For fall, Derek Lam skipped a show or walk-in presentation format and instead opted for one-on-one appointments with private mini shows. That felt extremely civilized and a bit haute-couture. However, instead of gowns in a Parisian atelier, it took place in a New York showroom, and the fashion menu didn’t include dreamy gowns but terrific, modern city clothes. The intimacy of the presentation made it possible to fully appreciate the sophisticated volumes injected with a refined sartorial quality, as well as the luxurious fabrics, mainly sourced from high-end Italian textile companies.

Constructed but never stiff, double-breasted coats revealed warm internal padding; other generously cut outerwear pieces featured cape details that closed with snap buttons for a scarflike effect. Contrasting paneling, applied pockets and precise lines contributed to the chic quotient of utilitarian military green skirts, sometimes matched with plush sweaters. Plaid suits were cut in loose, hyper-comfortable silhouettes, while an interesting padded top tucked into a leather skirt was crafted from a soft and shiny Japanese technical material.

Mannish flannel pants were counterbalanced by the lightness of a hyper-feminine draped blouse, while the classic, chic shape of a black cocktail frock was peppered by a sharp cut on the back for a gentle sensual touch. Straightforward yet gracious, realistic yet exciting, the lineup showcased the best face of American fashion with its authenticity and practicality updated with creative twists.

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