes were more gamine than sexpot.

The well edited eighteen-piece show featured a carnation print in slipper satin, a linen brocade shot with silver thread, and a vivid palette, worked into pieces like a cerise paper taffeta shell coat and a turquoise silk/cotton faille trench. Satin bra tops paired with Jacquard skirts were worn with heels for real sizzle; if put together with flats it would make for a flirty look. Pretty daytime options like box-pleat skirts and boyfriend sweaters gave way to the understated glamour of strapless evening dresses. Produced in Italy, Lam's collection looks and feels expensive—and totally worth it.